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 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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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,
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
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
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
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
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
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.
Reflecting optimism about this year’s abundance of chinook
salmon, fishing industry regulators on Wednesday approved the
longest commercial season in more than a decade. But the
state’s record drought has darkened the long-term outlook for
one of California’s most valuable fish.
About 30,000 juvenile coho salmon may be doomed by the drought
as Sonoma County streams shrink and become disconnected from
the Russian River, trapping the young fish in pools that will
dry up or degrade over the long, hot summer, experts say.
By 3 a.m. [Dave] Lunsford was loading his tanker truck with
about 140,000 fingerling Chinook salmon to haul from Coleman
National Fish Hatchery in Anderson to Rio Vista in the Bay
Area. … The young salmon are usually released from Coleman
into nearby Battle Creek, so they can make their way into the
Sacramento River and downstream, eventually reaching the
The sound of splashing drew me to the stream. A dark finned
back cut the surface. Salmon? … The scene I’m [Peter
Moyle] recalling from December was not the Sacramento
River or some other salmon highway, but a lowly back alley long
associated with carp and suckers: Putah Creek, my hometown
stream west of Sacramento.