Monday, November 16, 2009


The SARSAS organization (Save Auburn Ravine Salmon and Steelhead) has just completed an ambitious and very successful year and a half. We have made significant enough progress that there is a high likelihood of salmon and steelhead returning in numbers that will bring back a positive spawn in the Auburn Ravine. That's great news, but with success comes additional work. If we were a business we would be at that point where the business would now begin hiring employees in larger numbers. SARSAS is an all-volunteer organization; therefore, it is time for us to reach out and call for you to volunteer. Your skill, knowledge and motivation to work on behalf of salmon restoration will move SARSAS forward and at a faster pace.
There is a niche just right for you. You may have lots of time to provide or you may have a very limited amount but all assistance is welcome and will be appreciated. How can you help? Well, take a look at some of the needs and see if you might be just the right person for the job. Don't see the right job? Just contact us and let us know what you see as your skill or desire and we will work with you to find a way for you to succeed and at the same time make a valuable contribution to SARSAS. Here is a partial list of some needs we currently have:
1. clerical; 2. various computer skills such as word processing, building graphs and charts using excel, power point projects, development of data bases, web site marketing using twitter, Facebook and other online uses, or other services you can provide with technology; 3. fisheries expertise; 4. marketing skills; 5.sales skills; 6. engineering/ especially those related to hydrology or civil; 7. expertise in stream bed and bank restoration; 8. labor of all sorts; 8. und raising skills; 9. grant writing skills or assistance in application writing;. 10. education expertise especially developing curriculum and lessons related to k-12 programs about salmon and restoration of salmon; 11. telephoning 12 artistic skills; 13. how about wandering up the middle of the Auburn Ravine counting salmon and other in stream activities? 14. assisting SARSAS in the development of a salmon festival in Lincoln in October of 2010; 15. have another idea or role you would like to volunteer in? Just let us know. There are many other ways you can provide help so just contact us and we will find the right fit for you. Please contact me or Scott Johnson at

We at SARSAS look forward to working with you as we all work to bring salmon and steelhead back to the Auburn Ravine.

Jack Sanchez
Founder and Board President

Monday, November 9, 2009

Save Auburn Ravine Salmon and Steelhead (SARSAS) Update, Nov 5, 2009

Many accomplishments have been made recently. The Healthy Auburn Ravine Workshop in Lincoln was a success with many local attendees learning what to do to help return salmon and steelhead to the Auburn Ravine. We had a documented sighting of a salmon in the Auburn Ravine on Monday, March 23, 2009, by three reliable people, Richard Harris and Lisa Thompson, UCBerkeley and Edmund Sullivan, Placer Legacy, looking for sites on the Auburn Ravine to take attendees to during our May 2 workshop in Lincoln. They spotted a Chinook salmon from the Fowler Bridge a few miles upstream from Lincoln. This sighting is a defining moment for SARSAS because no salmon has recently been spotted above Lincoln. Two fishermen reported to Board Member John Rabe they sighted two large salmon below the Hemphill Dam upstream from Lincoln. If one salmon is sighted, how many more were not seen … ten, fifty or a hundred?

All flashboard dams downstream from Lincoln are now in compliance with NOAA regulations for upstream fish passage. What the next great push will be is getting screens installed on all diversions canals that takes water our of the Ravine for irrigation. Unless screens are installed, salmon smolt and steelhead returning to the ocean to grow up will be entrained into rice fields and pastures and die without ever returning even to the ocean. So SARSAS is now working with landowners and especially with General Manager Brad Arnold of the South Sutter Water District which operates five diversion dams to get screening in place. Once the diversions are screened, then the Ravine will be guaranteed a viable anadromous fish run.

To get fish above the city of Lincoln, SARSAS is working with Placer Legacy and NID to create fish passage around the Lincoln Gaging Station, half mile downstream of Highway 65 in the center of Lincoln, the Hemphill Dam, adjacent to the Turkey Creek Gold Course two miles upstream from Lincoln and finally the Gold Hill Diversion Dam, a mile upstream from Gold Hill Road in Newcastle. Once fish can pass these barriers, they can swim to Wise Powerhouse, one mile from the city of Auburn and then the real work begins to get the salmon to Auburn School Park Preserve, behind Auburn City Hall to spawn.
NOAA Special Agent Don Tanner continues his low key, collaborative approach to working with landowner to secure fish passage by compliance with regulations that provide passage for the fishes to get to spawning gravels and are able to return to the Pacific form up to five years on maturing before they return to the Ravine to spawn, die and start the cycle all over again.

Board member Stan Nader has been methodically connecting us with the local fathers in Lincoln and plans are underway for a SARSAS-Lincoln Salmon Festival to be held in Lincoln on October 23, 2010, at McBean Park on the Auburn Ravine. We have made countless beneficial connections and have talked with many groups in the Lincoln area, all of whom are supportive of SARSAS. Plans are in the germinal stage for a Salmon Festival in Auburn. Both will include the Native American sacred and religious ceremony Calling Back the Salmon conducted by Bill Jacobson, who was taught the ceremony by Pacific Northwest tribes.
SARSAS has finalized an Alliance with the Washoe Tribes of Nevada and California to mutually work to return anadromous fish to the Auburn Ravine. SARSAS is pleased that Darrel Cruz and the Washoes, headquartered in Gardnerville, NV, have joined us in our work on the Auburn Ravine.
Unfortunately, there has been another sewage spill into the Auburn Ravine in the city of Auburn on November 3. The city of Auburn responded quickly to stop the leak and clean up the sewage.

SARSAS Grant Writer Cathie DuChene has secured a five thousand dollar grant from the Tides Foundation to help return salmon and steelhead to the entire length of the Auburn Ravine, the SARSAS mission. Scott Johnson, SARSAS Event Coordinator, has secured grants of about fifteen hundred dollars for educational outreach.

This weekend the Pescatore Winery and Vineyards on Ridge Road in Newcastle is hosting a Wild Salmon and Tri-tip Fundraising Dinner on Friday and Saturday, November 6 and 7, 2009. The tickets are all sold.

The outpouring of community support such as Ken Clark offering the equipment of his excavating company is solidifying the realization of the SARSAS mission. If the entire communities of Lincoln and Auburn support SARSAS’ effort, the salmon in the Ravine will quickly become a reality.
You can help return salmon and steelhead to the Auburn Ravine by sending donations to SARSAS, PO Box 4269, Auburn, California, or by volunteering to write grants, operate a SARSAS booth at local festivals, represent SARSAS at other functions, coordinate an activity, monitor a section of the Auburn Ravine, perform water quality tests, speak to service and other clubs on behalf of SARSAS, do clerical work or research on fishes, find a way to contribute what you do best, write for SARSAS, all by calling 530 888 0281.Many accomplishments have been made recently. The Healthy Auburn Ravine Workshop in Lincoln was a success with many local attendees learning what to do to help return salmon.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

The Next Step - Raising Money for Ten Fish Screens

November 8, 2009

Now that salmon can pretty much get to Lincoln, the next step is to get them back to the Pacific if and when they spawn. Between the Sac River and Lincoln, starting at the lower end moving upstream, the Auburn Ravine contains eight diversion dams: 1)Coppin, 2)Davis, 3)Tom Glenn, 4)Lincoln Ranch Duck Club, 5)Aitken Ranch, 6)Moore, 7)Nelson Dams and the 8)Lincoln Gaging Station. Please memorize these eight names.

In order for the fish returning to the Pacific to spend 3-5 years maturing, they must not be entrained into rice fields, pastures and other ag fields through the canals that divert water. Without screens on these diversions, the fish will end up in fields and die. These diversion canals must be screened so that the fish can stay in the Auburn Ravine to reach the Sac River and continue their odyssey to SF Bay and the open waters of the Pacific.

I am asking for your thinking and input on this plan. We are working with Brad Arnold of South Sutter Water District to get his Board’s commitment to begin screening the Coppin, Tom Glenn, and Aitken Ranch dams. We are working with Rich Arruda on the Lincoln Ranch Duck Club Dam. I will work with Don Tanner to gain access to the Moore and Nelson dams to contact the owners. Most of the eight dams have one diversion canal with the Davis Dam having three. So we are probably talking about at least ten screens needed and there may be multiple diversions on the Moore and Nelson Dams.

What I am thinking about is creating a community outreach program that secures one business in Auburn and/or Lincoln to adopt a diversion canal and raise money to pay for one screen. SARSAS will not ask the business to contribute any money itself but to find a way to raise money. The average cost Tim Buller told me would be $300,000 per screen, but Ron Ott believes many would cost much less. We would need at least ten businesses, each adopting a screen to make the plan work. How can businesses raise funds?

Ron Ott will be giving his presentation on Friday, November 13, at 9a.m. at John Rabe’s home, 980 Stonewood, Newcastle, CA 95658, to help us decide what type of screen is best for each diversion canal and what each screen costs. Please try to attend because our next major task is to become knowledgeable about screens and their costs. Then we can implement this plan.

What we need now is a name for the plan, i.e. Invite a Salmon to the Pacific, Send a Salmon Home, This is My Salmon … some name we all agree on. Then how do we do outreach to the communities to secure business sponsors, and what will SARSAS’ role be? Board Member Kathleen Harris of Harris Industrial Gasses likes the idea and is already working on some details.

No idea is too outlandish. We are brainstorming now so send me all your ideas.
Please contact us at P O Bx 4269, Auburn CA95604, or 530 888 0281.

Friday, November 6, 2009

How SARSAS Will Return Salmon to the Auburn Ravine, Part 1


For purposes of this report the Auburn Ravine is divided into sections as follows:

1. Coppin Dam to Highway 65

2. Highway 65 east to Fowler Bridge

3. Fowler bridge to the Ophir tunnel

4. Ophir tunnel to the City of Auburn


A. There are 11 man made barriers between Coppin Dam and highway 65. Ten of the barriers are flashboard dams and one is a gaging station.
The ten flashboard dams were a problem as not all were being taken down thus preventing upstream migration. SARSAS, NOAA and the SSWD work together and all dams are removed on or before October 15th.
The Lincoln gaging station is the remaining barrier west of highway 65 that needs to be mitigated.

