California’s two primary salmon species, Coho and Chinook, have experienced significant declines from historical populations.
Of particular importance is the Chinook salmon because the species supports commercial fishing and related jobs and economic activities at fish hatcheries.
The decline in salmon numbers is attributed to a variety of manmade and natural factors including drought, habitat destruction, water diversions, migratory obstacles created by local, state and federal water projects, over-fishing, unfavorable ocean conditions, pollution and introduced predator species. Wetlands have also been drained and diked; dams have blocked salmon from reaching historic spawning grounds.
Years of declining populations represent a significant economic loss and have led to federally mandated salmon restoration plans that complicate water diversions and conveyance for agriculture and other uses.
The federal government can redirect water from a Northern California dam to prevent mass die-offs of salmon in drought years, water that otherwise would be shipped to Central Valley farmers, a federal appeals court ruled Tuesday.
Days before nearly 200,000 people downstream of Lake Oroville were ordered to evacuate because of problems with two spillways at the dam, there were millions of other evacuees – residents of the Feather River Fish Hatchery. … Why all the trouble for some fish? Spring-run Chinook salmon and steelhead are both listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act.
Protecting and restoring California’s populations of threatened and endangered Chinook salmon and steelhead trout have been a big part of the state’s water management picture for more than 20 years. Significant resources have been dedicated to helping the various runs of the iconic fish, with successes and setbacks. In a landscape dramatically altered from its natural setting, finding a balance between the competing demands for water is challenging.
The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation ramped up flows on the lower Klamath River on Friday morning in an attempt to reduce the risk of threatened fish from contracting a deadly parasite as had occurred in years past. The move came just over a day after a federal judge found that the bureau’s past dam operations had caused harm to threatened juvenile Coho salmon in 2014 and 2015.
The U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker declared a fisheries disaster for nine salmon and crab fisheries in Alaska, Washington and California in January. Of the nine fisheries, the two in California include the Dungeness and rock crab fishery and the Yurok Tribe Klamath River Chinook salmon fishery.
A federal judge is set to issue an order in the coming weeks for two federal agencies and a group of local tribes and environmental organizations to work together to develop a new water flow plan for the lower Klamath River.
A new study concludes that salmon have not benefited much from autumn water releases into the lower Stanislaus River. The research by the Fishbio consulting firm backs up claims by the Oakdale and South San Joaquin irrigation districts that the October releases are wasting water from New Melones Reservoir.
The final hearing on the state’s river flow plan Tuesday dealt in part with how long salmon stay in the streams each year. The State Water Resources Control Board proposes to roughly double, from February through June, the volume of the Stanislaus, Tuolumne and Merced rivers.
More than 900 people packed a Modesto hearing on boosting river flows Tuesday, most of them determined to stop the state’s plan. … The round of hearings started Nov. 29 in Sacramento and will finish there Jan. 3.
New Melones Reservoir would hold virtually nothing in about one in seven years if the state’s river flow plan goes through, water managers said Friday. They spoke at a State Water Resources Control Board hearing that also drew support for boosting the lower Stanislaus, Tuolumne and Merced rivers to help fish.
California farmers and Southern California cities were aghast last winter when much of the heavy rainfall that fell in Northern California washed through the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and out to sea.
Both California senators took to the floor Friday to take opposite sides in a debate over provisions of a national water resources bill that allows more water to be pumped south to Central Valley agriculture at the expense of the salmon industry.
Tuesday, I visited a couple of projects in the Sacramento Valley that are aimed at helping salmon on both ends of the life cycle. They are collaborations between farmers and environmentalists, two groups that are often at each other’s throats in the never-ending battle over who is entitled to California’s precious water supply.
Two federal agencies are the target of a second lawsuit alleging they violated the Endangered Species Act by allowing up to 90 percent of juvenile Klamath River coho salmon to become infected by an intestinal parasite in 2014 and 2015.
River restoration on the Trinity River, the largest tributary for the Klamath River, was not walk through the park. Instead it was restoring what used to be labeled a dumping zone and transforming it into salmon habitat by creating a separate channel for the river.
Asking the public to listen carefully to their controversial plan, state water officials began a series of hearings Tuesday on permanently shifting a share of water away from farms and cities and reallocating it to wildlife on streams feeding the San Joaquin River.
