Salmon reclamation project gets boost

Chico Enterprise Record

Salmon jump near the fish barrier dam near the Feather River Fish Hatchery in Oroville, Calif. Thurs. Sept. 13, 2018. (Bill Husa — Enterprise-Record)

by Chico Enterprise Record, November 19, 2020

Nearly five years ago, a Chico State research team led by Mandy Banet, an aquatic ecologist in the Department of Biological Sciences, joined a multi-agency project funded by a $16.9 million grant to re-establish juvenile salmon and salmonid habitats along the Sacramento River.

Recently, Chico State Enterprises received a $10 million grant from the United States Bureau of Reclamation over five years to help restore 47.3 acres of juvenile salmon habitat and 4.3 acres of spawning habitat along the upper Sacramento River.

Susan Strachan of the Chico State Geographical Information Center is the project manager. Project partners are the Sacramento River Forum, the California Department of Water Resources, River Partners, the Yurok Tribe, Tussing Ecological Sciences and the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission.

This new round of funding will continue the program that has been developed pursuant to a scientific advisory group while adding a component to assess the occupancy and residency time of the restored habitats by juvenile salmon.

“As the data continues to develop, the program will be working with design engineers on a feedback loop that documents the project elements being utilized by the juvenile salmon so that designs can maximize their potential for success,” Strachan said in a press release.

The restoration projects follow a workflow that includes project identification, reconnaissance, planning and design, construction and monitoring. There have been seven projects completed so far, three currently underway and one scheduled in 2021, the final year of the existing funding agreement.

“The timeline to develop these projects and get them ready for implementation is typically one to two years, so other sites are in the queue with tasks such as botanical assessments, surveying and pre-project monitoring completed,” Strachan said in a press release. “A break in funding can mean that the projects are delayed and lose momentum.”

See the original article in the Chico Enterprise Record.