Floodplain Salmon Habitat Credit Development

Floodplain Salmon Habitat Credit Development

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Project Goal:

Develop on-farm water management practices that benefit native fish species and the aquatic ecosystems on which they depend for use in agriculture conservation incentive programs.

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Project Stages



Estimated Completion Date:


Project Funders

California Rice Commission 

Water Foundation

Fish Affected:

Project Description

We are working with multiple partners to develop practice standards for winter water management in Sacramento Valley rice fields that produce benefits for fish, birds and agriculture or, as we like to say, “fins, feathers and farms”. We are integrating our scientific understanding of floodplain food web productivity, fish habitat needs, water management and agricultural practices into a set of methods that the programs like the federal Natural Resource Conservation Service or the California Office of Environmental Farming and Innovation can use in their payment incentive programs. We are working with Audubon, Ducks Unlimited, Point Blue Conservation, the California Rice Commission and other groups to create a multi-species “fins and feathers” practice standard that combines bird habitat work with a “fish food” practice to drain floodplain-derived fish food from farms on the “dry side” levees to fish populations stuck in food-starved leveed river channels.

Project Partners:

California Rice Commission 

U.C. Davis Center for Watershed Sciences


Reclamation District 108

River Garden Farms

Knaggs Ranch

Davis Ranches 

Audubon California