Fishing and environmental groups will get the first say Tuesday about how much water should run down the Stanislaus, Tuolumne and Merced rivers. The session in Sacramento will be the first of five before the State Water Resources Control Board, which is considering a major boost in the flows.
Year after year, volunteers return to tributaries of the Klamath River, just like the fish they’re trying to help do the same thing. Jimmy Peterson, a fisheries project coordinator for the Mid-Klamath Watershed Council, places rocks and stones to make fish passages in Fort Goff Creek, 60 miles up from the river’s mouth on California’s North Coast.
Restoring salmon in the Russian River and protecting the North Coast from oil rigs — two long-standing campaigns with broad public support — are among the goals likely to be challenged if not stifled by the sharp right turn of Donald Trump’s administration, environmental advocates and Democratic lawmakers said.
Excavators, loaders and dump trucks began moving earth around the Sacramento River this week as part of the latest effort to help endangered chinook salmon. … Money for the project comes from the federal Central Valley Project Improvement Act.
The picture has brightened slightly for endangered winter-run Chinook salmon after two disastrous spawning seasons. The number of juveniles migrating downstream this fall is roughly twice what it was last year, thanks to better temperature conditions in the Sacramento River.
For the past two years state fisheries officials have asked the state Fish and Game Commission to close on an emergency basis a 51/2-mile section of the river to fishing from April 1 to July 31 to protect spawning winter-run chinook salmon.
A massive concrete structure, built to withstand floods and earthquakes beside the Russian River near Forestville, is the latest step toward restoring the river’s beleaguered salmon and steelhead populations.
Four hydroelectric dams may soon be demolished along the Klamath, near the California-Oregon border. … What’s made this possible is compromise, forged over years of negotiation, among upriver and downriver interests, in California and Oregon, farmers and tribes and fishery advocates.
A decade ago, environmentalists and the federal government agreed to revive a 150-mile stretch of California’s second-longest river, an ambitious effort aimed at allowing salmon again to swim up to the Sierra Nevada foothills to spawn.
Water users in San Francisco and its suburbs face a day of reckoning as state regulators move to leave more water in California’s two biggest rivers in an effort to halt a collapse in the native ecosystem of the San Francisco Bay and its estuary, the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta.
For well over a decade, federal officials have failed to fix a mechanical flaw in the water outflow system of Shasta Dam on the Sacramento River that fishery and river advocates say has caused millions of fertilized salmon eggs and juvenile fish to die in lethally warm river water.
Signaling a cutback in water supplies for farming and cities, California regulators on Wednesday issued a new scientific analysis that proposes overhauling the management of the Sacramento River and devoting more water to Northern California’s dwindling fish populations. … The proposal comes a month after the water board called for people to take far less water out of the San Joaquin River system.
U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell penned a letter this week to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission urging it to approve a plan to remove four dams from the Klamath River to protect the interests of fish and farmers.
Four dams on the Klamath River in California and Oregon are a step closer to being taken down. In an October 17 letter to federal dam regulators, the Department of the Interior signaled its approval of a multi-party agreement that would result in dismantling the Copco No. 1, Copco No. 2, Iron Gate, and J.C. Boyle dams, which stand along a 30-mile stretch of the Klamath.
A project to rebuild the Wallace Weir, a century-old levee northwest of Sacramento, could help both farmers and salmon. Bringing together a coalition of unlikely allies, it promises a more sophisticated approach to water management.
After the state entered into its sixth year of drought on Saturday, Humboldt County walked away with its best rainfall total in the last five years. … A year ago at this time, the Eel River was approaching record low flow levels with salmon showing alarming signs of blindness and lethargy as they waited for heavy rains.
The Winnemem Wintu Tribe of Shasta County has been tracing the journey that follows the spawning route of the winter-run chinook salmon to raise public awareness of the fish’s plight, said Caleen Sisk, the Winemmem’s chief and spiritual leader.
Salmon are struggling to survive all along the West Coast, where runs that historically numbered in the millions of fish have dwindled into the thousands or even dozens. Environmental laws that have been put in place to see that these fish remain healthy and plentiful are not working in many places.
The owner of four dams on the Klamath River and the nonprofit corporation created to take responsibility for their destruction recently filed long-awaited applications with federal regulators to remove the dams.
At this point in the Sacramento River restoration game, one big fix will not change the outlook for endangered and threatened salmon. However, fish scientist Dave Vogel hopes that a series of smaller fixes will make a big difference.
