Friday, September 21, 2012

What Has Been Accomplished Returning Salmon and Steelhead to Auburn Ravine in Placer County, CA


Working with many individuals, agencies and groups, SARSAS has overseen Salmon reaching Turkey Creek Golf Course where another NID dam is in the planning for a fish ladder and screen over the canal or complete removal.

Getting salmon some twenty-two miles up the Auburn Ravine started with NOAA Special Agent Don Tanner working with SARSAS personnel to meet with dam owners to remind them dams must be removed no later than September 15 each year and stay down until April 15 so the Fall salmon run would have access to spawning grounds.

South Sutter Water District was able to raise funds to install a fish screen over the Pleasant Grove Canal, about six miles downstream from Lincoln.  This screen should be installed by the beginning of 2013 and, when installed,  should prevent up to 90% of anadromous fishes returning to the  Pacific from being entrained in the Canal.  That means a very large percentage of Auburn Ravine smolt will be able to successfully reach the Sacramento River and swim to the Pacific.

NOAA Agent Tanner and SARSAS personnel met with the owners of the following dams and the owners agreed to comply to the September 15-April 15 dam removal: the Coppin, Davis, Tom Glenn, Lincoln Ranch Duck Club,  Aitken Ranch, Moore, Nelson Lane and the Lincoln Gauging Station.  The Scheiber Dam was removed.

Nevada Irrigation District is currently installing a fish ladder over the Lincoln Gauging Station, located  a quarter mile downstream from Highway 65, making it possible for salmon to swim two miles above Lincoln where they will encounter NID's Hemphill Dam, which is currently in the planning stage of being addressed.  The Lincoln Gauging Station fish ladder construction will begin September of 2011 and be completed in  October.

Before salmon can reach Wise Powerhouse, located one mile downstream from Auburn, NID must complete work on the Hemphill Dam and the largest dam on the Auburn Ravine, the Gold Diversion Dam and its Canal. 

Once these two dams are addressed, salmon can then reach the richest spawning grounds on the Auburn Ravine.  Auburn Ravine, according to a fish count done by California Department of Fish and Game in 2005, has an average of 7,000 salmonids per mile, making it one of the richest streams in
Northern California.

Once SARSAS finishes getting salmon to Auburn, it will focus its attention of Coon Creek and get the salmon at least to Hidden Falls Regional Park near

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