Agricultural History and Habitat Restoration Come to Life on San Joaquin River Tour
Our two-day tour takes you into the heart of California’s San Joaquin Valley
Explore more than 100 miles of Central California’s longest river while learning about one of the nation’s largest and costliest river restorations. Our San Joaquin River Restoration Tour on Nov. 2-3 will feature speakers from key governmental agencies and stakeholder groups who will explain the restoration program’s goals and progress.
From Friant Dam in the Sierra Nevada foothills downstream to Hills Ferry, you will meander along the banks to visit historic sites, restoration projects, wildlife preserves, fish hatcheries, flood control structures and farms. As on all of our tours, you can soak up local culture; we feature speakers who share stories and photos of their family’s agricultural history and then enjoy dinner at a Basque restaurant with roots several generations old.
The San Joaquin River was the focus of one of the most contentious legal battles in California water history related to providing in-stream flows for fish, leading to the creation of the San Joaquin River Restoration Program. The program was established as part of a 2006 settlement between the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Bureau of Reclamation and the Friant Water Users Authority.
During the tour, we will:
- Discuss up-to-the minute developments on the river, including the scheduled restoration flows on the river – the first in three years - that will allow scientists to study how the channel is responding.
- Visit the Mendota Pool, where officials are working toward approving a bypass to increase flows for water delivery and fish passage.
- See Scout Island, a new release site for salmon this fall, watch salmon get tagged and hopefully see one get released.
We will also have the opportunity to question stakeholders about the $350 million lawsuit recently filed by 17 local water districts against the federal government for not delivering water to Friant Division contractors in the drought year of 2014.