Five years of drought have severely taxed California’s rivers, reservoirs and groundwater. The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta – the hub of California’s water supply, an agricultural center and a crucial ecological resource – hasn’t been immune from the impacts of the prolonged drought.
At this free one-day briefing in Stockton on Oct. 25, keynote speaker Jay Lund, Director of the UC Center for Watershed Sciences, and other experts will discuss the drought’s effects on the Delta.
Other confirmed speakers include Delta Watermaster Michael Patrick George, Michelle Banonis, Manager of the Bureau of Reclamation’s Bay-Delta Office, Michael Dettinger, senior scientist and research hydrologist at USGS, and Peter Moyle, one of the foremost experts on California’s freshwater fish.
Stockton Memorial Civic Auditorium
525 N. Center Street
Less than 50 miles northeast of Chico, California, begins the 93-mile Butte Creek – a tributary of the Sacramento River. It is named after Butte County, which was in turn named for the nearby volcanic plateaus, or “buttes,” and travels through a massive canyon on its way southwest to the Sacramento Valley.
As a watershed, it drains about 800 square miles, both for agricultural and residential use. The upper watershed is dominated by forests, while the lower watershed is primarily agricultural.
The Bureau of Reclamation released water from the Trinity Reservoir early Thursday morning to the lower Klamath River to help prevent the spread a parasitic fish disease, within Chinook salmon. Supplemental flows from the Lewiston Dam will also extend into late September to protect the fall salmon run.
To prevent an outbreak of a deadly fish-killing disease, federal officials plan to begin tripling the amount of water flowing out of Lewiston Dam and into the Trinity River. … The Trinity River flows into the Klamath River and the higher flows in the Trinity are meant to aid salmon and trout in the Klamath.
As you grunt up the path in the depths of Deer Creek Canyon, the incongruous sound of a large piece of gasoline-driven machinery becomes audible over the rhythmic rumbling of the creek. … But it’s one of those things where a temporary intrusion into the wild may end up enhancing the wild for the long term.
After nearly a month in port, local fishermen are once again heading out to sea in search of the highly prized king salmon. Also known as Chinook, it’s a sleek, silver fish that boasts a high oil content, sweet flavor and a deep orange color due to its fat-laden diet of krill, anchovies and squid.
From a Hoopa Valley Tribe press release: Today, the Hoopa Valley Tribe (HVT) filed its lawsuit against the federal government for violations of Endangered Species Act (ESA) regarding its management actions on the Klamath River, California’s second largest river system.
As Operation Yurok — which the Yurok Tribe carries out each summer with help from local, state and national agencies — continues this week, Yurok Tribe Chairman Thomas P. O’Rourke Sr. said Wednesday the tribe may carry out similar raids later this year. … Illegal diversion of water from stream and creeks lead to less water for the Yurok people and the salmon that live and spawn in the rivers.
While conditions on the Klamath River are looking more favorable for fish compared to recent years of drought and disease, North Coast researchers and tribes are not expecting fall-run salmon to have an easy journey.
Two federal agencies could face a third legal challenge over alleged Endangered Species Act violations on the Klamath River after a group of environmental and fishing organizations filed a notice of intent to sue this week.
Whether the temperature management of the runoff of Northern California water reservoirs, including Shasta Dam, results in improved survivability of endangered fish or uncertainty for human water users was debated at a House Natural Resources subcommittee hearing Tuesday.
A bill passed by U.S. House of Representatives seeks to limit predator fish, such as striped bass, in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta to aid struggling salmon populations. But scientists say the strategy won’t work.
Federal officials on June 29 released a temperature management plan for the Sacramento River that schedules releases from Shasta Lake in a way they believe provides adequate temperatures for winter-run Chinook salmon without cutting farm water deliveries.
A four-year effort by a coalition of diverse stakeholders along California’s third largest river, the Eel River, recently culminated in the completion of a new plan aimed at restoring the watershed’s once thriving fish runs and ecosystems.
In a case that could have big implications for dams and other development in the Northwest, a federal appeals court panel said Monday that Native American tribes have a right not only to fish for salmon, but for there to be salmon to catch — a ruling that affirms the duty of the United States to protect the habitat of the prized fish under treaties dating back more than 150 years.
The Karuk and Yurok tribes are planning to sue two federal agencies for what they perceive to be a failure to protect threatened juvenile coho salmon from deadly parasitic outbreaks on the Klamath River in 2014 and 2015.
