Little Shasta River Flow Enhancement Project

Little Shasta River Flow Enhancement Project

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Project Goal:

Improve irrigation infrastructure on the 4,500-acre Hart Ranch and enable this key landowner to dedicate meaningful water savings back into the Little Shasta River for the benefit of salmon and other aquatic species.

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Project Stages

35% Planning and Design


100% Planning, Design, and Permitting

Post-Restoration Monitoring

Estimated Completion Date:
Fall 2023

Project Funders

CA Wildlife Conservation Board

CDFW Prop 1 Watershed Restoration Grant

North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board (319h)

Fish Affected:

Project Description

Since 2017, CalTrout has partnered with the Hart Ranch to improve flows in the Little Shasta River by updating the ranch’s irrigation infrastructure and enabling the landowners to return cold, nutrient-rich flows back instream for the benefit of wild fish. The first stage of this project, completed in early 2019, replaced the ranch’s antiquated and leaky irrigation ditches with efficient pipes and valves, allowing for more effective on-ranch water management. In 2020, CalTrout and our partners removed a diversion dam that was a complete barrier to fish passage, restoring access to pristine salmonid habitat upstream of the ranch. Next year, we will begin the final stage of this project by replacing the ranch’s open-ditched stockwater system with pipes.

Overall, this project will result in the Hart Ranch donating up to 1.5 cfs of cold, nutrient-rich water back into the Little Shasta River. Additionally, the Hart Ranch will use CA Water Code 1707 to establish the permissive dedication of their entire water right (approximately 20 cfs) for increased flow during critical salmonid life stages, such as spring out-migration. Enhancing flows at the right time of year can reconnect over 10 miles of the Little Shasta River with the mainstem Shasta, an important tributary to the Klamath.

Project Partners:







Hart Ranch

UC Davis