Monitoring and Evaluation of the Potential Impacts of the Red Bluff Diversion Dam on Green Sturgeon
The southern distinct population segment (DPS) of the green sturgeon was listed as a threatened species by the National Marine Fisheries Service on April 7, 2006. The operation of the Red Bluff Diversion Dam (RBDD), where the gates are lowered on May 15th, results in the blockage of an unknown portion of the upstream spawning migration of this species. The portion of the spawning migration that make it upstream of the RBDD prior to gate closure have the potential to be harmed on their outmigration after spawning, as well as the outmigration of larvae and juveniles. Basic knowledge of spawning habitat, spawning behavior, life history, spatial and temporal movements of the adults and juveniles of this species is lacking for the Sacramento River system. To reliably store and deliver water to the Tehama-Colusa Canal without water conflicts and the costs associated with these conflicts, these basic biological data of this species within the Sacramento River are very much needed.
Need and Benefit
The existing operational criteria for the RBDD could have the potential to impact the existing population of the southern DPS green sturgeon resulting in violations under the Endangered Species Act, which could potentially cause water disruptions and/or reduced water deliveries to water contractors.
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