This year was supposed to be different. With Northern California’s reservoirs finally brimming and cities liberated from stringent conservation rules, farmers were expecting more water for their crops. The worst of the drought seemed over. Or maybe not.
The Olema-based Salmon Protection and Watershed Network will get $490,000 from a state agency to improve creekside conditions on Lagunitas Creek once dilapidated buildings are removed by the National Park Service.
Despite its dramatic rise from a record-low level last fall, water managers said Tuesday that Folsom Lake will likely not fill to capacity this year. … Now, Reclamation officials are developing a plan for what could be a critical third year of salmon protection.
The tribe announced Wednesday it has filed a 60-day notice of intent to sue the Bureau of Reclamation and the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for violating the Endangered Species Act (ESA).
An estimated 1,380,000 salmon fry were to be loaded up into five 2,800-gallon tanker trucks this week at the Feather River Fish Hatchery to make their way to San Pablo Bay as part of an assisted migration.
For [J.D.] Richey and the anglers, it was a successful weekday outing, resulting in a bounty of fish dinners to come. More broadly, the scene put them smack in the center of yet another Central Valley river conflict, one that pits “good” fish against “bad” fish, farmers against anglers, and without enough fresh water to allow them all to thrive.
As part of one of the largest restoration projects in the country groups will begin working this summer to fully connect water flowing out of Friant Dam in the San Joaquin River to the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and out to the ocean.
Three environmentalist groups filed a lawsuit Friday alleging that to increase water flowing to farms and cities, state and federal regulators in the drought have repeatedly relaxed water-quality standards on the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta to the detriment of its wild fish species.
Four years of bruising drought in the West has strained inland rivers where salmon spawn, putting the fish in sharp decline. … The salmon industry in California and Oregon alone is valued at $2 billion annually.
Responding to profound threats to California’s quintessential catch, federal fishery regulators laid out new restrictions Thursday for the state’s commercial salmon fishing season, scheduled to begin next month, as well as to the sport season, which started April 2.
A major change took place in California water operations this week, but you probably didn’t hear about it. Federal wildlife officials ordered cutbacks in water diversions from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta to protect salmon and steelhead.
Endangered salmon blocked for nearly a century from hundreds of miles of the Klamath River in Oregon and California are expected to return en masse under unusual agreements signed Wednesday to tear down four hydroelectric dams.
It was déjà vu for what could be the largest dam removal project in U.S. history. The governors of California and Oregon stood side-by-side with the U.S. Secretary of the Interior to sign their commitment to remove four hydroelectric dams from the 236-mile Klamath River.
Oregon, California, the federal government and others have agreed to go forward with a plan to remove four hydroelectric dams in the Pacific Northwest without approval from a reluctant Congress, a spokesman for dam owner PacifiCorp said Monday.
Bay Area fishing groups joined environmental and consumer advocates Thursday in a lawsuit that aims to stop a genetically engineered fish infused with genes from other species from finding its way onto dinner plates.
The flukes that some Eel River chinook salmon experienced this fall were parasites that burrowed into their eyes and caused them to go blind, according to a preliminary report from an ongoing University of California Davis study.
There may be big problems lurking in the Sacramento River for the young fish that officials want some day to hatch in Battle Creek. That was the message that some river anglers delivered to federal fisheries officials at a meeting in Red Bluff on Tuesday night.
California’s 2nd District Congressman Jared Huffman stated the proposed harvest reductions will have a significant economic impact on California’s $1.4 billion salmon industry which he said could be exacerbated should Congress fail to pass legislation to address the ongoing drought conditions.
Seasonal storms that have raised the region’s reservoir water levels to their highest points in the last two years could bolster this year’s run of Chinook salmon, water and wildlife officials said Wednesday.
Federal fishery regulators unveiled plans this week to limit this year’s chinook salmon catch in an effort to protect the state’s signature seafood amid the growing threats of a warming ocean and drought-parched rivers and creeks.
Preventing the long-imperiled Atlantic salmon from disappearing from American waters will require the U.S. to put pressure on Inuit fishermen in Greenland to stop harvesting a fish that has fed them for hundreds of years, federal officials say.
For more than 70 years, Coleman National Fish Hatchery has raised young salmon and steelhead trout, and released them into Battle Creek so they can migrate out to the Pacific Ocean. But there are changes happening in Battle Creek.
