Monday, March 31, 2008


Dam Removal on California's Battle Creek could help reverse our recent west coast USA salmon crisis

Creek restoration to improve salmon spawning habitat to begin in 2009.

Restoration of Battle Creek (Shasta & Tehama County California USA) may eventually contribute to recovery of Sacramento River salmon and steelhead populations. Removal of some dams and addition of fish ladders on some remaining dams will help wild salmon to access more miles of creek that contain prime spawning habitat. Mary Marshall, Project Manager of the Battle Creek Restoration Project at US Bureau of Reclamation, said via email "Currently it is planned for implementation to begin on North Fork Battle Creek in Spring of 2009. It would take approximately until the end of 2010 to complete the North Fork work, which includes placing a screen and ladder on two dams and removing one dam. At this point it is not known when work on South Fork Battle Creek will begin."

Additional restoration in the California Delta is also needed to enable fish to survive.

For too long California's water policies have neglected the needs of fish, other wildlife and the fishermen that depend upon them. Water quality improvements and habitat restoration is needed in the California Delta to enable the salmon that hatch in Battle Creek to migrate down the river, survive the journey through the California Delta and reach the ocean. Delta Smelt is another endangered fish species in the California Delta. "Scientists believe a variety of factors have contributed to the smelt's decline, including excessive water exports from the Delta to Southern California, water pollution, and invasive species that outcompete smelt for food." (Scientists breed smelt) These same factors may also contribute to the salmon crisis that is forcing the salmon fishing season to be reduced or cancelled this year on the west coast USA.

Battle Creek is also a great place for whitewater kayaking.

Battle Creek is undoubtedly some of the best whitewater in California that has never been described in any printed river guidebook. As we approach the project start dates I will try to keep up-to-date and post updates on whether or not the construction will impact access to Battle Creek for kayaking, water flows through the whitewater sections, etc.

For more information:
Battle Creek Directory - Recreation & Conservation. (30 websites)
California River Conservation & Water Supply Policy.
Scientists breed smelt in case species becomes extinct in Delta - Sacramento Bee 31mar2008.

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