B. There are numerous irrigation ditches and pumps that will require fish screens. We know where most pumps are located and we know where all irrigation canals/ditches are located. We know most of the canals are part of the jurisdiction of South Sutter Water District. Further we know that SSWD has been cited by NOAA for non-compliance regarding screening.

C. We know that the Auburn Ravine between the Coppin Dam and highway 65 is ill suited for salmon and steelhead spawning. Further, we know that salmon and steelhead can navigate the distance from the Sacramento River to the City of Lincoln in less than a 24 hour period if they choose to do so. We also know there are numerous resting pools along this span of the Auburn Ravine. We know that gravel restoration projects along this stretch of the Auburn Ravine would be ill advised as water temperatures are somewhat higher, and continuing siltation is probable. We know there is ample water in the Auburn Ravine in this area to allow for upstream migration during those times salmon and steelhead may access the Auburn Ravine. In conclusion, we know the stretch of the river between Coppin Dam and highway 65 is a reliable conduit for the transportation of salmon, steelhead and their fry to utilize.

D. We know after flashboard dams are put in place sometime around April 15th of each year that these dams may provide some type of barrier for downstream migration. We know ample water overflows some of these dams and others will need some type of notch. We know the Coppin dam will need further study and recommendation in order to assure downstream migration of fishes.

E. We know this stretch of the river is mainly within levee banks and in some locations has cut banks that contribute to ongoing siltation issues. And finally, we know some stretches have little or no cover along the banks while other stretches have excellent shading and cover from predators.

F. We know that beaver are problematic along this section of the Ravine and in some cases may restrict upstream migration.

G. We know SARSAS efforts along this section of the Auburn Ravine will be limited to assuring that flashboard dams are placed and removed according to regulations. Further SARSAS efforts will be related to screening of ditches and pumps and continuing an ongoing collaborative relationship with the management of South Sutter Water District.

How SARSAS Will Return Salmon to the Auburn Ravine, Part 2

Analysis of AR, Part 2----- WHAT WE KNOW

A. There is one barrier between highway 65 and Fowler road. The barrier is the Hemphill Dam located approximately two miles east of Lincoln along the north edge of Turkey Creek golf course. The dam is a flashboard dam with a formidable concrete apron plunging into a deep pool. We know the flashboard dam is taken down on or before October 15th. We know the dam creates a lake about four to five feet deep. This lake is approximately 150 feet wide and backs up a considerable distance. We know this dam differs considerably from all other flashboard dams along the Auburn Ravine in that the flashboard dam is not level with the downstream. The result is a considerable amount of silt above the dam. Silt is from bank to bank and backs up the length of the lake (a considerable distance) This portion of the Ravine would not support spawning. We know NID is looking at several alternatives regarding the future of the Hemphill dam. There is one pump serving the Hemphill dam and it will require screening.

B. The lake formed behind the dam would make an excellent holding pond for smolt. PCWA water temperature data show favorable year round water temperatures in this location. Further, the water is deep and protected from many predators. Also, there is ample shading of the waters in this area. Additionally, we know based upon water quality testing by the Lincoln Waste Water Treatment plant that conditions are quite favorable for trout, salmon and steelhead in this stretch of the Ravine.

C. SARSAS members have walked considerable lengths of the Auburn Ravine between Highway 193 and the Fowler Bridge. We know that silt in this section is minimal, cut banks are limited and spawning gravel is superior in quality. We have researched gravel needs by study online and this study supports our observation of the gravel along this section of the Auburn Ravine. Previous writings have reported a lower quality and quantity of spawning gravel than what we have learned in our direct observations of the stream bed. We now know that the potential for successful spawning of salmonids in this section of the Auburn Ravine is favorable. Further, this section has exceptional resting ponds with very favorable stream depth even in observed low water conditions typical of October flows.

D. We know there are beavers along this section of the Ravine, but there is an absence of the dams that are characteristic of the areas west of Highway 193.

E. Overall we are encouraged by this section of the Auburn Ravine for its ability to support spawning and rearing. This is far more encouraging than our knowledge in the past as we have done the observations and research to support what we now know versus some of the reports we read in the past.
We know this may require further studies and observation.

F. We will consider this area for spawning observation this year.

G. We know four salmon were observed in this section of the Ravine last year. Three salmon were observed in the pool below the Hemphill dam on December 8, 2008 by three fishermen. One salmon was reported below the Fowler Bridge in March of 2009. We know the salmon spotted at the Fowler Bridge was a salmon as experts observed this fish. The fish observed below the Hemphill dam were described as between six to ten pounds. These fish could have been salmon or steelhead.

How SARSAS Will Return Salmon to the Auburn Ravine, Part 3

Analysis of AR, SECTION 3, Rabe------- WHAT WE KNOW

A. There is one barrier on this section of the Ravine. It's popular name is the Gold Hill Dam. This is a formidable dam with no possibility of fish passage in its current configuration. There is a large canal at the dam site on the south side of the Auburn Ravine.
We know this dam will require a retrofit of some type of fish ladder. We also know the canal will require screening. NID has stated they are planning for these needs.

B. We know this section of the Auburn Ravine has the highest quality spawning beds and rearing environment. This is based on previously reported data as well as direct observation. We know best steelhead spawning beds are above the Gold Hill Dam (See Appendix D report) We know by reading the PCWA temperature charts that this section has excellent year round temperature required by trout, salmon and steelhead. We know by DF&G reports there are healthy populations of trout and steelhead in this section. Further, we observe large quantities of fry although we do not know what those fry may be.
We know this section has excellent water quality.

C. We know this section of the Auburn Ravine had significant numbers of salmon and steelhead prior to the late 1980'S. DF&G reports. Further, we have talked with reliable sources who witnessed significant numbers of, "stacked" salmon in pools all along this section of the Auburn Ravine. Observations span the period 1958-1988. Some spoke joyously about how they used pitchforks to catch salmon while a number spoke of, "blowing them out of the water with their shotguns"

D. We know there are Beaver within this section but they rarely build dams.

E We know there are land owners willing to have restoration projects on their property within this section of the Auburn Ravine.

How SARSAS Will Return Salmon to the Auburn Ravine, Part 4

Analysis of AR, Part 4, Rabe 11 05 09----- WHAT WE KNOW

A. We know there are a number of barriers on this section of the Auburn Ravine, some man made and some natural. There is a significant cataract beginning just above the Ophir tunnel. The Ravine flows underneath Interstate 80, underneath a portion of Old Auburn and emerges as a small stream in a beautiful restored park. We know our Mission envisions this as the last spawning area on the Auburn Ravine.

B. We know it will cost approximately $36,000.00 to do a feasibility study in order to determine if salmon and steelhead can navigate the cataract, and the remaining man made barriers along this section of the Auburn Ravine

C. We know water temperatures are adequate to support salmonid species. We know there are some resting ponds, some gravel beds suitable for spawning and during the winter, adequate flows to support both spawning and rearing of salmonids.

D. We have worked with NID and PG&E in order to assure adequate water during the October 15th to November 8 water outage each year. We know that PG&E has altered their ditch cleaning procedures and the result has been a superior flow during this year's outage compared to the past several years.
We know this has occurred due to the successful collaborative process SARSAS has developed and implemented.

SUMMARY----- We know that SARSAS has made a major difference regarding the fate of salmon and steelhead in the Auburn Ravine during the past one and one half years. Our collaborative process, highly effective volunteers, our strategic plan, to name a few have moved Auburn Ravine to the forefront in creating what is now likely to be the most successful project in the county. We know salmon and steelhead are returning, we know the tenacity of our drive will accomplish our mission.

Blocked Pipe Sends Raw Sewage Flowing into Auburn Ravine in City of Auburn, Ca

11/3/09 | 13 comments | 1105 views
Blocked pipe sends raw sewage flowing into Auburn Ravine Creek
By Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer

Auburn city employee Miguel Bravo removes a motorized camera used Tuesday to probe a sewer line near the Highway 49-Elm Avenue crossroads following a spill into Auburn Ravine Creek.

A plugged line sent raw sewage flowing into fragile Auburn Ravine Creek Tuesday.

A city of Auburn Public Works Department estimate calculated 90 gallons flowed into the creek.

But a Save Auburn Ravine Salmon and Steelhead spokesman said his group believes the amount of the spill to be much more.

Jack Sanchez, founder of the fish and river preservation group, said a member of his organization reported the spill to Placer County environmental health officials Monday evening but no action was taken. SARSAS had received two reports about a terrible stench by then, he said.

“They sent someone after dark and couldn’t find anything,” Sanchez said. “It ran all night. That’s a tremendous amount of sewage.”

Bernie Schroeder, Auburn Public Works engineering division manager, said the city was called out at about 11 a.m. Tuesday and discovered a manhole overflowing at the back of Pace Auto Sales. The sewage was flowing from the manhole over the bank into the creek at a rate of about three gallons a minute, Schroeder said.

City employees witnessed about 30 minutes of overflow caused by the blockage, she said. Normal flows in the pipe were restored after rags were removed, Schroeder added.

The section of the ravine is an exposed area covered in blackberry bushes next to a strip of businesses along the 300-block of Grass Valley Highway in Auburn. Lisa Kodl, of Auburn Bike Works, 350 Grass Valley Highway, said the sewage stench was strong in the morning but eventually cleared out.

Sanchez said steelhead runs are going to be impacted by a spill that highlights the fragile nature of a stream running through the city.