A dismal crab season may soon be followed by a poor turnout of fall run Chinook salmon in the Klamath River this year. … Since 1996, only the 2006 run of Klamath fall-run Chinook salmon had a lower predicted run size than this year’s.
Due to the drought and poor ocean conditions, the number of fall-run salmon in the Pacific Ocean has plummeted this year, increasing the likelihood that federal and state officials will restrict commercial and recreational salmon fishing.
A federal lawsuit filed Thursday by a local tribe and environmental groups claims the U.S. Forest Service’s recently approved wildfire protection plan for communities near the Klamath National Forest will do just the opposite by increasing fire danger and impacting threatened coho salmon.
[Jym] Gritzfeld was among about 150 people – mostly recreational and commercial anglers – who filed into a conference room in Santa Rosa on Wednesday to hear presentations from state and federal fisheries managers about the dire state of salmon off the coast of California.
Enhanced water-use restrictions imposed last year on more than 10,000 Sonoma County landowners whose properties lie along four critical salmon-bearing streams will be lifted this spring in recognition of improved winter rainfall.
Northern California’s commercial anglers are bracing for restrictions on the upcoming salmon-fishing season after federal regulators projected there are half as many Central Valley Chinook salmon in the ocean compared to this time last year.
A few dozen baby salmon that spent the past two weeks contentedly eating – and growing – in the invertebrate stew of a flooded rice field were netted Friday, dumped into coolers and hauled by pickup several miles to a drainage canal and to the Sacramento River.
A year after an oyster farm was forced to shut down at Point Reyes National Seashore, sparking a bitter controversy over the role of farming in national parks, a coalition of environmentalists on Wednesday filed a lawsuit over a bigger and more explosive target: thousands of dairy and beef cattle in the park.
One of California’s last great salmon runs tallied a perilously low number of surviving offspring in 2015, scientists said Monday, marking a second year of drought-driven problems for the Sacramento River chinook, which loom on the verge of extinction.
Endangered native salmon suffered a second straight disastrous year in California’s drought, with all but 3 percent of the latest generation dying in too-shallow, too-hot rivers, federal officials said Monday.
Not content to hope for El Niño storms, state officials on Tuesday approved a plan that — though watered down in the end — could result in better flows next year for endangered fish species decimated by drought.
California regulators set a minimum level of water that should be held behind Shasta and Folsom lakes Tuesday in an effort to avoid another catastrophic die-off of Sacramento River salmon, but they reserved the right to change the limit if El Niño rains fill up the reservoirs.
California drought regulators on Tuesday backed off a controversial plan to withhold water from farms and cities next year in an effort to preserve an endangered species of salmon, instead choosing a more flexible approach they said still could do the trick.
Five years after a high-profile deal was struck to remove four hydroelectric dams and improve conditions on one of the West Coast’s prime salmon rivers, the agreement is on the verge of collapse for lack of action by Congress.
Scientists were knee deep in the Feather River on Friday, systematically injecting 20,000 fertilized salmon eggs into the bottom of the river. … The eggs were injected near the Oroville Wildlife Area, just a few miles north of Gridley.
Officials with the US Bureau of Reclamation, the federal agency that operates Shasta Dam, have blamed the drought for the mass salmon die off and say there simply wasn’t enough water to go around. … But environmentalists and fishermen note that by the end of summer 2015, many farmers in the Central Valley had received 75 percent of their water contract allotments, while at least 95 percent of the endangered winter-run Chinook’s fertilized eggs and newborn fish had been killed.
This month’s rainfall and cooler temperatures have helped lessen the strain on salmon migrating on the Eel River, but not near enough to ease the concerns of local researchers. And they have their reasons.
The East Bay Municipal Utility District, which manages the salmon on the Mokelumne River, relies on a camera that records every single salmon swimming past Woodbridge Dam. The footage is relayed to East Bay MUD’s office three miles away.
San Francisco State University, in what a furious U.S. Rep. Jared Huffman called a deliberate betrayal of Marin County, has ended negotiations and renewed its eviction of a popular salmon conservation program from its home of four decades at the Romberg Tiburon Center.
Escalating the fight over California’s diminished water supply, a coalition of environmental groups sued Central Valley farmers and the federal government over the possible extinction facing an endangered run of salmon.
