Pescadero and Butano Creeks Watershed Sediment TMDL

NEW – January 10, 2018: The Pescadero-Butano Watershed Sediment Total Maximum Daily Load Draft Staff Report and Basin Plan amendment are available for public review and comment. The public notice for this Basin Plan amendment provides information on the comment period and the public hearing.

This Staff Report for the Pescadero-Butano Watershed Sediment Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) and Habitat Enhancement Plan presents the supporting documentation for a proposed Basin Plan amendment that will be considered by the San Francisco Bay Water Board to restore water quality for sediment and habitat condition and to facilitate the recovery of listed populations of coho salmon and steelhead in the Pescadero-Butano watershed.

Comments on the draft TMDL and Basin Plan amendment should be sent by mail to:

San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board
ATTN: Setenay Bozkurt-Frucht
1515 Clay Street, Suite 1400
Oakland, CA 94612

Or by email to

You can receive updates via email on Pescadero-Butano Watershed developments by subscribing online: Electronic Subscription List


The Pescadero and Butano Creeks flow westerly and drain approximately 81 mi2 of the Santa Cruz Mountains in western San Mateo and Santa Cruz Counties and enters the Pacific Ocean near the town of Pescadero (Figure 1). The watershed contains steep forested slopes, deep canyons with steep inner gorges, a coastal valley, and rolling hills and grasslands near the coast. While the Pescadero sub-watershed is 58 mi2, the Butano sub-watershed is 23 mi2. Pescadero Marsh, a 320 acre brackish and freshwater wetland at the confluence of Pescadero Creek and Butano Creek, is one of the most significant coastal wetlands on the central California.   It is composed of an estuary/seasonal freshwater lagoon, fresh and brackish water marshes, brackish water ponds, and riparian areas along stream channels. The watershed provides habitat for a diverse array of aquatic life, including steelhead trout, and in the recent past, coho salmon. Other listed species that are also dependent on habitats within the Pescadero marsh include tidewater goby, San Francisco garter snake, and California red-legged frog.