“It’s terrible that they can’t stop polluting the Auburn Ravine,” he said.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Wild Salmon or Tri-Tip Dinner SARSAS Dinner at Pescatore Winery, in Newcastle, Ca off Ridge Road

A benefit dinner for SARSAS hosted by Pescatore Winery
Two Evenings on Friday November 6, 2009 or Saturday November 7, 2009
at 7055 Ridge Rd. Newcastle 95658
$30 per person

Artists displays, raffle & wine sales all benefiting Save Auburn Ravine Salmon and Steelhead

For Tickets and Information About This Event Call Scott at 530-878-1566

SARSAS thanks for their sponsorship and donations,
Pescatore Estate Vineyard and Winery, Lincoln Rotary,
LeBellig French Restaurant in Auburn,
ceramic fish artist Christine Kotcher.
Thank you for Salmon and Tri-Tip donations from
Auburn Save-Mart and Auburn Grocery Outlet

Auburn a Salmon Haven? It's Retired Teacher Jack Sanchez' Dream

Ex-Del Oro English teacher at forefront of Save Auburn Ravine Salmon and Steelhead

By Gus Thomson, Auburn Journal Staff Writer

Jack Sanchez is working with a dedicated band of volunteers to bring spawning salmon and steelhead up the Auburn Ravine again to the Auburn School Park Preserve.

Jack Sanchez calls salmon the earth’s canary in a coal mine.

If the salmon disappear, Sanchez said he strongly believes that the human race will disappear along with them.

And Sanchez works to help bring the fish back to a stream that flows through Auburn and links the city with the Pacific Ocean.

The founder of Save Auburn Ravine Salmon and Steelhead group is a strong advocate for bringing spawning salmon back from the ocean and upstream to the city. The non-profit organization’s ultimate goal is to have spawning salmon traveling every fall for people to view at the Auburn School Park Preserve on the edge of Downtown Auburn.

“When they go, we go,” Sanchez said. “They’re the most miraculous creature on the earth in terms of their resiliency and ability to survive.”

Born and raised in Ophir, Sanchez has spent most of his life in the Auburn area. He taught English at Del Oro High School from 1964 to 2001 and founded the salmon preservation group to work with water providers, government officials and the general public on forging a plan to bring the fish back.

Scott Johnson, Save Auburn Ravine Salmon and Steelhead activities director, said that Sanchez’ roots in the community go a long way in helping the group cultivate supporters.

“The thing that jumps out at you right away is that he’s been active in our community for so long,” Johnson said. “A lot of people who work in local government have connections with him, either directly or through relatives.”

Sanchez, 70, is optimistic about the eventual success of the group’s work, citing efforts to provide paths past dams along the ravine between Lincoln and Auburn. One of the future keys will be installing a fish ladder at the Gold Hill Diversion dam and Wise Road powerhouse. After that the riverbed would have to reconstructed to move salmon farther upstream.

Lincoln is already feeling the excitement of a spawning run. Sanchez said there is anecdotal evidence by two fishermen that salmon had moved upstream past Lincoln last year. A salmon festival is planned for next year, including a Native American ceremony to call the salmon back.

In the meantime, the Auburn-based salmon organization meets monthly to move Auburn Ravine salmon spawning plans forward.

Until the spawning salmon return, Sanchez has faith that the day will come.

“Salmon have so few places to go,” Sanchez said. “My belief I that if you open the waterways and fish passages the fish are going to come.”


Jack Sanchez Fast Facts

- Favorite movie: “Casablanca”

- Favorite authors: Albert Camus, William Faulkner

- Highest mountain climbed: Mt. Kilimanjaro

- Marathon ran: Avenue of the Giants Marathon

- Students taught at Del Oro High School include: Sheriff Ed Bonner, chief assistant county executive officer Rich Colwell, county Facility Services Director Jim Durfee, district attorney’s office prosecutors Suzanne Gazzaniga and Tom Beattie, and defense attorney Thomas Leupp.

- Sanchez is a 1957 Placer High School graduate

- Earned degrees in English, German and philosophy from California State University, Sacramento

- Taught English at Del Oro High School for nearly four decades

- Married to Valerie, who is also a retired Del Oro English teacher. He has two adult sons from a previous marriage.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

River Restoration: Ready for Dry Run

Fresno Bee
Published Tuesday, Sep. 29, 2009

FRESNO  It all starts Thursday with a gentle surge of water to be released from Friant Dam,
northeast of Fresno, into the San Joaquin River.
A massive, unprecedented and unpredictable river restoration project will begin, reawakening
miles of dried riverbed and salmon runs that have been extinct for six decades.
Long stretches of the river have been dry since the dam was built in the 1940s. Parts have
become a gutter for the San Joaquin Valley, collecting muddy seepage, trash and abandoned
Now, in a nine-year effort that could cost up to $1.2 billion, the 350-mile San Joaquin will be
reconnected with the Pacific Ocean. Salmon, which once teemed in its waters, may again
migrate from near Fresno to the ocean.
The project begins with test releases to determine how the river will respond. Engineers then
will widen the riverbed in some places and dig new channels around obstacles.
In recent years, government agencies across the nation have attempted other big-river
restoration projects, from the Penobscot River in Maine to the Klamath in Oregon. But
nobody is restoring a big, salmon-supporting river this far south  or a river as damaged as
the San Joaquin.
"I've never seen anything like this on this scale," said Bay Area-based biologist Chuck
Hanson, a longtime fisheries consultant and now a member of an independent advisory
committee on the San Joaquin restoration.
Farmers will lose water
Not everyone relishes the challenge.
Under terms of a complex, controversial court settlement, east-side valley farmers  15,000
of them, cultivating 1 million acres from the center of the valley to the foothills  will give up some of their irrigation water so the San Joaquin can be reborn.
The water loss comes at a dark moment for California agriculture.
The valley's west side  a national symbol for farmers battling environmentalists over water already is reeling from three years of drought and restrictions to preserve a rare fish species, the Delta smelt.
Though river restoration will send more water downstream into the west side, farmers in the hard-hit Westlands Water District would get no share. Some could benefit from river water that seeps into the water table, but the potential benefit is unknown.
There are plans to pump some replacement water back through an aqueduct from the
Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, where the river ends, to help east-side farmers. But that
water may instead be needed downstream to ease problems for threatened fish, such as the
Delta smelt.
For worried farmers, the restoration boils down to a single question: Can the government
rebuild this river without crippling the valley's internationally known farming industry?
Environmentalists and scientists think the odds are good, but nobody knows for sure.
Waste of taxpayer money?
Farmers have dreaded this moment since 1988, when environmentalists sued to rescue the
San Joaquin. Decades earlier, it was the river that rescued farms. Friant Dam was built in the
1940s to capture most of the river's water and irrigate dying farms in Merced, Madera,
Fresno, Tulare and Kern counties.
The river and its salmon runs were deliberately sacrificed, although even then the state fish
and game code required a stream of water beyond the dam for the native fish.
Environmentalists used that provision as a cornerstone in their 1988 lawsuit.
Farmers fought the suit for 18 years, but decisions in the case were consistently going
against them. They were running out of options. So they cut a deal in 2006  a compromise
intended to restore the river and salmon runs but preserve most east-side farming.
Three years later, some farmers have begun to doubt they will see much river water
circulating back from the restoration to their fields. And they wonder whether salmon, a coldwater
fish, will even survive in a warming climate over the next century.
Farmer Kole Upton, one of four people who negotiated the restoration deal in 2006, has
changed his mind about the settlement for many reasons, including the salmon issue.
With climate change, "It's going to get very warm here," he said. "This looks like an ultimate
waste of taxpayer money."
Fishery biologist Peter Moyle of the University of California, Davis, disagrees, saying the San
Joaquin may be a refuge for salmon because it taps a part of the Sierra likely to remain a
source of ice-cold water in spring.
"It does drain some of the highest Sierra, which will still have a snowpack," he said.
Salmon runs won't be big
The fishing industry is elated about this restoration. Decimated fisheries in the Pacific Ocean forced authorities to shut down salmon fishing for the second consecutive season this year. The idea of restarting San Joaquin salmon runs sounds good. "I don't know if we'll ever get 110,000 fish (in the river) like we did before, but I think it will help," said Zeke Grader, executive director of the Pacific Coast Federation of Fisherman's Associations, which was a plaintiff in the 1988 lawsuit.
But the restoration probably won't return the river to a pristine state with robust salmon runs, said Ron Stork, senior policy expert for Friends of the River, a statewide advocacy group. There's not enough water in the settlement for big salmon runs, he said.
Stork's group also was among the 14 environmental, fishing and conservation organizations that filed the 1988 lawsuit.
"The restoration is symbolic," Stork said. "This is a very big undertaking in a place where the
political and institutional culture is to capture every bit of water that falls on the Sierra
Nevada and use it in the valley. The culture is that none of this water should leave the area."
Cost could hit $1 billion
The restoration will span the middle 150 miles of this 350-mile river  from Friant Dam to
the place where the Merced River empties into the San Joaquin.
But there is much more to the San Joaquin, especially above Friant Dam. The headwaters are
at Thousand Island Lake, east of Yosemite National Park.
The river runs through a mountain wonderland, passing near the spectacular volcanic
columns of the Devils Post Pile and flowing through breathtaking glacial canyons. It arrives at
Millerton Lake after about an 80-mile journey that takes it through several hydroelectric
dams and lakes, such as Redinger and Kerckhoff lakes.
The 150 miles from Friant Dam to the confluence of the Merced is where the river must be
rebuilt. Beyond that, it refills with tributary water from the Merced, Tuolumne and Stanislaus
rivers on its run to the Delta. All three major tributaries have salmon runs.
Even far downstream, however, the river has problems: Farm pesticides and urban waste
contaminate the flow. Some cities, such as Antioch, get water from the Delta. Fresh water from the restoration might help water quality for those residents. It also might improve conditions at the deep port of Stockton, where fish suffer from a lack of dissolved oxygen in the slow-flowing river. The city discharges millions of gallons of treated sewage into the river each day. Many believe a restored San Joaquin ultimately will improve the health of the Delta by providing a stronger push of fresh water to guide dwindling species away from massive water pumps.
The cost of the river revival isn't small, although it could be as little as $600 million. The price tag easily could push beyond $1 billion because officials may need to buy private property to widen the river and build expensive facilities to help replace irrigation water farmers lose.
Congress has authorized $250 million, but the money will have to be approved by federal lawmakers, as it is needed for projects in the next decade. The state has committed about $200 million through water bonds. The work will be done over the next nine years, according to the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, owner of the dam and architect of the restoration plan.
Officials will release water from the dam during the next several years to study the river and
answer several questions, including: How much water will sink into the ground? How much
will seep into neighboring property? How fast will the vegetation return?
Potential for water damage
While east-side farmers have reached an uneasy peace over the river's fate, the fight over
the restoration has shifted to the valley's west side, where the most significant expense is
Farmers working 240,000 acres near the river already are considering their own lawsuit,
fearing a reinvigorated river will destroy their crops.
They are part of the San Joaquin River Exchange Contractors Authority, representing growers
who traded their historic river rights for Northern California water decades ago.
These west-side farmers have developed crops near a 25-mile stretch of the old, dried
riverbed beyond the Mendota Pool, which is part of Reach 2, the section of river from
Gravelly Ford to Mendota Dam. When the river fills, water might seep through the levees and
onto their land, swamp their crops and cause big losses.
The Bureau of Reclamation has assured them monitoring wells will be in place and water flow
will be slowed if excess seepage is detected.
But farm officials say the monitoring wells have not been installed, and the government will
run out of time.
If officials decide to use the natural river, they'll have to spend $350 million or more to buy
miles of private land so they can rebuild the waterway deeper and wider. Federal officials will
decide in the next two years.
Chris Acree, executive director of Revive the San Joaquin, a Fresno-based advocacy group,
prefers to see the natural river restored, even though there are obstacles. For instance,
someone 30 years ago built a house in the river channel in Merced County. It would have to move.
But, "It's only one house," Acree said. "There could have been cities built."
Contact The Fresno Bee's Mark Grossi, (559) 441-6316 or

