Cow and Battle Creek Watersheds

Battle Creek watershed

  • Battle Creek
  • North Battle Creek Reservoir
  • Grace and Nora Lakes
  • Macumber (or McCumber) Lake

Cow Creek watershed

Battle Creek Watershed 
Battle Creek:  The Department of Fish & Game’s Battle Creek Salmon and Steelhead Restoration Project will invest at least $40 million from several sources in the recovery of spring and fall run chinook salmon in the Battle Creek watershed, including the decommissioning of dams downstream from the Battle Creek hydroelectric project.  Forty-one miles of salmon and steelhead habitat will potentially be restored.  Several alternative implementations of the restoration have been proposed and are presently undergoing environmental review. 

PG&E owns about 3,000 acres scattered across the Battle Creek watershed, almost all contiguous with other private ownerships.  Brush Spring, an important source of Battle Creek, is on PG&E land.  Only the lands containing hydroelectric facilities are under FERC license.

These watershed lands include about 7 miles of stream frontage on existing and potential salmon and steelhead habitats.  The Battle Creek watershed also includes vernal pools, shaded riverine aquatic habitats, blue oak woodlands, and a portion of the East Tehama Deer Herd’s winter range.  Future management of the watershed lands should ensure that the salmon and steelhead habitats and other natural values are fully protected. 

North Battle Creek Reservoir:    This 80-acre reservoir near the headwaters of North Battle Creek provides opportunities for fishing and boating on an uncrowded and natural-looking body of water.  Only boats powered by electric motors are allowed on the lake.  PG&E owns a total of 1,280 acres, including almost the entire lakeshore and lands upstream of the lake. There is a small campground. Only lands in the vicinity of the lake are within the FERC license boundary.  The watershed lands are entirely surrounded by national forest land.

Grace and NoraLakes: These two very small lakes are easily accessible from Highway 44.  They are heavily planted with hatchery trout and support considerable local recreation.  There are several attractive trails in the vicinity of the lakes.  PG&E owns their entire shorelines.

Macumber (or McCumber) Lake:  This 85-acre reservoir is a forebay on the North Fork of Battle Creek west of Lassen National Park. It is popular with flyfishers attracted to the wild brown trout fishery.  Only boats powered by electric motors are allowed on the lake.  PG&E owns the entire one-mile shoreline and 360 acres around the lake; about half this land is under FERC license.  The shallow northern shoreline provides good habitat for waterfowl and wading birds. PG&E has recently completed a wetland enhancement project.

Cow Creek Watershed lands

PG&E recently concluded an agreement with other stakeholders not to pursue relicensing of the Kilarc-Cow Creek Project.  If no other entity applies for the license, the project may eventually be decommissioned and eight miles of habitat for salmon, steelhead, and trout restored.  PG&E owns about 2,300 acres of oak and pine woodlands around South Cow Creek.  These lands are surrounded by other private ownerships.