Monday, March 14, 2011

2010 Was a Very Good Year for SARSAS

Through SARSAS’ collaborative efforts with many organizations and agencies, salmon were able to travel about twenty miles up the Auburn Ravine and were sighted in some numbers in Auburn Ravine Park in the City of Lincoln, where they were stopped by NID’s Lincoln Gauging Station. The word from NID is this barrier will be fitted with a fish ladder in the Fall of 2011 allowing salmon to swim upstream about two miles to NID’s Hemphill Dam. When it and NID’s Gold Hill Diversion Dam are retrofitted with fish ladders and screens, anadromous fishes will be able to reach Wise Powerhouse, one mile downstream from the City of Auburn. So the year 2010 saw great progress being made in salmon returning to the Auburn Ravine.
Special thanks should go to NOAA Special Agent Don Tanner for bringing nine flashboard dams downstream from Lincoln in compliance with NOAA regulations of dams being removed from the Auburn Ravine for October 15 to April 15 to accommodate the Fall Chinook Run. Brad Arnold of South Sutter Water District has applied for funds for a fish screen on the Pleasant Grove Canal, which will prevent salmon returning to the Pacific Ocean from being entrained in rice fields and pastures.
Much work remains to be done. SARSAS is an all-volunteer organization and makes progress only by the efforts of those who volunteer to do the work. SARSAS needs volunteers for river patrol, tree planting, project managers, water testing, flow testing, photographers, grant writers, event coordinators, teachers to spread the SARSAS message to young people, and people who write well and would like to become grant writers. SARSAS needs people who have worked with fish in their professional life or in fish passage related fields who would like to continue their efforts to benefit our community.
SARSAS is currently working on an application for fish screens for 23 pumps downstream of Lincoln and 4 fish screens. This application is in the millions of dollars and, if successful, will provide many jobs and dollars to our communities. Returning anadromous fishes to the Auburn Ravine, not only benefits fish, but also benefits our economy by providing jobs and tourist dollars.
We need volunteers in the Lincoln area to help with the various projects necessary to upgrade the Auburn Ravine in Auburn Ravine Park and McBean Park. A Lincoln group is currently being formed with Lincoln City Councilman Stan Nader and the City of Lincoln for this upgrading of Auburn Ravine.
In addition, we need visionaries in the Auburn area to help plan how to get the salmon the last mile from Wise Powerhouse to the two parks in Auburn, Auburn School Park and Ashford Park to prepare for spawning in these two parks. Between Wise Powerhouse and the City of Auburn, Auburn Ravine flows under Wise Road, twice under Ophir Road, under Highway 80 w here the two forks of the Auburn Ravine come together. The North Fork of Auburn Ravine flows under Highway 49 near Highway 80, under Elm Street and Palm Avenue up to Ashford Park. North Rich Ravine, the south fork of Auburn Ravine, flows under Old Town Auburn, daylights near the Claude Chana Statue next to the Firehouse and Creekside Café in Old Town Auburn, flows through the Jury Parking lot, behind Courthouse Coffee, under Auburn-Folsom Road to Auburn School Park. In addition to more water, at least half a dozen fish ladders need to be funded and installed and then Lincoln and Auburn will have salmon spawning in the town centers, attracting tourists with big pocketbooks and many jobs for workers to do the installations.
If you wish to get involved with SARSAS, call Jack Sanchez at 530 888 0281 or email him at jlsanchez39@gmail and join the fun.

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