Saturday, September 26, 2009

SARSAS Monthly Meetings

SARSAS Monthly Meetings, hosted by Placer County Supervisor Robert Weygandt, are held on the fourth Monday of each month at 10 a.m. at the Domes, 175 Fulweiler in Auburn, Ca 95603. Meetings are open to the public; meetings are ONE HOUR in length.

Next meeting is Monday, September 28, 2009 at 10 a.m at the Domes, 175 FULWEILER AVENUE, AUBURN,CA95603.

October meeting is Monday, October 26, November meeting is Monday, November 23, and December meeting is Monday, December 28, 2009.


The dust is settling and opinions are beginning to circulate
from across the West Coast and the Nation about the former Bush
Salmon Plan for the Columbia and Snake Rivers that has now been
adopted by the Obama Administration and submitted to federal
judge James Redden for review. This email contains a number of
links to a partial list of these opinions. In the Pacific
Northwest, newspaper editorial boards have expressed varying
opinions, including some serious skepticism about whether the
very modest changes to the 2008 Plan will be sufficient to pass
legal muster in court.

Given the "new" Obama Plan's significant shortcomings, the Save
Our Wild Salmon Coalition cannot support this plan, and we will
continue to work in court and in the public and political arenas
to encourage the establishment of a truly inclusive
collaborative process that includes all the interests who have
been involved in this debate for the last two decades. A
science-driven stakeholder negotiation process represents our
best opportunity to develop a cost-effective, biologically-sound
salmon restoration plan that is durable, works for both salmon
and people, saves money, and creates good family-wage jobs in
areas like fishing, clean energy, and construction.

WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE? The Obama Administration, under
court-order, submitted its "new" plan to Judge Redden, and he
will, with input from the plaintiffs (conservation and fishing
organizations, State of Oregon, Nez Perce and Spokane Tribes)
and defendants (federal agencies and their allies), review the
plan and decide whether it complies with the law. A ruling could
occur as early as the end of the year. We will keep you posted
as this court process proceeds.

Enjoy reading the articles below, have a great weekend, and we
will follow up soon with additional news and ways that you can
help build further support for restoring healthy, abundant wild
salmon and steelhead in the Columbia and Snake Rivers.

As always, thank you for your support!

Joseph Bogaard
206-286-4455, x103


CROSSCUT.COM: Obama Science Goes Shizophrenic on Salmon

OREGON FLY FISHING BLOG: Meet the new boss, same as the old boss

FLY FISHING JOURNAL: Obama Endorses Salmon Extinction via No
Action Plan

SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE: Obama Hooked into Salmon Plight.


Visit the web address below to tell your friends about this.

If you received this message from a friend, you can sign up for
Save Our Wild Salmon at:

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Response to Kevin Hanley, Placer Sentinel, 9 21 09, "Save Lake Clementine"

A dam is a made-man structure which is usually built for hydroelectric power, water diversion or flood control. The Age of Dam Building may be over and the Age of Dam Removal or Retrofitting may be upon us.

What if a dam has been in existence since 1938 and was built for none of these reasons and no longer serves its original function? What if the dam needlessly interrupts the natural flow of the river and harms aquatic life? Most people would say the dam should be removed and the canyon flooded behind the dam should once again be returned to its natural state. However, the Hetch Hetchy Dam has been providing pure water for the City of San Francisco since it was built and water companies in the Bay Area are very reluctant to remove the dam even though the same amount of pure water can be supplied by other methods so the movement to restore Hetch Hetchy is very strong and may succeed in removing the dam and restoring the Hetch Hetchy Valley, said by many to be a smaller and more beautiful version of the Yosemite Valley.
But we are not talking about Hetch Hetchy. Kevin Hanley (“Saving Lake Clementine”, 9 22 09) argues for the federal government putting money, $200k for a start, into our local Lake Clementine in this time of dam removal and little monies. Hanley argues against the Army Corp of Engineers closing Lake Clementine:

“How can this be? By Beltway standards, $200,000 is “chump change.” The popular Lake Clementine had 63,277 visitors in 2008. What is wrong with the federal government?”

Perhaps nothing is wrong with the federal government. Hanley’s argument is really his opinion. There are simply not enough federal monies to do everything in this age of tax revolt. Hanley himself advocates tax cuts and is now critical of the federal government for not having the money to spend the way he wants it to. And the purpose for which the North Fork Dam was built is now long ago unneeded. It was built with private funds to store sediment and then donated to the state to bear the cost of operation and maintenance.

Wikipedia states,
“Did You Know? – Lake Clementine is used exclusively for public recreation. It resulted from the North Fork Dam completed in 1938 and built by private funds in order to collect sedimentation from upriver hydraulic mining. It was made superfluous a few years later when such operations were discontinued by state edict.”

The North Fork Dam has been superfluous since the 1940’s because hydraulic mining has been “discontinued by state edict”. The sediment which the dam was originally built to collect is still behind and dam and has changed the aquatic ecosystem by covering spawning areas for fish, raising water temperature and impeding the natural flow of the American River reducing oxidation for aquatic life. Properly release this sediment would be an environmental boon to life in the river.

Those who have read Jordan Fisher Smith’s expose of the Auburn Recreation Area Nature Noir know that law enforcement costs in this area are very high and cannot be dismissed. Closing Lake Clementine may be the first step in returning this beautiful reach of the North Fork on the American River to its natural state. Hanley writes,

“ If the federal government did not provide or pay for around-the-clock security around the recreation area, damage and vandalism will likely occur to the dam and facilities, and illegal camping
could result in human-caused catastrophic fires to ignite in the American River Canyon. This would result in large new costs to the federal government and a much lower quality of life for recreation users in Auburn and Placer County.”

“Damage and vandalism will likely occur … and a much lower quality of life for recreation users in Auburn and Placer County.”

Mr. Hanley should try to get out more.

He states, “Our federally elected and appointed officials must become much better stewards of the American River Canyon.” How is maintaining an antiquated dam that serves no useful purpose being “better stewards of the American River Canyon”?

Mr. Hanley concluded with his rallying cry,

“Ensure safe public access to public lands. Get back to the basics!” which is really a plea for the federal government to pay the cost for his recreation.

How is artificially maintaining a dam that was superannuated and non-functional from its inception a way to “Get back to basics”?

There is a season for all things and maybe Lake Clementine is no longer in season.

Comment by Peter B Moyle,Professor of Fish Biology, University of California," Multiple Causes Of Central Valley Chinook Salmon Decline"

Ever since Euro-Americans arrived in the Central Valley, Chinook salmon populations have been in decline. Historic populations probably averaged 1.5-2.0 million (or more) adult fish per year. The high populations resulted from four distinct runs of Chinook salmon (fall, late-fall, winter, and spring runs) taking advantage of the diverse and productive freshwater habitats created by the cold rivers flowing from the Sierra Nevada. When the juveniles moved seaward, they found abundant food and good growing conditions in the wide valley floodplains and complex San Francisco Estuary, including the Delta. The sleek salmon smolts then reached the ocean, where the southward flowing, cold, California Current and coastal upwelling together created one of the richest marine ecosystems in the world, full of the small shrimp and fish that salmon require to grow rapidly to large size. In the past, salmon populations no doubt varied as droughts reduced stream habitats and as the ocean varied in its productivity, but it is highly unlikely the numbers ever even approached the low numbers we are seeing now.

Unregulated fisheries, hydraulic mining, logging, levees, dams, and other factors caused precipitous population declines in the 19th century, to the point where the salmon canneries were forced to shut down (all were gone by 1919). Minimal regulation of fisheries and the end of hydraulic mining allowed some recovery to occur in the early 20th century but the numbers of harvest salmon steadily declined through the 1930s. There was a brief resurgence in the 1940s but then the effects of the large rim dams on major tributaries began to be severely felt. The dams cut off access to 70% or more of historic spawning areas and basically drove the spring and winter runs to near-extinction. In the late 20th century, thanks to hatcheries, special flow releases from dams, and other improvements, salmon numbers (mainly fall-run Chinook) averaged nearly 500,000 fish per year, with wide fluctuations from year to year, but only about 10-25% of historic abundance. In 2006, numbers of spawners dropped to about 200,000, despite closure of the fishery. In 2007, the number of spawners fell further to about 90,000 fish, among the lowest numbers experienced in the past 60 years, with expectations of even lower numbers in fall 2008 (probably <64,000 fish). The evidence suggests that these runs are largely supported by hatchery production, so numbers of fish from natural spawning are much lower.

