Mad River (California)

Mad River (California)

Geobox River
name = Mad River
native_name =
other_name =
other_name1 =

image_size =
image_caption =
country = United States
country1 =
state = California
state1 =
region_type = Counties
region = Humboldt
region1 = Trinity
district =
district1 =
city = Arcata
city1 =
length_imperial = 95
length_note = [ [ Mad River] , The Columbia Gazetteer of North America]
watershed_imperial = 497
watershed_note =
discharge_location = near Arcata
discharge_location_note = [ [ Water Resources Data—California, Water Year 2004] , Volume 2]
discharge_imperial = 1573
discharge_round = 1
discharge_max_imperial = 63100
discharge_min_imperial = 17
discharge1_location =
discharge1_imperial =
source_name =
source_location = California Coast Ranges
source_district =
source_region =
source_state =
source_country =
source_lat_d = 40
source_lat_m = 12
source_lat_s = 20
source_lat_NS = N
source_long_d = 123
source_long_m = 9
source_long_s = 23
source_long_EW = W
source_coordinates_note = Gnis|217920|Mad River, USGS, GNIS]
source_elevation_imperial = 4845
source_elevation_note = Google Earth elevation for source coordinates]
source_length_imperial =
mouth_name = Pacific Ocean
mouth_location =
mouth_district =
mouth_region =
mouth_state =
mouth_country =
mouth_lat_d = 40
mouth_lat_m = 56
mouth_lat_s = 31
mouth_lat_NS = N
mouth_long_d = 124
mouth_long_m = 8
mouth_long_s = 6
mouth_long_EW = W
mouth_coordinates_note =
mouth_elevation_imperial = 0
tributary_left =
tributary_left1 =
tributary_right =
tributary_right1 =
free_name =
free_value =

map_size =
map_caption =
The Mad River is a river in upper Northern California. It flows for 95 miles (150 km) in a roughly northwest direction through Trinity County and then Humboldt County, draining a 497 square mile (1290 km²) watershed into the Pacific Ocean near Arcata-Eureka Airport in McKinleyville. The river's headwaters are in the Coast Range near South Kelsey Ridge.

River modifications

The river has one dam and is free-flowing for 85 percent of its length. Matthews Dam, about one third of the way down the river from its source, forms Ruth Lake. The dam is owned by Humboldt Bay Municipal Water District, which serves Eureka, Arcata, Blue Lake and several unincorporated communities. The reservoir can hold 48,000 acre feet (59,000,000 m³) of water.

Like many rivers in this area of the state, the watershed's greatest problem is erosion causing excessive sediment buildup in the river and it tributaries. The main causes of the erosion are excessive road building and logging, especially historical logging practices. In addition, the removal of riparian vegetation, which also increases erosion, and urbanization are also causing decreased water quality.

Land use

The upper half of the river is inside the Six Rivers National Forest, but the vast majority of the river flows through private land, even in the national forest. About 64 percent of the land is used for timber production. Green Diamond is by far the largest landowner in the watershed, with about 42 percent of all land. The next largest landownders are R. Emmerson and Pacific Lumber Company, with 3 and 2 percent respectively. There are quite a few ranchers and lumber companies that own smaller, but still sizable, parcels. Private residences, open space and parks make up most of the rest.

ee also

*List of rivers in California


External links

* [ The Trust for Public Land] (PDF)
* [ California Department of Water Resources]
* [ Humboldt County]

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