Despite some troubling signs of disease and blindness, this year’s Eel River salmon run is so far shaping up to be on par with recent annual runs, according to a recent survey by the Eel River Recovery Project.
Much of the honest debate about global warming has focused on the costs and pace of switching from fossil fuels to renewables. The discussion, however, should widen to include examination of programs favored by environmentalists and governments to preserve species.
Visitors to the Feather River Fish Hatchery will find new signs with updated information. The signs replace displays that were erected when the hatchery first opened in 1967, according to Penny Crawshaw, fish hatchery manager.
Recent high tides and brief mid-September rains gave some Eel River salmon a fleeting chance to move closer to their spawning grounds. But a lack of adequate flows on the river is causing many fish to fall ill as they crowd within small pools for weeks at a time, according to a recent survey by the Eel River Recovery Project.
One of the last wild runs of chinook salmon in California is sinking fast amid the four-year drought and now appears perilously close to oblivion after the federal agency in charge of protecting marine life documented the death of millions of young fish and eggs in the Sacramento River.
For the second straight year, huge numbers of juvenile winter-run Chinook salmon appear to have baked to death in the Sacramento River because of California’s drought-stretched water supplies, bringing the endangered species a step closer to extinction.
Construction is nearly complete on a $2.5 million fish barrier at the Knights Landing Outfall Gates. The project will block migrating salmon from straying off course as they make their way up the Sacramento River.
Before the founders of the Family Water Alliance began installing metal screens at the end of the big pipes that draw water from the Sacramento River to irrigate Colusa County’s rice and vegetable fields, seasonal salmon runs often included sizable helpings of fresh fish flopping in the brown dirt of farm furrows. The pumps that transported water were powerful enough to suck migrating fish into the pipes and toss them out the other end, typically startled and very much alive.
A month’s worth of Trinity Reservoir dam releases into the lower Klamath River intended to protect fish and human health from the dangerous and sometimes deadly consequences of warm, low-flowing waters seems to have done the trick, officials say.
In just two years, Chinook salmon could be swimming above Shasta Dam for the first time in nearly eight decades under a proposal that would truck endangered hatchery-raised fish into a cold-water tributary that feeds the state’s largest reservoir.
Commercial salmon fishing got off to a slow start in May due to windy weather and has stayed in a slump that local fishermen are blaming on unusually warm ocean water in one of the worst king salmon seasons in memory.
This spring, state fisheries officials sent a letter to the Nevada Irrigation District alleging it was in violation of two sections of the state’s Fish and Game Code over a small dam near Lincoln that blocks fall-run Chinook salmon as they migrate up Auburn Ravine Creek.
The gates will open Monday on the fish ladder to the Feather River Fish Hatchery in Oroville, beginning the two-month process that will see 15 million chinook salmon eggs harvested for further continuation of the species.
U.S. District Judge Lawrence J. O’Neill of the Eastern District of California fired the latest shot in the most recent court skirmish in the Golden State’s endless water wars. In denying two Central Valley Project water districts’ attempt to halt fish kill prevention flows from the Trinity to the Klamath River, Judge O’Neill delighted Hoopa and Yurok tribal officials alike.
In a study published Tuesday in the online journal Scientific Reports, researchers from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration found that embryonic herring and salmon exposed to low levels of crude oil developed misshapen hearts.
Thanks to a novel injection of cold, clear water from Camp Meeker’s water system, about 3,400 imperiled coho salmon and steelhead trout have a better chance of surviving in Dutch Bill Creek until rain sweeps them to safety in the Russian River.
It might seem easy, summarizing the conflict over the Trinity River in Northern California. But amid record drought, this long-running and singular battle has become a case study about the difficulties in balancing Western water use.
A U.S. District Court judge has denied two Central Valley Project water districts’ attempt to halt fish kill prevention flows to the Klamath River on Wednesday, making it the second year in a row that the federal court has sided outright with protections of Klamath River fish.
Last summer, a narrow, rock-rimmed stretch of the Sacramento River near here turned into a mass graveyard for baby salmon. Upstream releases of water from Shasta Dam were so warm that virtually an entire generation of endangered winter-run Chinook was wiped out.
With water scarce in Northern California’s Klamath Basin, a federal agency is again releasing cool, clean water into the Klamath River to prevent a repeat of the 2002 fish kill that left tens of thousands of adult salmon dead.