So, what caused this apparently precipitous decline in salmon? Unfortunately, the causes are historic, multiple and interacting. The first thing to recognize is that Chinook salmon are beautifully adapted to living in a region where conditions in both fresh water and salt water can alternate between being highly favorable for growth and survival and being comparatively unfavorable. Usually, conditions in both environments are not overwhelmingly bad together, so when survival of juveniles in fresh water is low, those that make it to salt water do exceptionally well, and vice versa. This ability of the two environments to compensate for one another’s failings, combined with the ability of adult salmon to swim long distances to find suitable ocean habitat, historically meant salmon populations fluctuated around some high number. Unfortunately, when conditions are bad in both environments, populations crash, especially when the heavy hand of humans is involved.

The recent crash has been blamed largely on “ocean conditions.” Generally what this means is that the upwelling of cold, nutrient-rich water has slowed or ceased, so less food is available, causing the salmon to starve or move away. Upwelling is the result of strong steady alongshore winds which cause surface waters to move off shore, allowing cold, nutrient-rich, deep waters to rise to the surface. The winds rise and fall in response to movements of the Jet Stream and other factors, with both seasonal and longer-term variation. El Nino events can affect local productivity as well, as can other ‘anomalies’ in weather patterns. And Chinook salmon populations fluctuate accordingly.

The 2006 and 2007 year classes of returning salmon mostly entered the ocean in the spring of 2004 and 2005, respectively (most spawn at age 3). Although upwelling should have been steady in this period, conditions unexpectedly changed and ocean upwelling declined in the spring months, so there were fewer shrimp and small fish for salmon to feed on. According to an analysis by an interdisciplinary group of scientists, conditions were particularly bad for a few weeks in spring of 2005 in the ocean off Central California, resulting in abnormally warm water and low concentrations of zooplankton, which form the basis for the food webs which include salmon. All this could have caused wide scale starvation of the salmon. Note the emphasis on could. While the negative impact of ocean anomalies is likely, monitoring programs in ocean are too limited to make direct links between salmon and local ocean conditions.

“Ocean conditions” can also refer to other factors which can be directly affected by human actions, especially fisheries. For example, fisheries for rockfish and anchovies can directly or indirectly affect salmon food supplies (salmon eat small fish). Likewise, fisheries for sharks and large predators may have allowed Humboldt squid (which grow to 1-2m long) to become extremely abundant and move north into cool water, where they could conceivably prey on salmon. These kinds of effects, however, are largely unstudied.

Meanwhile, what has been going on in the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers? On the plus side, dozens of stream and flow improvement projects have increased habitat for spawning and rearing salmon. Removal of small dams on Butte Creek and Clear Creek, for example, has increased upstream run sizes dramatically. Salmon hatcheries also continue to produce millions of fry and smolts to go to the ocean. On the contrary side:

* The giant pumps in the South Delta have diverted increasingly large amounts of water in the past decades, altering hydraulic and temperature patterns in the Delta as well as capturing fish directly.
* The Delta continues to be an unfavorable habitat for salmon, especially on the San Joaquin side where the inflowing river water is warm and polluted with salt and toxic materials. Most of the rest of the Delta lacks the edge habitat juvenile salmon need for refuge and foraging.
* Hatchery fry and smolts are released in large numbers but their survivorship is poor, compared to wild fish, although they contribute significantly to the fishery. Nevertheless, they may be competitors with better-adapted wild fish under conditions of low supply in the ocean. Most of the hatchery fish are planted below the Delta, to avoid the heavy mortality there.
* Numbers of salmon produced by tributaries to the San Joaquin River (Merced, Tuolumne, Stanislaus) continue to be exceptionally low, in the hundreds, and the promised restoration of the San Joaquin River appears to be stalled for lack of federal funds.

Thus reduced survival of wild fish in fresh water, especially in the Delta, combined with the naturally low survival rates of hatchery fish, most likely contribute to the plummeting numbers of adult spawners. This is especially likely to happen if young salmon also hit adverse conditions in the ocean, especially as they enter the Gulf of the Farrallons. The growing salmon can also hit other periods when food is scarce in the ocean, along with abundant predators and stressful temperatures, at any time in the ocean phase of their life cycle.

The overall message here is that indeed “ocean conditions” have had a lot to do with the recent crash of salmon populations in the Central Valley. However, they are superimposed on a population that has been declining in the long run (with some apparent stabilization in recent decades). The salmon still face severe problems before they reach the ocean, especially in the Delta. In the short run, there are only a few ‘levers’ we can pull to improve things for Central Valley salmon which include shutting down the commercial and recreational fisheries, reducing the impact of the big pumps in the South Delta, and perhaps changing the operation of dams (increasing outflows at critical times), regulating hatchery out put, and reducing other ocean fisheries. In the longer run (10-20 years) we need to be engaged in improving the Delta and San Francisco Estuary as a habitat for salmon, reducing inputs to the estuary of toxic materials, continuing with improvements of upstream habitats, managing floodplain areas such as the Yolo Bypass for salmon, restoring the San Joaquin River, and generally addressing the multiplicity of factors that affect salmon populations. There is also a huge need to improve monitoring of salmon in the ocean as well as the coastal ocean ecosystem off California. Right now, our understanding of how ocean conditions affect salmon is largely educated guesswork with guesses made long (sometimes years) after an event affecting the fish has happened. An investment in better knowledge should have large pay-offs for better salmon management.

Thus blaming “ocean conditions” for salmon declines is a lot like blaming the iceberg for sinking the Titanic, while ignoring the many human errors that put the ship on course for the fatal collision. Managers have optimistically thought that salmon populations were unsinkable, needing only occasional course corrections such as hatcheries or removal of small dams, to continue to go forward. The listings as endangered species of the winter and spring runs of Central Valley Chinook were warnings of approaching disaster on an even larger scale. “Ocean conditions” may be the potential icebergs for salmon populations but the ship is being steered by us humans. Salmon populations can be managed avoid an irreversible crash, but continuing on our present course could result in loss of a valuable and iconic fishery.

On a final more optimistic note, there is a reasonable chance that Chinook salmon populations will once again return to higher levels, as they have in the past, although not quickly. However, the lower the population goes and the more the environment changes in unfavorable ways, the more difficult recovery becomes.

Recovery is officially defined by the goals set by the Anadromous Fish Restoration Program under the Central Valley Project Improvement Act which has pledged to use "all reasonable efforts to at least double natural production of anadromous fish in California's Central Valley streams on a long-term, sustainable basis". The final doubling goal is 990,000 fish for all four runs combined. We have a long way to go and some major course modifications to make if we are to reach anything close to that goal.

Comment by Peter B Moyle, Professor of Fish Biology, University of California Davis (from Google News)

Submitted to GBF's message board by Mike Laing


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Salmon's Prayer

If I can no longer survive and I live on in your memory so doing is the best kind of immortality.
__ The Prayer of the Last Salmon

Save the Salmon

When a creature as resourceful as the salmon can no longer survive on this earth, neither can man.

"Salmon at the Heart of Nature", Placer Nature Center’s 4th Friday Lecture - September 25, 2009


Placer Nature Center’s 4th Friday Lecture - September 25, 2009

Salmon at the Heart of Nature

Get tickets Now! Season Passes available!

Sweeping changes are coming for endangered populations of winter and spring run Salmon. Dams built decades ago without fish ladders and creating still waters that block access to hundreds of miles of historic spawning grounds must be adapted to ensure species survival under a ruling by the National Marine Fisheries Service. At the State level – Governor Schwarzenegger signed legislation banning dredge mining in California rivers. Have these rulings come too late? Is the situation for Salmon so dire that we’ve passed the tipping point?

We’ll find out on Friday, September 25th at Placer Nature Center’s 4th Friday Lecture Series. The 5th season of the popular Lecture series makes a splashing opening with Dr. Tim Horner, Internationally recognized expert on the salmon species, fish ecology and habitat issues. While Dr. Horner will discuss broader issues of fish populations globally, he will concentrate his comments on our local fisheries and the American River.

“Best news of all.” According to Leslie Warren, Executive Director of Placer Nature Center, “is that two of Auburn’s finest restaurants are creating special meals for 4th Friday Lecture goers and 20% of the meal proceeds will be donated to Placer Nature Center to support environmental learning projects.” “Dine at 5:00 PM at Tsuda’s or Latitudes – enjoying a special themed menu and delight in science learning at 7:00 P.M.! What a great night out! It is an easy walk between the restaurants and our venue at 1212 High Street too,” Warren said.

“It is kind of ironic that our restaurants cannot serve local wild salmon because our species are so depleted. We’ll see what creative menu is offered even as we bemoan the disappearance of our favorite entre!”

“Salmon have long been considered a key indicator species. It is almost as if the salmon swims at the heart of the web of life on earth. Orca whales’ survival, maintenance of nutrient rich soils in the northwest, sustaining Native American and Inuit culture – the salmon is critical to these and so much more,” Warren explained. “We are so very pleased to kick off our Lecture series with such an esteemed scientist and educator!”

The American river has changed significantly in the past 150 years, and salmon and steelhead populations have decreased and whole seasonal runs have disappeared. This decrease could be related to ocean conditions, global warming, commercial or recreational fishing, delta water demands, mining, sediment input, water diversions, water quality, dams and water releases, water temperature, hatchery practices or habitat reduction. All of these issues will be reviewed to help put the problem in context for the American River, and identify the stressors that are responsible for the population decline.

Tickets are available securely on line at, by calling 530-878-6053 or at the following businesses Tsuda’s CafĂ©, Latitudes Restaurant and Newcastle Produce. Tickets are $10 general, $8 for members and $5 for full time students. Season tickets are only $55 for the general public and $45 for members – making one Lecture in the 6 Lecture Series FREE!

About the Speaker:

Dr. Tim Horner graduated from The Ohio State University in 1992, and joined the Geology Department at CSU Sacramento in Fall 1993. He specializes in groundwater/surface water interaction, and teaches undergraduate and graduate classes in sedimentology, field geology and hydrogeology.

He received the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics Distinguished Teaching Award in 2008. Much of Tim's time is devoted to habitat assessment and in-stream monitoring work on local rivers, with special emphasis on salmon and steelhead spawning gravels.

