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Eel River Watershed Management Area

Hydrologic Units: Eel River

Description:The Eel River comprises about 3,684 square miles; the river and its tributaries comprise the third largest river system in California and the largest river system on Humboldt County’s coast.The main tributaries are the Van Duzen and Bear Rivers, and Yager, Larabee, Bull and Salmon Creeks.The Van Duzen River is one of only a few un-dammed rivers in California.The Eel River is listed by the State of California as a Critical Coastal Area.

Land uses in the WMA include dairies, recreational activities, timber harvest, and recreational fishing.The Eel River is the third largest producer of salmon and steelhead in the state.The communities within the WMA include Scotia, Ferndale, Fortuna, Loleta, Garberville, Laytonville, and Willits.Surface water and ground water are closely connected in the alluvial valleys of the WMA, thus surface water withdrawals significantly affect groundwater supplies.

Watershed Plans can be easily accessed on the right side of this page and in the linked library folder (Library > Watershed Management Plans > Eel River Watershed Management Area).

Watershed Groups: Please follow these instructions to publish your group information

    • Eel River Watershed Improvement Group
    • Friends of the Eel River
    • Friends of the Van Duzen River
    • Outlet Creek Watershed Group
    • Seely Creek Watershed Association
    • Yager/Van Duzen Environmental Stewards


Salmonids: Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha), coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch) and steelhead trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss