The “Roy’s Pools Fish Passage and Floodplain Restoration Project” will remove the highest priority fish barrier in central California, creating and restoring approximately five acres of creek habitat with the construction of 0.25-mile long floodplain corridors along the former San Geronimo golf course property in San Geronimo, California. 

The project is a collaborative effort between several local, state, and national agencies that will:

  • Provide year-round access to critical habitat for endangered salmon;
  • Create valuable floodplain corridors for terrestrial wildlife movement;
  • Greatly increase the amount of trees for nesting birds; and
  • Replace a failing pedestrian bridge with a new prefabricated bridge, linking trails and providing fish viewing over a wider, more complex and stable creek channel.


In 1999, NOAA Fisheries developed designs for a series of pools composed of metal sheet piles, concrete and large boulders to help get fish over the former Roy’s Dam. This effort resulted in the Roy’s Pools structure we know today. Although the conversion of Roy’s Dam to Roy’s Pools helped in getting adult fish over the dam, the Pools became traps for young fish. Stagnant water in the pools created breeding sites for mosquitoes and a home for invasive bullfrogs. In addition, the pools cut off access for young fish moving upstream and downstream of the site.

A coho salmon jumps through Roy’s Pools right after it was constructed. | Photo by Reuven Walder
The Roy’s Pools design ultimately leaked and didn’t hold water. | Photo by SPAWN

In a collaborative effort beginning in 2012 with the Lee Family, the previous owners of the former San Geronimo golf course, SPAWN secured grant funds to design a functional restoration of the creek channel through the Roy’s Pools reach, where a natural channel would replace the metal and concrete structures.

In 2012, SPAWN began the design process and hosted community meetings where neighbors gave input on the project and toured the site with the engineering team. Although this is a creek channel restoration project at the former golf course property, this project is not a Trust for Public Land project and is not related to the visioning process that the Trust for Public Land and Trout Unlimited are currently conducting. This project was developed several years prior to the Trust for Public Land taking ownership of the property.

All permits for the project have been evaluated, reviewed and issued by:

  • The County of Marin
  • California Department of Fish & Wildlife
  • U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
  • US Army Corps of Engineers
  • California Water Boards
  • NOAA Fisheries
  • Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria

Project funding is provided by:

  • California Department of Fish and Wildlife Fisheries Restoration Grant Program
  • NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service Restoration Center
  • The members of Turtle Island Restoration Network

Project partners include:

  • Environmental Science Associates
  • The Trust for Public Land
  • Humboldt State University
  • Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria

Project Timeline

Restoration activities will occur August-October 2020, with the potential to extend into 2021. The revegetation and tree planting will begin following construction in late 2020 and will extend for 4-5 years following restoration.

How to Get Involved

There are many opportunities to join this community restoration project! All volunteer opportunities and planting events are updated on our Event Calendar.

  • Volunteer at SPAWN’s Native Plant Nursery every Friday to get all the plants ready for the restoration site.
  • Volunteer to help collect local seeds in the summer.
  • Volunteer to help plant native trees, grasses, shrubs, and other plants in November.
  • Adopt a Redwood Tree to be planted on the project site in your honor.

Contact Audrey Fusco at or (415) 663-8590 ext. 4 for group arrangements and additional questions.

Project Updates

100-Year-Old Dam Removed From Former Golf Course for Salmon Migration

| California, Coho Salmon, News Releases, Roy's Pools, Roy's Pools Restoration Project, Salmon | No Comments
For Immediate Release, December 8, 2020 Contacts: Preston Brown, Director of Watershed Conservation, 303-877-0880 Todd Steiner, Executive Director, 415-488-7652 100-Year-Old Dam Removed From Former Golf Course for Salmon Migration New…

Update: SPAWN Removes Central California’s Highest Priority Fish Passage Barrier

| California, Habitat Restoration & Landowner Assistance, News Releases, Roy's Pools, Salmon | No Comments
SPAWN has completed removing Roy's Dam and Roy's Pools that were obstacles to salmon migration and replaced them with Roy's Riffles! We completed this year's work safely and on schedule.…