Tim and his students are frequent partners on local stream restoration projects, and have collected information about the health and habitat suitability of the American River system. CSUS faculty and students have helped to characterize the physical conditions that are ideal for salmon and steelhead spawning. This set of physical conditions can then be used as a target to guide restoration projects. Several restoration projects have addressed the problem by creating more habitat or restoring degraded parts of the river.

Leslie Warren
Executive Director, Placer Nature Center
Placer Nature Center

Monday, September 14, 2009

SARSAS Sac-Joaquin Delta Fish Plan Prepared by Dr. Stacy Li

SARSAS Sac-Joaquin Delta Fish Plan
Prepared by Dr. Stacy Li
Aquatic Systems Research
National Marine Fisheries Service - retired

I provide the following list of components that should be included in any Delta water solution:

1) Outflow to San Francisco Bay has been reduced by 50% of historical levels. Not only should Delta outflow not be reduced any further, it should be increased. This is a key design control consideration.

2) The design functions of the two rivers should be switched. The original fundamental design of the CVP (Central Valley Project) was to use San Joaquin River as water supply and the Sacramento River for water quality. The Sacramento River should be used as water supply because it is more than three times more abundant than the San Joaquin River. The Sacramento River should also provide flows to resist salt intrusion into the Delta, add to Delta outflow and be used to dilute pesticide and fertilizer residues in the agriculture return water in the San Joaquin River. I can’t think of another way to get water from the Sacramento River to the California Aqueduct other than a Peripheral Canal.

3) San Joaquin River should be switched from water supply to being used primarily to resist salt intrusion into the Delta. None of this water should be used as water export. If this action is adopted, there will be no flow reversals in either the Sacramento River or the San Joaquin River. Sacramento River salmonids would be unaffected because the river’s momentum and inertia would prevent flow reversals by pumping. San Joaquin salmon and steelhead smolt would finally be able to find their way to the ocean and returning adults would finally be able to find their natal streams. The San Joaquin Delta would become more of a backwater habitat as it was historically. That would benefit Delta smelt and longfin smelt. Water residence time in the Delta would also be longer, allowing plankton communities to develop that would benefit threadfin shad and young-of-the-year striped bass populations. Finally, importation of 1 million tons of salt into the San Joaquin Valley would stop by not exporting San Joaquin River water.

4) The Sacramento River and the San Joaquin River do not mix downstream of Sherman Island because of differences in many physical and water quality parameters. Therefore, through Delta water conveyance is impossible. The SWP (State Water Project) assumes through Delta conveyance. Refurbishing the present water export facilities would be a big waste of money because not only are they extremely susceptible to levee failure, but water supply capacity of the San Joaquin River is near exhaustion.

5) Present fish protection and fish salvage facilities are woefully inadequate. The present fish louvers do not work. Fish screens are needed because they are state of the art.

6) More dams are not needed at this time. Besides flows from the proposed Temperance Flat Dam would not flow north to the Delta to restore Delta health, but be exported at Friant Dam and sent south to Kern County via the Friant-Kern Canal.

7) Remember that California is a major world economy, estimates ranging from 4th to 9th largest in the world. This important world economy is dependent upon a secure water supply. Without it there will be severe economic disruptions. This is would be a consequence if political inertia continues.

8) Remember that two-thirds of the California population depends upon CVP/SWP water. If the water system fails, it will cause a negative economic ripple throughout the world. So even if you live in a California community not dependent upon CVP/SWP water, you will be adversely affected. The world will be affected.

9) Remember that the California population is still growing at a rate of about 1 million new residents a year. The State water system must account for this increase.

10) Water Rights in California need to be revised. State Water Resources Control Board has identified about 300 million acre-feet per annum of authorized consumptive water rights of different types (pre-1914, appropriative, riparian, federal reserve and pueblo). California receives only about 73 million acre-feet of runoff each year.

11) The new water system must not only function to provide water supply, improve habitat and ecological conditions, control salt intrusion, and account for climate change, it must also be compatible and integrated within the state’s flood control system.

12) Let us justify repair of Delta levees based upon public safety concerns rather than defending the state's water supply. There are 1100 miles of Delta Levee. There are 5280 feet in a mile. Current levee construction is running around $8,000/foot. Operations and maintenance budgets for levees should be 3% of the initial construction cost each year. Levees are not assets. They are liabilities.

13) Those who use the water system must pay for its use. They are the ones that should provide the revenue stream for construction, and operations and maintenance costs. No more freeloaders!

A warning: Now is the time for action. We can’t wait for the system to fail or to build something that doesn’t work. The time needed to recover from those mistakes will be too long to avoid worldwide depression caused by lack of water availability in California. Now is the time for decision based upon physics, biology, hydrology, ecology and plans that benefit the entire state not just parts of it.

A final aside: Since the vast majority of water used as water supply originates from the San Joaquin River, Southern California has not stolen water from Northern California. If they have been stealing water, they have been stealing it from themselves. The vast majority of Sacramento River water ends up in the Pacific Ocean.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Dinner at Pescatore Winery, Nov 6 & 7, 2009 in Newcastle, Ca off Ridge Road

Wild Salmon or Tri-Tip Dinner

A benefit dinner for SARSAS hosted by Pescatore Winery

Two Evenings
Friday November 6, 2009 or Saturday November 7, 2009
at 7055 Ridge Rd. Newcastle 95658
$30. per person
Artists displays, raffle & wine sales all benefiting

Save Auburn Ravine Salmon and Steelhead
For Tickets and Information About This Event Call 530-878-1566.

SARSAS thanks for their sponsorship and donations,
Pescatore Estate Vineyard and Winery, Lincoln Rotary,
LeBellig French Restaurant in Auburn,
ceramic fish artist Christine Kotcher.
Thank you for Salmon and Tri-Tip donations from
Auburn Save-Mart and Auburn Grocery Outlet

Editorial: It's not only fish vs. people

This story is taken from Sacbee / Opinion

Published Monday, Jun. 29, 2009

The National Marine Fisheries Service has issued a wake-up call on the dangers facing the Central Valley's salmon and, ultimately, the water system they depend on. It should be mulled and acted upon.
The wake-up call came in the form of a "biological opinion" that the fisheries service filed earlier this month. Prompted by a federal court ruling on a lawsuit by environmentalists and fishermen, it found that the ways the state and federal water projects operate threaten the survival of endangered chinook salmon and steelhead, and it required that they change their policies.
The changes the agency envisions include finding ways to get the fish around the dams and other barriers that currently stop them as they migrate upstream to spawn. With immense structures like Shasta Dam spanning the Sacramento River, and Folsom Dam the American, this will not be a simple task. It will require the construction of fish ladders, or elevators, or perhaps truck-and-haul operations. Experts aren't sure if any are feasible. The estimated price tag starts at $1 billion.
The price of not acting, however, will likely be steeper.
To begin with, the winter- and spring-run chinook salmon of the Sacramento River and the steelhead of the American are almost certainly doomed if their journeys to spawning habitat continue to be blocked.
That probably won't take salmon off diners' plates, although there are persistent questions about the taste, healthfulness and environmental impact of what's produced on fish farms.
But if these natural populations vanish, they will likely take with them the state's commercial salmon industry, which has already been shut for two years in the wake of the fish population's crash. The Fish and Game Department estimates that in 2008, the shutdown cost $255 million in revenue and more than 2,200 jobs.
Beyond that, the federal fisheries service's opinion is a wake-up call on the need for a major reassessment of state water policy. Pretty much everyone involved in the current system recognizes that it's broken, unable to store excess supply in wet years or deliver needed supply in dry ones.
The new federal rules, which will likely face a court challenge, don't require an immediate solution. The current blueprint requires studies starting later this year, trials of fish-moving procedures by 2012 and a decision on an ultimate answer by 2020.
Water officials should use that time not only to find the best way to get the fish around the dams but to explore cheaper ways to save them. One possibility being pushed by a Placer County group called Save Auburn Ravine Salmon and Steelhead seeks the restoration of 600 small creeks between Modesto and Redding. The group says these creeks were once the sites of significant fish runs and offer a much less expensive way to provide spawning habitat than laboriously transporting fish around dams.
Whatever solution is ultimately embraced, the region will likely never return to the days when so many salmon choked the Sacramento River that Indians and settlers could catch dinner with their hands. But a revived commercial fishing industry, and an answer to one relatively small piece of the state's water policy puzzle, is a pretty good consolation prize. We should try to seize it.

Restoring fisheries above Folsom, Shasta dams faces high hurdles

This story is taken from Sacbee / Our Region / Environment
Published Monday, Jun. 22, 2009

