Restoring the once-thriving Donner Creek


In the town of Truckee, you can find Donner Creek rambling its way through some popular locations in town. Donner Creek has been repeatedly modified since the mid-1800s – for grazing, the construction of the Central Pacific Railroad and local roadways, and more recently, for development of our homes and businesses. The formerly meandering, sprawling, Donner Creek was straightened, confined, redirected and disconnected from its natural floodplain. We plan to restore it.

The above photo demonstrates severe bank erosion, fine sediment loading, and poor habitat quality. At this site, we will utilize a combination of engineering and natural elements to stabilize the bank and enhance habitat.

Restoring a degraded streambank

Repairing 5,000 feet of stream
Combining engineering with natural elements—such as native vegetation—will stabilize degraded streambanks and reduce erosion and runoff.

Restoring riparian habitat
Protecting streambank and reducing sedimentation will restore macroinvertebrate populations—the tiny aquatic animals that fish eat.

Protecting the community
By stabilizing and restoring the stream, we will create a more sound foundation for neighboring infrastructure such as homes.

Improving water
Reducing erosion and sedimentation makes our water fishable, drinkable and swimmable for miles downriver.


Where it
all happens

Donner Creek is located throughout the Town of Truckee, near I-80 and SR89.

Fast Facts

Location: Town of Truckee, near I-80 and SR89

Scale: 5,000 feet of stream

Schedule: July 2024 — September 2024

Budget: $1.2 million

Partners: California Department of Transportation, Newport Pacific/Cirus Development, Tahoe Truckee Unified School District, Town of Truckee, Sierra Joint Community College District, Truckee Donner Land Trust, Truckee Donner Public Utility District



For more information on assessments, monitoring, plans reports, and general information on the Donner Creek restoration project, explore this resources section.


Stay tuned.