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:
- Phase 1A: With the removal of Wildcat Diversion Dam in 2010, about 15 miles of stream habitat was restored for Chinook salmon and Central Valley steelhead trout. The majority of fish screen and ladder construction was completed on the North Battle Creek Feeder and Eagle Canyon Diversion Dams in 2011. (Upon full completion in 2012-13, an additional nine miles of stream habitat will be restored. Asbury-Baldwin Creek barrier weir design efforts proceeded in 2011 and construction is scheduled to begin in late 2012, thereby completing all of Phase 1A by the end of 2013 and restoring 25 miles of stream habitat.)
- Phase 1B: Construction of the Inskip Powerhouse discharge outlet and a bypass to Coleman Canal on the South Fork of Battle Creek (to prevent mixing of north and south fork waters) continued throughout 2011. Phase 1B construction is expected to be completed by the end of 2012.
- Phase 2: Agreements to receive funding from the state of California for the final phase were drafted and reviewed in 2011. The funding will support the installation of a fish screen and ladder on Inskip Diversion Dam, installation of a South Powerhouse discharge outlet connector, and removal of Lower Ripley Creek Feeder, Soap Creek Feeder, and Coleman and South Diversion Dams. Phase 2 construction is scheduled to occur from 2013 to 2015. Upon completion of Phase 2, 23 more miles of stream habitat will have been restored.
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/
Shows new fish screen and ladder structure adjacent to the existing Eagle Canyon Diversion Dam
Crews work on stairs and a walkway that provide access to the facility
April 18, 2012