The American River once hosted thousands of steelhead migrating upstream from the ocean in three separate runs. Today it's down to just two runs of a few hundred fish.
The Sacramento was the only river in western North America with four salmon runs. They numbered in the millions – so numerous that American Indians and settlers could catch a salmon dinner with their bare hands. Now one run is gone, and two are endangered. The fourth could join them soon.
Restoring a fragment of that spectacle to the Central Valley is the goal of rules proposed by the National Marine Fisheries Service. The service wants, among other things, restoration of winter- and spring-run salmon above Shasta Dam on the Sacramento River, and steelhead above Folsom Dam on the American River.
Combined, the fish transit order is considered the biggest of its kind in U.S. history.
Making it happen presents huge financial and engineering challenges. Costs could exceed $1 billion at a minimum – more than 10 times the original construction cost of both dams.
"It's pretty substantial, the amount of work that's required," said Mike Chotkowski, regional environmental officer at the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, which operates the dams. "We still haven't even determined whether it's feasible."
The fisheries service says that without restoring access upstream, it's likely the three fish species will go extinct. Climate change means it will be harder to maintain cold-water habitat below the dams, so they must have access to better habitat.
"The fish are at that jeopardy point where it's important for us to take immediate steps," said Howard Brown, Sacramento River basin chief for the fisheries service.
The rules proposed this month, called a biological opinion, were developed in response to a lawsuit brought by environmental groups. Federal Judge Oliver Wanger agreed with their claim that prior rules, which had no fish passage requirement, did not prevent extinction.
The ruling raised anxiety among California water managers. Thirty agencies sued last week, alleging that the fisheries service didn't follow procedure in adopting the rules.
Other experts argue there are cheaper ways to rescue the salmon populations.
Among them is the volunteer group Save Auburn Ravine Salmon and Steelhead. It has worked quietly over the past year to remove small obstructions on Auburn Ravine, a little-known tributary of the Sacramento River.
The natural ravine flows with spring water and sewage treatment outflows starting in Auburn.
Accounts as recent as the 1960s show that the ravine once hosted robust fish runs, said John Rabe, a member of the group's board.
Four adult salmon were observed in the ravine last winter. The group expects hundreds next winter and plans a salmon festival in Lincoln to welcome them back.
Rabe said 600 small creeks between Modesto and Redding also could be restored – at far less cost than fixing the big dams.
"Don't waste time and money on the dams. Spend it on the creeks," he said. "That would open literally thousands of miles of spawning, which would make a huge, huge difference."
The federal rules don't specify how salmon and steelhead should be moved around the dams. Instead they require studies, starting in December, to find the best solution that can be in place by 2020.
By March 2012, water agencies must begin moving fish around the dams on a trial basis. This will probably be done by loading fish into trucks.
Experts say moving fish around Folsom and Shasta dams is a job as big as the dams themselves. Shasta, completed in 1945, stands 602 feet high. Folsom was finished in 1956 and soars to 340 feet tall.
They were built without any means to pass fish upstream, and each has a smaller dam downstream to regulate flows: Nimbus on the American, Keswick on the Sacramento.
Distance and elevation required to move fish upstream may eliminate the option of a traditional fish ladder at both dams, said Alex Haro, a research ecologist at the U.S. Geological Survey fish laboratory in Turners Falls, Mass.
Fish might not be able to cover the distances up and around the dams in a single day. As night falls, if fish are partway up a ladder, their instinct is to stop and rest, so they give up and turn around.
An alternative is a fish lift – essentially an elevator to raise fish straight up the face of the dam in a container. But like a fish ladder, it has limitations. One is that the fish then are released in a stagnant reservoir, without flows to guide them to spawning habitat.
Because of this, trucking and hauling fish could become the permanent solution.
In short, salmon and steelhead blocked from their historic habitat for decades instead could be driven home like commuters on a bus.
Fishery managers typically don't like truck-and-haul operations because fish survival in the past has been poor: Roughly half of the fish sometimes die from stress, oxygen loss or high temperatures.
But Kozmo Bates, a fish passage expert in Olympia, Wash., said survival is typically better than 90 percent in modern trap-and-haul operations.
"There's a certain protocol that makes it safe for the fish," he said. "I can't say it's 100 percent, but in new, contemporary facilities I've rarely heard of any problems with the fish, and when there are problems they get fixed quickly."
Sounds easy, but it is wrong to assume trucking fish is a cheap fix, experts said.
One reason: The collection facility at the base of the dam is essentially the same whether it serves a fish ladder or a trucking operation.
The fish must be directed from the river below the dam into a confined space. It's against their nature to do that, so they must be tricked with precise flows and temperatures, and a perfectly designed containment space.
This comes with a cost to water supplies. Dam operators must give up 3 percent to 5 percent of the water stored in the reservoir to create flows for fish passage through the containment structure, Haro said.
Also, juvenile fish have to be moved back below the dam after they've spawned. This requires a different collection system above the dam, one that ensures young salmon or steelhead don't get lost in the massive reservoir or eaten by predators such as bass.
One example of a modern downstream passage structure was built at Baker Lake in Washington state in 2008. It consists of nets spanning the reservoir near the dam, which direct fish into channels, and then mobile tanks mounted on floating barges.
Tanks are hoisted onto trucks, which deliver fish to ponds below the dam, where they acclimate to downstream conditions for a day or two before being released.
Bates estimates both upstream and downstream passage for truck-and-haul systems could cost $500 million each for Shasta and Folsom.
That's conservative, because each lake may need multiple downstream collection facilities, since each has multiple tributaries feeding the lake that may hold spawning fish.
"You have high dams, you've got predators in the reservoirs, you've got reservoirs that fluctuate greatly, and you have big rivers, too," Bates said. "You have four things there, and each one quadruples whatever price you start with."
The new rules, however, do provide something of an escape clause.
If a panel of water agencies and fish experts decides fish passage around the dams isn't feasible, salmon and steelhead must be restored elsewhere. That would turn the focus back to the Central Valley's many neglected creeks.
That's what John Rabe and the Auburn Ravine group are working on – a solution he said is "more realistic and a lot less expensive."
Call The Bee's Matt Weiser, (916) 321-1264.

The Salmon Crisis is a Crisis Only If People Do Nothing

Essay on Salmon for the Sacbee, April 28, 2008

Re: A Fisherman’s View of the salmon crisis by Dave Bitts, April 28, 2008

The pressure on all waterways in the Sacramento River drainage has been unrelenting and unabated. Born in Ophir and growing up on the Auburn Ravine, I have seen the pressure on this one stream continue for over sixty years. I want to use this one Ravine to speak to the pressure that all our waterways are under and try to understand why the salmon are currently in such peril.

Mr. Bitts says rightly that “we have abused our rivers to the point that the fish are on the verge of vanishing”. The Auburn Ravine was polluted first by gold miners during the Gold Rush and for years by the affluent of the city of Auburn, improperly treated, being dumped directly into the Ravine. Finally, the State of California fined the city and forced it to clean up it affluent. Frequently, the stench was so strong for us people living on the banks of the Ravine that at times we were forced to leave our homes. Conditions improved but pollution spills continue to occur.

In order to meet water needs of commercial and agricultural consumers, fifty years ago Federal Energy Regimenting Commission (FERC)’s primary concern was providing power; the concerns of aquatic life in the streams were of secondary importance. Twelve man-made barriers were constructed on the Auburn Ravine and are still in use today. Salmon cannot pass these barriers to reach spawning grounds. The Auburn Ravine’s salmon and steelhead runs were stopped completely, preventing the fishes from spawning. The salmon had to look for other waterways, in which to reproduce.

Then the federal government started to build the Auburn Dam on the American River near Auburn. A tunnel was drilled from the dam sight through the mountain to the Auburn Ravine in Ophir, transporting water to the Auburn Ravine. The Ravine’s riverbed was bulldozed to enhance water flow, destroying countless aquatic life forms and their habitat such as pond turtles, pacific lamprey eels, muskrats, sculpin and frogs to name only a fraction. The temperature of American River water was not the same as the water in the Auburn Ravine stressing its aquatic life forms. The focus was on providing water and creating power not on preserving native flora and fauna. The Auburn Dam was stopped by the damage to the Auburn Ravine remains.

No one seems to know what the exact cause of the salmon crisis so many causes are listed. The main cause can all too neatly be attributed to ocean conditions because they cannot be measured or controlled easily, and no one or no one condition can be held accountable for the impending extinction so nothing logically can be done about it because no one agrees on the cause. Not knowing the cause is much too neat and too easy an attribution. Salmon have evolved over eons to survive the vagaries of ocean conditions and have successfully done so. What salmon have not evolved to survive is the damming of their rivers, the diversion of the river water and the seasonal shutoffs of water flow by irrigation districts to maintain canals. When streams are blocked and water is taken away from the creek during the fall, when agricultural usage is lowest, that is specifically the time when Fall Run Chinook Salmon are coming up the streams to spawn, then the mystery of the impending extinction of the salmon is obvious. If salmon do not have water to spawn in, the salmon cycle is doomed. Lacking adequate water when they need it is a death sentence for salmon.

But the good news is the salmon are much diminished in number but are not yet extinct. Save Auburn Ravine Salmon and Steelhead (SARSAS) is just one citizen led, volunteer, grassroots organization, attempting to return salmon and steelhead to one creek, the Auburn Ravine, by making all twelve man-made barriers passable to fishes. California Department of Fish and Game, Placer Legacy, members of the Placer County Board of Supervisors and Auburn City Council, Nevada Irrigation District and others are working with SARSAS, helping to make the Auburn Ravine Salmon and Steelhead to the Auburn Ravine.

For the next four years FERC is listening to public input before it re-licenses the water companies for the next fifty years. The public has the opportunity to speak up for salmon, but connecting with FERC will not be easy. Now is the time to speak up for salmon because water policy will be formulated by 2012 for the next fifty years.

As long as salmon still swim in our rivers and stream, people have time to save the salmon. People, working with government, not government alone, will save the salmon if they are to be saved. But, time is running out quickly. 796 4-29-08

Another View: Oregon, California salmon

April 1, 2008
The (Eugene) Register-Guard, March 26, 2008
Times are hard for industries all across America, but they may be toughest for salmon fishermen on the Oregon and California coasts.

For three consecutive years, dismal salmon returns on the Klamath River have resulted in disastrous seasons for West Coast fishermen and the communities that rely on the business they create for small ports.

The coming year could be the worst of all — the first complete shutdown of both the commercial and sport seasons ever on the West Coast.

A closure order could come as early as this weekend, when the Pacific Fishery Management Council meets in Sacramento. The council is weighing three options, ranging from a bare-bones season to a total ban. Fishermen are expecting the worst and for good reason.

While the Klamath River runs have improved, returns on the Sacramento River have collapsed. Only 90,000 Chinook returned to spawn last year, a 90 percent decline from just five years ago.

Projections for 2008 are abysmal — so low that any fishing, even for scientific research, will require an emergency order from U.S. Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez, who oversees the National Marine Fisheries Service.

That’s bad news on any river, but the Sacramento has by far the most important salmon run on the West Coast. By some estimates, the Sacramento supports 90 percent of the ocean fishery off the California coast and 50 percent off the Oregon and Washington coasts.

If the council announces a ban or even a repeat of the severe cutbacks ordered in 2006 the federal government must begin immediately the process of issuing the disaster declaration needed before Congress can approve emergency assistance for the fishing industry.

