Trump Administration awards $40 million for Sacramento River salmon habitat improvements

Media Contact: Mary Lee Knecht, 916-978-5100, mknecht@usbr.gov

For Release: October 28, 2020

Side channel habitat restoration in progress along the Sacramento River
Side channel habitat restoration in progress along the Sacramento River
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The Bureau of Reclamation announces the selection of four funding award recipients to implement $40 million in salmon habitat improvement projects along the Sacramento River. The restoration projects will enhance and improve spawning and rearing habitat for salmon at approximately 25 different locations across 132 river miles.

Each award is for approximately $10 million over a five-year period. Elements of the salmon habitat improvement projects include gravel and coarse sediment additions, side channel and floodplain restoration and enhancement, woody material and boulder additions and riparian plantings. Project locations are along the Sacramento River from Keswick Dam down to the Feather River confluence.

“Reclamation is pleased to make these awards and draw on the expertise of our partners to carry out this important restoration work on the Sacramento River,” said Reclamation Regional Director Ernest Conant. “Our water operations along the Sacramento River are closely intertwined with the health of Chinook salmon populations. We are committed to the restoration actions laid out in our current operating plan to help restore, maintain and improve rearing and spawning habitat.”

The recipients selected by Reclamation through a competitive process are:

Glenn-Colusa Irrigation District $9,999,423 Glenn-Colusa Irrigation District, on behalf of the Sacramento River Settlement Contractors, will implement seven habitat restoration activities to help restore, maintain, and improve Sacramento River salmon rearing habitat. The projects include increasing access to rearing habitat and implementing habitat restoration activities.

Reclamation District 108 $9,999,495 Reclamation District 108, on behalf of the Sacramento River Settlement Contractors, will implement seven projects to help restore, maintain, and improve Sacramento River salmon spawning habitat. Project elements include gravel augmentation along the Sacramento River and side channel restoration activities.

River Partners $9,999,968 River Partners, a non-profit organization, will improve spawning and rearing habitat for salmon at six individual project locations along the Sacramento River. Each project will restore side channels, floodplains and spawning habitats to improve adult spawning and juvenile rearing habitat.

Chico State Enterprises $9,999,997 Chico State Enterprises, an auxiliary organization of California State University Chico, will restore 47.3 acres of juvenile salmon habitat and 4.3 acres of spawning habitat along the Sacramento River near the Battle Creek confluence.

“On behalf of the Sacramento River Settlement Contractors, we are elated that Reclamation selected us to implement these projects which have been identified in Central Valley Project Improvement Act workplans,” said Thaddeus Bettner, Glenn-Colusa Irrigation District general manager. “This effort will expand on projects we have been doing since 2014 and are vital to Sacramento River salmon spawning and rearing habitat. With more restoration projects completed the last several years, we continue to see larger populations of out-migrating juvenile fish, and this investment by Reclamation will continue to improve on that trend.”

“Reclamation 108, on behalf of the Sacramento River Settlement Contractors, is proud to partner with the Bureau of Reclamation and fellow recipients to continue the important restoration work we have been carrying out on the Sacramento River,” said Lewis Bair, Reclamation 108 general manager. “The work on the upper Sacramento River along with the teamwork advancing floodplain restoration on the lower Sacramento River provide salmon with a promising future.”

Susan Strachan, project manager for the CSU Chico Geographical Information Center and Jane Dolan, executive director of the Sacramento River Forum stated, “We are so thankful for our partnership with Reclamation and our state, local and nonprofit collaborators who make these projects successful. We look forward to implementing more habitat restoration and a robust monitoring program for the benefit of Chinook salmon and steelhead on the Upper Sacramento River.”

“For decades, River Partners has worked with many conservation partners to recover wildlife habitat for the benefit of people and the environment along the Sacramento River,” said River Partners President Julie Rentner. “This investment from Reclamation represents a tremendous opportunity to improve habitat conditions for dwindling Chinook salmon populations and realize the goals of the Central Valley Project Improvement Act for water users, Sacramento Valley communities, endangered freshwater ecosystems, and millions of Californians.”

The projects are being implemented in accordance with the Central Valley Project Improvement Act and the 2019 Biological Opinions for the Coordinated Operation of the Central Valley Project and State Water Project.

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