On Thursday afternoon, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation agreed to release fish-kill preventative flows from a Trinity River dam starting this weekend in order to protect fish on the lower Klamath River from deadly pathogens caused by warm, low-flowing water conditions, tribal fisheries officials said.
With ceremonial dam release flows expected to reach the Trinity River waters near Hoopa this evening, federal and tribal officials are still working out the details and timeline on another set of dam releases proposed to protect salmonids on the lower Klamath River from deadly infections caused by warm, low-flowing waters.
After missing ambitious deadlines to restore the San Joaquin River, federal leaders this week extended deadlines to 2030 and beyond while holding down federal appropriations funding to less than $50 million annually.
With recent fish counting surveys on two Klamath River tributaries showing alarmingly low numbers for one of the last wild Chinook salmon runs, local fisheries experts are growing increasingly concerned about the effects of the ongoing statewide drought and the possibility of a devastating fish kill in the near future when fall-run salmon begin to enter the system.
For salmon to survive in Butte Creek, the fish will need as much water as they can get from Pacific Gas and Electric Co. … PG&E showed the Enterprise-Record that water system Tuesday during a helicopter tour.
More than one-tenth of the largest wild population of threatened salmon in the Central Valley died after repair work near a power plant led Pacific Gas & Electric Co. to cut off a cooling flow of water into a creek, wildlife and utility officials said Friday.
The Delta smelt, a tiny fish, steals most of the attention in the war of words over water use and environmental goals in California. But other species play a role, too. This week, state and federal agencies ordered water restrictions for two northern California watersheds in order to guard the health of endangered salmon.
The state’s wildlife department has counted about 1,950 spring-run salmon swimming upstream past a Vaki River Watcher video system located in a fish ladder. Last year, the department counted 5,083, with an estimated 16,782 in 2013 and 16,317 in 2012.
State and federal officials said Tuesday that they’re revising their strategy for releasing water from the California’s largest reservoir for the coming long, hot summer to avoid killing off this year’s run of endangered salmon.
Less than 2%. That’s how much water has been provided from the entire Central Valley in 2015 to help salmon and other fish survive the drought. Here’s a pie chart prepared by staff from the State Water Resources Control Board showing this breakdown graphically:
C. shasta is naturally present in major river systems throughout the Northwest, from the Cowlitz to the Columbia, Willamette and Deschutes, and all the way down into central California. But this year, the Klamath River has been like a tropical resort for the parasite.
California is taking desperate steps to save the last endangered salmon in Wine Country creeks that are going dry because of over-pumping and the drought, officials said Thursday. … Threatened steelhead trout are also being pulled from drying stretches of the waterways.
Thousands of landowners along Sonoma County’s four major coho salmon spawning streams would be required to report their use of water from both surface sources and wells under proposed new state regulations intended to protect the highly endangered fish species.
From the State Water Resources Control Board: “The State Water Resources Control Board has posted a proposed emergency regulation to provide a minimum amount of water in four Russian River tributaries to protect Central California Coast coho salmon and steelhead.”
Yes, it will rain again someday. And when it does, and the Calaveras River once more becomes a flowing stream, officials want to give migrating fish their best possible chance at journeying to prime spawning habitat below New Hogan Dam.
In a potentially significant setback for a system already stressed by epic drought, California regulators have ordered a temporary curb in the flows being released from Lake Shasta in order to protect an endangered species of salmon.
Citing drought conditions and low water levels in Lake Shasta, state officials have ordered releases from Keswick Dam into the Sacramento River be reduced to help salmon spawning later this summer and fall.
The California State Water Resources Control Board has temporarily suspended a Sacramento River management plan in order to protect a salmon run. The Board is expected to consider its next moves during its Tuesday meeting.
Salmon leap over rocks and other small obstacles as they swim up the Tuolumne River to spawn every fall. But they cannot surmount the 110-foot-tall dam that created La Grange Reservoir, much less the 585-foot dam just upstream at Don Pedro Reservoir.
What do you do when you have 30 million young salmon ready for their big journeys downstream, but drought and development have dried your riverbeds to sauna rocks? In California this year, you give the fish a ride.
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife is hoping to foster partnerships with Sonoma County landowners in four critical coho salmon spawning watersheds to help juvenile fish survive a fourth year of drought.
After spending decades trapped in the lower Yuba River, endangered Chinook salmon could once again swim the cold pools in the upper reaches of the waterway — staving off extinction and settling a dispute that has lingered for years.