The governors of California, Oregon and Washington have asked Gutierrez to declare a fishery disaster, as have Sen. Ron Wyden and other members of Oregon’s congressional delegation.

The message should be clear to Gutierrez that there must be no repeat of the 2006 debacle in which the Bush administration took months to declare the salmon season a failure. As a result of that needless delay, some fishing families and businesses are just now getting some of the $60 million in aid that finally was authorized in the summer of 2007.

Gutierrez should pay a visit to ports in Oregon to get a firsthand feel for the extent of the problem. Without assistance, fishermen who barely have managed to hang on by turning to other species, such as tuna and crab, won’t be able to make it through another year.

With no income from salmon, they’ll be unable to cover boat mortgage payments and moorage fees. Businesses that rely on income from fishermen may fail, as will an Oregon Coast where the economy is built on a foundation of salmon.

It’s frustratingly unclear why the traditionally robust run of Sacramento chinook has fallen to such perilously low levels. The most widely held theory is that a shift in ocean conditions has wiped out the salmon’s food supply.

But fish biologists rightly point out that a long chain of interlinked factors are also to blame, including overfishing, pollution, excessive water diversions to farms and cities, an overreliance on hatchery-produced fish, and, perhaps most importantly, the debilitating impact of dams. It’s revealing that the fishery management council plans to review 46 possible causes of the collapse of the Sacramento runs.

The solution to restoring runs on the Sacramento won’t be any less challenging than it is on the Klamath. It will require the combined effort of the fishing industry, farmers, Indian tribes, water-control agencies, utilities and environmentalists to rescue the Sacramento’s dwindling salmon runs.

But the first step must be to help the people who catch salmon for a living and the coastal communities where they live and work.
-- The Associated Press
Delaying Critical Habitat
The Bush Administration often asserts that critical habitat designations are being rushed, and that it quite
reasonably wants to delay them until after recovery plans are complete. Yet only 17% (=33) of the 195 critical
habitats it has been forced to designate occurred prior to a recovery plan. And in 25 of those 33 cases, it was
the Bush administration that was at fault for violating federal guidelines to issue recovery plans within three
years of listing. The Bush Administration is playing a cynical and deadly game by asking to delay critical
habitat until after recovery plans are complete, then refusing to complete the recovery plans.

Wild Salmon or Tri-Tip Dinner SARSAS Dinner at Pescatore Winery, in Newcastle, Ca off Ridge Road

Wild Salmon or Tri-Tip Dinner

A benefit dinner for SARSAS hosted by Pescatore Winery
Two Evenings on Friday November 6, 2009 or Saturday November 7, 2009
at 7055 Ridge Rd. Newcastle 95658
$30. per person

Artists displays, raffle & wine sales all benefiting Save Auburn Ravine Salmon and Steelhead

For Tickets and Information About This Event Call Scott at 530-878-1566

SARSAS thanks for their sponsorship and donations,
Pescatore Estate Vineyard and Winery, Lincoln Rotary,
LeBellig French Restaurant in Auburn,
ceramic fish artist Christine Kotcher.
Thank you for Salmon and Tri-Tip donations from
Auburn Save-Mart and Auburn Grocery Outlet


OBJECTIVE 1 a: GOALS 1 and 8
Project: Removal of flashboard dams on or before October 15th of each year
Responsibility: Owners of flashboard dams. NOAA and F&G- inspect for
removal and or notice to remove by officer.
Timeline: Annually on or before October 15th
Funding: Cost neutral

Project: SARSAS board has identified and established working relationships
with major stakeholders.
Responsibility: SARSAS Board
Timeline: Ongoing
Funding: Cost neutral

OBJECTIVE 1 c: Goals 1-2-4-7-8-9
Project: Work with NID and Placer Legacy in order to develop plans and
funds necessary to retrofit Lincoln gauging station and Hemphill Dam.
Responsibility: Nevada Irrigation District. District will do both retrofits as state funds are released. Originally scheduled for summer 2009 but due to state funding issues, bond monies were not released.
Timeline: Summer 2010
Funding: State bond funds

OBJECTIVE 1 d: Goals 1-2-4-7-8-9
Project: Retrofit Gold Hill Dam with fish ladder ands screens
Responsibility: Nevada Irrigation District
Timeline: Uncertain 2010-2014
Funding: None to date. NID

OBJECTIVE 1 e: Goals 1-4-5-6-8-9
Project: Working with the City of Lincoln, local property owners and
appropriate water agencies, reduce the number of beaver dams on the Auburn Ravine. Remove and relocate beavers as necessary. Work with
citizens groups in order to educate the general public regarding beaver issues and potential solutions.
Responsibility: SARSAS, City of Linclon, water agencies
Funding: Grants, city funds, water agencies, SARSAS fundraising

OBJECTIVE 2: Goals 2-8-9

Projects: 1. Install appropriate screens on all irrigation ditches within the Ravine.
2. Notify all water users who have irrigation ditches of the issues related to
smolt and trout when ditches are not screened.
3. Develop grants that in part will provide funds for screening projects.
4. Provide water users with information that links unscreened ditches to the
Loss of smolt and trout in the Auburn Ravine.
5. Seek funding partners
6. Seek screening enforcement when necessary.
Responsibility: Water agencies, farmers, SARSAS, enforcement agencies.
Timeline: 2010-2012
Funding Sources: Grants, water agencies, water users
Cost: To be determined

OBJECTIVE 3: Goals 1-3-4-5-6-8-9-

Project: Raise $30,000.00 to be used for a feasibility study for fish passage from the
Auburn cataract to the headwaters of the Auburn Ravine.
Responsibility: SARSAS
Timeline: 2009 to September 2011
Funding: SARSAS fundraisers and donations

OBJECTIVE 4: Goals 1-9

Project: Establish a nine member working board and identify coalitions and partners.
Responsibility: SARSAS president and board members
Timeline: June 2009
Funding: None

OBJECTIVE 5: Goals 4-5-6-8-9

Project: Identify the ten highest priority areas in need of streambed and bank restoration
and establish projects, timelines, volunteers and funds necessary to accomplish
restoration projects.
Responsibility: SARSAS, landowners, Placer Legacy, NOAA, Fish & Game
Timeline: August 2011
Funding: To be determined

OBJECTIVE 6 Goals 4-6-9

Projects: 1. Develop power point presentations
2. Develop a video for presentations
3. Develop presentations materials e.g. faq’s

Responsibility: SARSAS Board
Timeline: June 2009 through September 2010 and beyond as necessary
Funding: $3000.00 to $4,000.00 SARSAS fundraisers and donations

OBJECTIVE 7: Goals 7-8-9

Project: 1. Work with appropriate agencies to determine the source of water and when it
is needed in order to assure sufficient water to support salmon, steelhead and
trout in the Auburn Ravine.
2. Establish meetings with PG&E, PCWA, NID and representatives of the state water board to accomplish the objective.

Responsibility: SARSAS and appropriate agencies
Timeline: August 2009 – April 2010
Funding: To be determined

OBJECTIVE 8: Goals 1-9

As the goals of SARSAS are met, there will be a corresponding increase in the California Pacific Ocean salmonid population.

Project: Meet with fishing industry representatives to demonstrate the SARSAS plan for
restoration as well as its application in other streams feeding the Sacramento
and San Joaquin Rivers in order to gain industry support and Pacific Ocean
salmonid restoration.

Responsibility: SARSAS Board
Funding: None
Timeline: February 2010


Projects: 1. Write grants
2. Establish SARSAS fundraisers
3. Locate donors
4. Seek business sponsors

Responsibility: SARSAS Board
Funding: None
Timeline: 2008…ongoing

OBJECTIVE 10: Goal 6

Projects: 1. Develop Portfolio
2. Develop brochure 8X11 tri-fold
3. Update power point presentation
4. Develop on line newsletter
5. Post on Facebook, twitter and other internet sites
6. Continue public presentations
7. Develop media information for radio, television and newspapers
8. Develop a video presentation

Responsibility: SARSAS Board
Timeline: August 2009 through March 2010
Funding: $6,000.00

OBJECTIVE 11: Goals 1-2-4-6-7

Projects: Identify Key agencies 8/08- 10/09
Establish focus meetings 9/09-4/2010

Responsibility: SARSAS Board
Funding: None

OBJECTIVE 12: Goals 6-7-8-9

Projects: 1. Purchase hand held monitoring devices
2. Train volunteers for monitoring
3. Monitor weekly/monthly beginning October 2009
4. Select three locations for monitoring
5. Develop data base for collected information

Responsibility: SARSAS Board and monitoring volunteers
Timeline: 10/2009- 10/2012
Funding: Approximately $1,600.00 for equipment

OBJECTIVE 13: Goal 4

Project: SARSAS president shall meet with each Board member to determine
individual strengths and interests and make board assignments as necessary

Responsibility: SARSAS president
Timeline: 10/2009—11/2009
Funding: None

OBJECTIVE 14: Goals 4-6-8-9

Projects: 1. Establish meetings with at least one key member of the senate and assembly
2. Meet with key leader and accomplish the following:
a. Present SARSAS plan
b. Solicit support for 503 c. legislation {simplify }
c. Gain support for SARSAS plan expansion across the north state
d. Expand support to other legislators
e. Get legislative resolutions from both houses
f. Explore legislation for salmonid restoration

Responsibility: SARSAS Board
Timelines: September 2009- May 2010
Funding: None

OBJECTIVE 15: Goals 1-9

Project: Complete a SWOT and Strategic Plan

Responsibility: SARSAS Board
Timeline: August 2009
Funding: None

OBJECTIVE 16: Goals 4-6-8-9

Project: Develop a Return of the Salmon Festival in the City of Lincoln

Responsibility: SARSAS Board, City of Lincoln, Chamber of Commerce, Native
American groups, and other interested parties or individuals identified by SARSAS.
Timeline: October 2010
Cost: To be determined

OBJECTIVE 17: Goals 1-9

Project: Reach out to the scientific community to establish factual scientific facts and
information to help guide the SARSAS Board in achieving its mission, goals
and objectives.

Responsibility: SARSAS Board
Timeline: Ongoing
Funding: Not required