What is the Napa River?
The Napa River is one of the largest Central Coast Range Rivers draining 426 sq. miles on its 50 mile journey from Mt. St. Helena to the San Pablo Bay. The last 17 miles of this journey, from Trancas St. in Napa to Vallejo, are an estuary system. In summer, the salinity at Trancas may be 10%, in winter, it is freshwater.
The Napa River and its 47 tributaries serve as a linear wilderness running through the heart of an intensely farmed and partially urbanized valley. At one time, a dense canopy of riparian habitat dominated by cottonwoods and willows lined the river’s upper reaches. For the most part, the gallery forest bordering the riparian zone is gone and the remaining vegetation exists only in the channel. FONR is working to restore the riparian habitat.
Health of the River
- Pollution is caused by the run-off of fertilizers. During summer, algae bloom decreases the oxygen available to aquatic life.
- Water diversion from the streams is decreasing the fresh water flow, affecting the fish habitat.
- Stream bank erosion and removal of plant life due to development causes sedimentation.
- 70 to 200 thousand tons of sediments enter the Napa Valley watershed every year due to roads, development and hillside vineyards.
- Sediment deposits in stream channels, gravel and ponds, impair anadromous fish spawning thereby reducing habitat diversity and the food supply for fish
Have you seen hazards or problems on the Napa River?
Call the Napa Flood Control and Water Conservation District at 707-259-8600 to report any problems. The address is 804 First St., Napa, 94558. Business hours are 8:00am to 5:00pm
Visit the website: http://www.co.napa.ca.us/GOV/Departments/DeptDefault.asp?DID=6
Real-Time and Historical Rainfall and Stream Level Data for the Napa Valley Area
A new Napa Valley area website that provides current and historical rainfall, creek and river level monitoring data. This website and the network of rainfall and stream level gage sites is a collaborative project of local Napa County cities, the County of Napa, and the Napa County Flood Control and Water Conservation District.
Visit the website: http://napa.onerain.com/home.php
Wildlife along the River
- The endangered Chinook Salmon and steelheads spawn in the Napa River and in its many tributaries. The steelhead run has been reduced from historical levels of 6000 adults to a few hundred fish. Nonetheless, the river still supports an active recreational fishery. We find bluegill, black bass in the upper river; and striped bass, sturgeon and many non-game species such as the endangered splittail, yellowfin globy and silversides in the lower river.
- Bird species dependent on the river include mallards, green-winged teals. mergansers, wood ducks, herons, egrets, kingfishers, rails and grebes as well as the endangered Clapper Rail.
- Mink muskrat, raccoons, deer, gray fox and bobcat also live in the riparian habitat.
Visit the Website: http://napa.onerain.com/home.php
How to enjoy the Napa River
- Kennedy Park features a trail on the river connecting to the Imola Street bridge crossing (Maxwell Bridge) from which it will eventually be extended to downtown Napa at the Third Street bridge.
- West of Lincoln Bridge near Soscol go through the RV Park and hit a trail on the west bank going north to Trancas.
- Wetlands Edge Trail in American Canyon, access from Eucalyptus Drive.
- A Californian Dept. of Fish and Game eco-reserve at the Yountville Cross Rd. bridge is a beautiful spot to see the river.
- The City boat dock at 4th Street in Napa is being rebuild and expected to be installed in August 2013.
- A ramp for small crafts is at the end of Riverside Drive in Napa
- There is a boat launch at John F. Kennedy Park; off Hwy 221, take Streblow Avenue
- Contact Kayak NV for hosted kayak tours on the river: 707-501-8585; www.kayaknv.com
-The Napa River Watershed -
Major Tributaries, ordered from North to South
|West of the Napa River||Map||East of the Napa River||Map|
|Cyrus Creek||Kimball Creek||
|Kortum Creek||Jericho Creek|
|Nash Creek||Carnett Creek||
|Dutch Henry Creek|
|Hirsh Creek||Biter Creek|
|York Creek||Bell Canyon Cr.|
|Conn Creek+Lake Hennessey+Moore Creek
|Bail Creek||Sage Creek+Clear Canyon+Fir Canyon||
|Bear Canyon Creek||Rector Creek||
|Montgomery Creek||Milliken Creek||
|Wing Canyon Creek||Sarco Creek||
|Segassia Canyon Creek||Tulucay Creek|
|Pickle Canyon Creek||Spencer Creek|
|Browns Valley Creek||
|Congress Valley Creek||Suscol Creek||
|American Canyon Creek|