Bear Creek (Colusa County)

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Bear Creek
Bear Creek (Colusa County).jpg
Bear Creek as it flows through the Bureau of Land Management's Cache Creek Natural Area
Bear Creek (Colusa County) is located in California
Bear Creek (Colusa County)
Location of the river mouth in California
CountryUnited States
RegionColusa County
(Cache Creek Watershed)
Physical characteristics
SourceMill Creek (Mendocino National Forest)
 • elevation3,830 ft (1,170 m)
2nd sourceBear Creek
 • elevation2,212 ft (674 m)
Source confluenceBear Valley
 • elevation1,331 ft (406 m)
MouthCache Creek
 • location
Cache Creek Canyon
 • coordinates
38°55′35″N 122°20′0″W / 38.92639°N 122.33333°W / 38.92639; -122.33333Coordinates: 38°55′35″N 122°20′0″W / 38.92639°N 122.33333°W / 38.92639; -122.33333
 • elevation
641 ft (195 m)
Length30 mi (48 km)
Basin size130 sq mi (340 km2)
 • locationHolsten Chimney Canyon Stream Gauge , CA
 • average37.5 cu ft/s (1.06 m3/s)
 • minimum0 cu ft/s (0 m3/s)
 • maximum8,510 cu ft/s (241 m3/s)
Basin features
 • leftSulphur Creek, Trout Creek

Bear Creek is one of two primary tributaries to Cache Creek in the U.S. state of California, the other being the North Fork of Cache Creek. It is the only tributary to Cache Creek not impounded by a dam; the North Fork is impounded by Indian Valley Dam and Reservoir, while the Cache Creek main stem is impounded by Cache Creek Dam.[1]

Because of elevated mercury levels in fish, the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment recommends that no one eat fish or shellfish from this water body.[2]


Western Pond Turtle in Bear Creek

Bear Creek begins within Bear Valley and flows south for approximately 25 miles draining a watershed of 130 square miles in the lower elevations of the Inner Coastal Range entirely in Colusa County. Bear Creek terminates at the confluence of Cache Creek just before crossing the Yolo County line in Cache Creek Canyon.[3][4]


Bear Creek provides a perennial habitat for fish to navigate throughout the year. By far, the most common fish found in Bear Creek is the Native California Roach. The creek also provides habitat for a wide assortment of other creatures including amphibians such as the Western Pond Turtle [5] and other water based organisms. Due to its perennial nature, Bear Creek also provides a reliable water supply to other creatures, thereby attracting large mammals such as deer and the Native California Tule Elk.[6]


  1. ^ "Cache Creek Dam Flows". Retrieved 2017-05-03.
  2. ^ Admin, OEHHA (2014-12-30). "Bear Creek". OEHHA. Retrieved 2018-06-11.
  3. ^ "Watershed-Based Assessment of Hydrologic and Geomorphic Conditions in Cache Creek through Capay Valley" (PDF). Yolo County Resource Conservation District. May 19, 2010. Retrieved 2017-05-03.
  4. ^ "Bear Creek (in Colusa County, CA)". Retrieved 2017-05-03.
  5. ^ "Bear Creek Watershed Assessment : Chapter 2" (PDF). Colusa County Resource Conservation District. Retrieved 2017-05-03.[permanent dead link]
  6. ^ "The Cache Creek Tule Elk Range" (PDF). The Western Section of The Wildlife Society. 1973. Retrieved 2017-05-03.