Gravel Deliveries for the American River Gravel Augmentation Project Get Underway at Sailor Bar

Media Contact: Jeffrey McCracken, 916-978-5100

For Release: December 12, 2007

The Bureau of Reclamation, in cooperation with the Sacramento Area Water Forum, plans to add gravel in the lower American River between Nimbus Dam and Sailor Bar and at the Upper Sunrise Recreation Area for Chinook salmon and steelhead trout spawning and rearing purposes.  In addition, side channels may be created to increase in-river spawning for both species.  Funding for the project is provided through the Central Valley Project Improvement Act, Section 3406(b)(13) (Spawning Gravel).  The work will be performed in phases during the next 5-years to allow for best spawning bed development

The project will first stockpile the gravel on dry land for placement into the river beginning in summer of 2008.  Trucks will begin delivering loads of gravel to the north side of the American River at Sailor Bar on Monday, December 17, 2007.  Deliveries are scheduled for Monday through Friday only, between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. No work is scheduled on weekends or holidays.  About 290 truck loads of gravel will be delivered at a rate of approximately 30 to 40 dump-truck loads each day. 

The portion of the American River with the highest abundance of adult salmon and steelhead is the 2-mile reach immediately below Nimbus Dam.  This portion of the river lacks enough high-quality spawning habitat for all fish in the area to spawn.  The fish repeatedly spawn in the same locations, destroying the eggs of the earlier spawning fish.  Appropriate-sized gravel is required in order for Chinook salmon and steelhead to reproduce.  Up to 50,000 cubic yards of gravel will be added to the river during the next 5 years. 

For additional information, please call or e-mail Mr. John Hannon, Fisheries Biologist, at 916-978-5524, or

# # #

Reclamation is the largest wholesale water supplier and the second largest producer of hydroelectric power in the United States, with operations and facilities in the 17 Western States. Its facilities also provide substantial flood control, recreation, and fish and wildlife benefits. Visit our website at and follow us on Twitter @USBR.