Lower San Juan Creek


Lower San Juan Creek Watershed
Lower San Juan Creek Watershed

The Lower San Juan Creek watershed is located in the eastern portion of the county to the north-west of the Carrizo Plains. The headwaters are located in the La Panza range with the highest point at approximately 3600-feet. The confluence of San Juan Creek with the Estrella River occurs at Shandon. The dominant land use is agriculture. The San Juan Creek Valley is generally used most intensively for agriculture because of better soils and water availability. Irrigated production has increased during the last 10 years, particularly in vineyards and alfalfa. Dry farming and grazing operations encompass the rest of the agricultural uses. The riparian forest and a portion of the adjacent upland areas associated with the Estrella River and San Juan Creek in the vicinity of Shandon are important wildlife habitat, and serve as important corridors for wildlife movement. San Joaquin kit fox and Western burrowing owl occur in open grasslands. Another important wildlife movement corridor is located near the base of the hillside near the eastern edge of Shandon.

Watershed Overview
Hydrologic Unit Name: Estrella 17
Water Planning Area: Rafael/ Big Spring WPA 11, Salinas/ Estrella WPA 14
Acreage: 114,329 acres
Flow to: Salinas River via Estrella River – to Pacific Ocean (Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary)
Groundwater Basin(s): Paso Robles
Jurisdictions: County of San Luis Obispo, Shandon (ptn), Los Padres National Forest
Watershed Plans: None


View Subwatersheds

  1. Camata Canyon
  2. Camatta Creek
  3. Fernandez Creek
  4. Gillis Canyon
  5. Holland Canyon
  6. Hughes Canyon
  7. Lower Long Canyon
  8. Lower Sheel Creek
  9. McDonald Canyon
  10. San Juan Ranch
  11. Tin Pan Canyon
  12. Tucker Canyon
  13. Upper Long Canyon
  14. Upper Shell Creek
  15. West of Red Hills
  16. Wilinson Canyon

Full Data Snapshot

Download the Watershed Snapshot for more detailed information such as:
Watershed Snapshot

  • Rainfall
  • Geology
  • Hydrology models
  • Vegetation
  • Special status wildlife and plants
  • Land use
  • Demographics
  • Major changes in the watershed
  • Watershed health
  • Groundwater