With recent rains filling reservoirs, the fate of California’s Chinook population is looking up. Shasta Lake reservoir has plenty of water waiting to be released to provide cold, clean water for spawning salmon below the dam.
Chinook will also be helped by improvements to the Central Valley’s water management. Yesterday, CalTrout, Northern California Water Association and rice farmers announced plans to improve the region’s water management system to help winter-run Chinook from running astray on their journey up the Sacramento River.
Among the improvements, state water contractors are planning to spend $8.5 million to build a bladder dam, new road, fish barrier and fish trapping facility at the Wallace Weir so that winter-run Chinook won’t get lost in the Colusa Canal. Instead, the fish will be ushered back to the Sacramento River to reach spawning areas just below Shasta Lake reservoir.
To read the full article in the Sacramento Bee click here.
The Wallace Weir project is part of CalTrout’s Central Valley Fish and Floodplains Keystone Initiative which demonstrates that water infrastructure improvements provide multiple benefits for farms and fish. By allowing fish to access and benefit from functioning floodplains, robust fisheries and self-sustaining populations of wild salmonids can once again be realized in the Central Valley.