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CDFW Information | Testing Underway for Pilot Undertaking to Return Endangered Salmon to Their Historic Habitat


Testing Underway for Pilot Undertaking to Return Endangered Salmon to Their Historic Habitat

Assortment System Would Assist Restore Salmon Populations in McCloud River Above Shasta Reservoir

** Information Launch Issued Collectively by the California Division of Water Assets, the California Division of Fish and Wildlife, NOAA Fisheries, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the USDA Forest Service and the Bureau of Reclamation **

State and federal biologists and engineers, in partnership with the Winnemem Wintu Tribe, have begun testing an experimental system in Shasta Reservoir that would assist acquire younger salmon from the McCloud River in future years.

The Juvenile Salmonid Assortment System, a pilot undertaking three years within the making, is a part of a long-term effort to assist fish higher survive California’s hotter, drier future and extra excessive droughts. The gathering system will float within the McCloud River arm of the reservoir and information chilly water towards a group level, with this chilly water flowing down from the Shasta Trinity Nationwide Forest. The preliminary testing, which can run from September to mid-November, is not going to contain salmon however will use temperature and hydraulic measurements to evaluate the operation and efficiency of the gathering system.

If profitable, the system will probably be examined in future years with salmon to find out its efficacy and if it may be a crucial a part of winter-run salmon reintroduction. Biologists count on that juvenile salmon will comply with the colder water to that assortment level, the place they are often retrieved and transported downstream across the dam to proceed their migration to the ocean.

Restoration plans name for returning endangered Chinook salmon to their authentic spawning grounds within the chilly McCloud River above Shasta Reservoir, the place the fish might higher survive drought and local weather change. Juvenile salmon hatched within the river should be collected as they migrate downstream however earlier than they enter the reservoir that’s house to hotter waters and potential predators.

“That is an modern and essential undertaking that comes at a crucial time for endangered winter-run Chinook salmon,” mentioned Scott Rumsey, Appearing Regional Administrator for NOAA Fisheries West Coast Area. “Whereas we’ll want a couple of years to maneuver this forward, we’ve no time to waste in making ready this native California species for the rising challenges of local weather change.”

Reintroduction efforts attempt to reestablish endangered winter-run salmon in colder, high-elevation rivers the place they as soon as spawned earlier than reservoirs blocked their migration. This is able to enhance their resilience to a altering local weather and will enable for extra flexibility in managing water within the Sacramento River.

An essential part of the undertaking has been the dedication of state, federal, and regional authorities to Tribal engagement. Strategic efforts and planning have been enhanced with the assist and dedication to creating a partnership with the Winnemem Wintu Tribe. The participation of the Winnemem Wintu Tribe brings distinctive views and incorporates Tribal data to the undertaking.

“DWR is worked up concerning the sturdy state, federal, and Tribal partnerships which can be starting to check the Juvenile Salmon Assortment System,” mentioned Karla Nemeth, DWR Director. “This crew effort is crucial in supporting salmon and their adaptation to our climate-driven hotter, drier future.”

The testing of the system would require intermittent restricted entry for boats within the McCloud Arm of the reservoir. DWR and contractor employees will probably be on web site, and the system could also be repositioned as reservoir ranges decline within the fall. Rachel Birkey, Forest Supervisor on the Shasta-Trinity Nationwide Forest shared that, “we’re proud to affix on this collective effort and share the power of the nationwide forest to contribute chilly water flowing within the efforts to assist safeguard this imperiled species.”

“This actually is a monumental step for securing a future for this imperiled, iconic California species,” mentioned Charlton H. Bonham, Director of the California Division of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW). “This is step one in creating the infrastructure crucial to attach winter-run Chinook salmon within the Sacramento River with that ideally suited, cold-water spawning and rearing habitat within the McCloud River. We’re eagerly anticipating the testing of this technique.”

The testing of the gathering system is a separate effort from the switch of about 40,000 winter-run eggs from the Livingston Stone Nationwide Fish Hatchery to the McCloud River, the place they incubated all through the summer time. That effort, supported by the Winnemem Wintu Tribe, CDFW, NOAA Fisheries, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), was an pressing response to the extreme drought and can enhance the salmon’s odds of survival this yr.

“Returning winter-run Chinook salmon to their authentic spawning grounds within the McCloud River has all the time been a part of the plan to get well the species, however now local weather change is accelerating the urgency of this motion,” mentioned Paul Souza, Pacific Southwest Regional Director for the USFWS. “We’re grateful to have devoted companions standing with us to check out this modern expertise and assist this endangered salmon survive.”

“Winter-run Chinook salmon are an essential species for the Central Valley Undertaking, and we fastidiously handle water temperatures to guard the final naturally-spawning inhabitants beneath Keswick Dam on the Sacramento River,” mentioned Ernest Conant, director of the Bureau of Reclamation’s California-Nice Basin Area. “Now we have been capable of assist inhabitants resiliency and this reintroduction effort via our funding of the operation of the Livingston-Stone Nationwide Fish Hatchery and within the Battle Creek Restoration Program. We look ahead to the day NOAA Fisheries can add a McCloud River inhabitants to these on the Sacramento River.”

Picture courtesy of the California Division of Water Assets.


Media Contact;
Peter Tira, CDFW Communications, (916) 215-3858


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