Redwood Creek History
Many photographs in KRIS come from the Redwood National and State Park staff and the archives at the Park. Only a small fraction of their archives were captured. The selection of photos below show the Redwood Creek estuary and the changes it has undergone over time. Photos can be a useful scientific tool for analyzing river and watershed changes related to management before scientific studies were conducted.
The Redwood Creek estuary in 1905 formed a deep channel next to the rock where it spilled into the ocean. Wetlands in the foreground were formed by overflow from the estuary. [477kb]
In 1949 the Redwood Highway road bed was created by filling in wetlands adjacent to Redwood Creek. [283 kb]
The Redwood Creek estuary in 1948 is shown at left in its historic channel before aggradation. Note the clear cut in upstream areas above the town of Orick. The snags of old conifers in fields adjacent to the estuary suggest clearing of the forest in the prior 50 years. Lack of bank vegetation makes the creek susceptible to flood damage and erosion. [261 kb]
After the 1964 flood, the Redwood Creek channel was rip-rapped and confined between levees to a point just above its entry into the Pacific. Accumulated sediment cuts off the sloughs, blocking fish access and preventing connection to once productive areas of the estuary. This photo is from 1988. [77 kb]