Thursday, October 13, 2011

SARSAS Update on Progress in Returning Salmon and Steelhead to Auburn Ravine

October 6, 2011

A fish screen has been installed on the Sheiber Canal/Pump , which helps assure fish returning to the Pacific avoid entrainment and dying in the fields.
Next, NID just received the NOAA permit, which allows them to start work on the Lincoln Gauging Station which prevented many salmon from reach spawning grounds last year.
Ron Nelson, General Manager of NID, called me last Monday and say the permits were all in place and much prep work had already been done. He said NID would try to stay with the original schedule and have the fish ladder installed by the end of this month in time for the arrival of the salmon.
So now all eight dams below Lincoln are in compliance with NOAA regulations, thanks to NOAA Special Agent Don Tanner (who just received the SARSAS King Salmon Award for his work on AR). That means all dams are taken down NLT Oct 15 and stay down until April 15 each year to allow the Fall Run Chinook to reach spawning grounds on the upper Auburn Ravine.
The LGS Fish Ladder currently being installed by NID will be complemented by the Fish Screen, spearheaded by Brad Arnold of South Sutter Water District, to be installed on the Pleasant Grove Canal to prevent fish returning to the Pacific Ocean to mature from being entrained in agricultural fields. The Family Water Alliance secured funding for this fish screen.
NID is currently planning the retrofit of Hemphill Dam upstream of Lincoln near Turkey Creek Golf Course. When the Hemphill Dam is retrofitted for fish passage, salmon and steelhead with then be able to reach the NID Gold Hill Dam two miles upstream from Gold Hill Road.
Much is happening and with each addition, salmon and steelhead can swim and spawn farther up Auburn Ravine.

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