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Battle Creek Salmon and Steelhead Restoration Project

During 2011, the Region advanced the Battle Creek Salmon and Steelhead Restoration Project, which is among the largest cold-water anadromous fish restoration projects in North America. The project is an effort to increase threatened and endangered Chinook salmon and Central Valley steelhead trout populations by restoring about 48 miles of habitat — 42 miles in Battle Creek and another six miles in its tributaries, while maintaining renewable energy production at the Battle Creek Hydroelectric Project, owned and operated by the Pacific Gas and Electric Company.

Restoration, begun in 2010 and scheduled for completion in 2015, is being accomplished in three phases, primarily through the removal of five diversion dams, placement of screens and ladders on three other diversion dams, and increasing stream flows, all within Tehama and Shasta counties in Northern California.
The following is a progress report on phases of the project:

Fish Returning to Battle Creek

Reclamation and its partners in the Battle Creek restoration project announced in November 2011 that larger numbers of threatened Chinook salmon have returned to spawn upstream in newly restored habitat on North Fork Battle Creek. The development signifies that the goal of increasing anadromous fish populations is already starting to be achieved as work continues on the overall project.

Fish monitoring reports in fall 2011 showed more than four times the number of spring-run Chinook salmon redds (nests) were seen further upstream in North Fork Battle Creek, above where Wildcat Diversion Dam once stood, than in previous years. In the past decade, an average of about 7 percent of the redds were upstream of the dam. In 2011, 33 percent of the redds were upstream of the former dam site.

Via a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), signed in June 1999, Reclamation, the National Marine Fisheries Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the California Department of Fish and Game (DFG) and PG&E initiated work on the project. In addition to the MOU partners, the project has been developed in collaboration with various resource agencies, including the California Wildlife Conservation Board (WCB), and in conjunction with participation from the public, stakeholders, and landowners, including the Greater Battle Creek Watershed Working Group and the Battle Creek Watershed Conservancy.

The project is being supported with federal, state and private funding. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, the CALFED Bay-Delta Program, and the Iron Mountain Mine Trustee Council are contributing federal funds; the DFG, the WCB, and the California Department of Transportation are contributing state funds; and the Packard Foundation (via The Nature Conservancy) is contributing private funds. Additional state funding is anticipated from the California Department of Water Resources. PG&E is contributing in the form of foregone energy generation, voluntarily pursuing amendments to the Battle Creek Hydroelectric Project’s federal energy generation license, and transferring certain water rights to DFG.

More information: http://www.usbr.gov/mp/battlecreek/

interactive image:  photo - New Fish screen and ladder structure adjacent to the existing Eagle Canyon; click for larger photo
Shows new fish screen and ladder structure adjacent to the existing Eagle Canyon Diversion Dam
interactive image:  photo - crews work on stairs and a walkway that provides access to the facility; click for larger photo
Crews work on stairs and a walkway that provide access to the facility

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

April 18, 2012