Wildcat Canyon Regional Park

JEWEL LAKE STUDY: Restoration and Public Access Feasibility for the Jewel Lake Reach of Wildcat Creek

Overview

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Jewel Lake

The Park District recognizes Jewel Lake’s long history and its place in the landscape. Currently the District is studying periodic dredging and other sustainable long-term strategies to maintain a destination for public enjoyment and protect and enhance habitat for native species.
The purpose of this study is to develop a preferred concept to move forward into design and construction, depending on available funding. The concepts will be evaluated in relation to the following project goals along with other considerations:

  • Enhance Native Species Habitat
  • Provide Salmonid Passage
  • Provide Sediment Continuity
  • Maintain Level of Public Access
  • Maintain / Provide a “destination” for public
  • Maintain lake as open water

The Jewel Lake Study is evaluating four potential futures that include:

  1. Allowing the lake to transition to meadow by taking no action
  2. Maintaining the lake and constructing a fishway at the dam connecting downstream to Wildcat Creek. In this scenario the lake will continue to fill with sediment and require periodic dredging.
  3. Restoring Wildcat Creek through the site of the lake by removing the dam.
  4. Retaining the lake and constructing a bypass channel that connects upstream of the lake. This layout would direct the majority of flow and sediment around the lake, preserving open water without the need for periodic dredging.

Site Description

Jewel Lake, constructed in 1921 with an earthen dam across Wildcat Creek, has served generations of park patrons and provided habitat to native wildlife. The dam also traps large quantities of sediment that build up over time, reducing the lake’s depth and volume and affecting public enjoyment and the wildlife that call it home. The current dam and lake also prevent rainbow trout from migrating upstream.

History

Native people have lived in Alameda and Contra Costa County for millennia, subsisting on and caring for a landscape of streams, Bay wetlands, open grasslands, and wooded foothills. At the time of Spanish contact in the late 18th century, nearby Bay Miwok-speaking tribes included the Huchuin peoples. Many descendants of these first peoples continue to call the greater East Bay their home.
Jewel Lake, constructed in 1921 with an earthen dam across Wildcat Creek, has served generations of park patrons and provided habitat to native wildlife. The dam also traps large quantities of sediment that build up over time, reducing the lake’s depth and volume and affecting public enjoyment and the wildlife that call it home. The current dam and lake also prevent rainbow trout from migrating upstream.

Project Resources

For more information, please contact Scott Stoller, Civil Engineer, at sstoller@ebparks.org or (510) 544-2316.

We Want to Hear From You
Provide feedback via email to Scott Stoller at SStoller@ebparks.org.

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