Posted on Categories Water, WildlifeTags , , , , Leave a comment on Public Meeting on 15-Year Russian River Plan

Public Meeting on 15-Year Russian River Plan

SONOMA COUNTY WATER AGENCY
A 15-year blueprint to help restore endangered and threatened fish to the Russian River watershed, while maintaining the region’s primary water supply, is the subject of an upcoming meeting. On Friday, January 17th the Public Policy Facilitating Committee (PPFC) will meet for an annual update on the Russian River Biological Opinion (meeting details below).
The Biological Opinion was released by National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) in September 2008. This 15-year plan requires the Sonoma County Water Agency (Water Agency) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to modify Russian River water supply and flood control operations to prevent harm to endangered coho salmon and threatened steelhead trout. The PPFC – comprised of elected and appointed officials from public agencies throughout the region – meets annually to review progress.
“The Water Agency and its partners have made a lot of progress. Studies have revealed new information about how fish live in the Russian River estuary, the first mile of the six-mile Dry Creek Habitat Enhancement Project is well underway and in November, we released young coho into newly created habitat,” said PPFC Chairman Efren Carrillo, a Water Agency Director and a member of the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors. “It’s exciting to see the pieces coming together and this meeting is a chance to highlight the successes as well as understand the challenges moving forward.”
The Biological Opinion requirements include reducing minimum summertime flows in the Russian River and Dry Creek; changing the way the sandbar is breached at the estuary between May 15 and October 15; enhancing habitat in Dry Creek; and fish monitoring. Topics to be covered on January 17 include a review of a study on invertebrates that live in the estuary (a primary source of food for steelhead before they enter the ocean), the results of extensive fish surveys and the construction of large habitat enhancement projects in Dry Creek. The public will have an opportunity to comment.
Meeting Details
DATE: Friday, January 17
TIME: 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
LOCATION: Sonoma County Board of Supervisors Chambers, 575 Administration Drive, Santa Rosa
For additional information, please contact Pam Kuhn, (707) 547-1930 or pamela.kuhn@scwa.ca.gov. Learn more about the Russian River Biological Opinion at www.sonomacountywater.org/rrifr.

Posted on Categories Water, WildlifeTags , , , Leave a comment on Viewpoints: Why I’m still confused about the proposed tunnels in the Delta

Viewpoints: Why I’m still confused about the proposed tunnels in the Delta

Peter Gleick, THE SACRAMENTO BEE

I and my colleagues at the Pacific Institute have worked on California water issues for more than a quarter of a century. It is therefore no surprise that we get asked on a regular basis by friends, journalists and colleagues what we think about the efforts underway to resolve the problems of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and in particular, about the proposed massive tunnel project to divert water from the Sacramento River to the conveyance aqueducts south of the Delta.

The purpose of the Bay Delta Conservation Plan proposals, ostensibly, is to resolve the joint problems of 1. ensuring reliable water supplies south of the Delta, and 2. restoring the damaged ecosystems and fisheries damaged by the current design and operation of water infrastructure. These are supposed to be “co-equal” goals. Will the new proposals achieve this? I don’t know what to think, because I cannot get the critical information necessary to make an informed judgment. Here are some questions that should have been answered long ago:

via Viewpoints: Why I’m still confused about the proposed tunnels in the Delta – Viewpoints – The Sacramento Bee.

Posted on Categories Water, WildlifeTags , , , , Leave a comment on Feds, State, Sonoma County Break Ground on $1.8M Dry Creek Rescue Plan for Last Remaining Coho Salmon

Feds, State, Sonoma County Break Ground on $1.8M Dry Creek Rescue Plan for Last Remaining Coho Salmon

Keri Brenner, PETALUMA PATCH.COM
After more than 10 years of researching a “biological opinion” about the best way and best spot to save the last remaining coho salmon and steelhead trout in the Russian River watershed, engineers and officials on Wednesday broke ground on a pilot project along Dry Creek north of Healdsburg that they hope will do the job.
“This is the strongest and the last stronghold for this population [of fish],” said Mike Dillabough, chief of operations and readiness at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. “By recreating the habitat for the fish, they’ll be able to restore the population naturally.”
via Feds, State, Sonoma County Break Ground on $1.8M Dry Creek Rescue Plan for Last Remaining Coho Salmon – Petaluma, CA Patch.

Posted on Categories Water, WildlifeTags , , Leave a comment on Steelhead trout lose out when water is low in wine country

Steelhead trout lose out when water is low in wine country

by Sarah Yang, UC BERKELEY NEWS CENTER
The competition between farmers and fish for precious water in California is intensifying in wine country, suggests a new study by biologists at the University of California, Berkeley. Juvenile steelhead trout are hit hard when water levels are low.
The findings, published in the May issue of the journal Transactions of the American Fisheries Society, link higher death rates for threatened juvenile steelhead trout with low water levels in the summer and the amount of vineyard acreage upstream.
via Steelhead trout lose out when water is low in wine country.