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Mid-Pacific Region
Sacramento, Calif.
Media Contact:
Pete Lucero, MP Region Public Affairs Officer
916-978-5100

Released On: July 01, 2013

Reclamation Releases Environmental Documents for Operations and Maintenance Funding for the San Joaquin River Restoration Program’s Interim San Joaquin Salmon Conservation and Research Facility

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The Bureau of Reclamation today released a Draft Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact to fund operations and maintenance of the Interim San Joaquin Salmon Conservation and Research Facility by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

The Interim Facility is a pilot-scale hatchery facility adjacent to the San Joaquin River Fish Hatchery, about one mile downstream of Friant Dam, in the town of Friant in Fresno County. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is coordinating with the National Marine Fisheries Service for  enhancement of species permits to begin establishing a spring-run population to be reintroduced into the San Joaquin River.

The applications described specific procedures to be followed by USFWS during reintroduction of spring-run Chinook salmon to the San Joaquin River. Artificial propagation was an essential component of USFWS’s reintroduction approach, described in the applications, due to the status of spring-run Chinook salmon and the limited availability of donor fish from other populations in the Central Valley. The applications identified the Interim Facility and the future full-scale San Joaquin Salmon Conservation and Research Facility as the primary captive rearing facilities for spring-run Chinook salmon. 

Operations and maintenance of the Interim Facility will include the development and maintenance of a genetically diverse brood stock of spring-run Chinook salmon, and potentially fall run Chinook salmon. CDFW will also operate the Interim Facility to conduct and support research that furthers conservation of the Chinook salmon species in the San Joaquin River Restoration Program Restoration Area. The Interim Facility is intended to operate as a conservation facility, differing from conventional hatcheries in that it is managed to maximize genetic diversity of its captive brood stock. CDFW will operate and maintain the Interim Facility until the full-scale Conservation Facility is operational.

The Draft EA and FONSI were prepared in accordance with requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act and are available at http://www.usbr.gov/mp/nepa/nepa_projdetails.cfm?Project_ID=14161 and on the SJRRP website at www.restoresjr.net. If you encounter problems accessing the documents online, please call 916-978-5100 or email mppublicaffairs@usbr.gov.

The Draft EA and FONSI are also available for viewing Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., at Reclamation’s SJRRP Office, 2800 Cottage Way, Room W-1727, in Sacramento, and at Reclamation’s South-Central California Area Office, 1243 N Street, in Fresno.

Written comments are due by 5 p.m., Wednesday, July 31, 2013, and should be sent to Erin Rice, Natural Resources Specialist, 2800 Cottage Way, MP-170, Sacramento, CA 95825 or faxed to 916-978-5469. To request a compact disk containing the documents, please contact Margaret Gidding at 916-978-5461 or mgidding@usbr.gov.

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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 www.usbr.gov.