Anytime you can move salmon further upriver into creeks where they traditionally spawn, without threatening water storage or flood control, it is a very good thing.
This story from the Sacramento Bee reports on a new fish ladder project that is working very well doing just that.
“A new fish ladder on Auburn Ravine in Placer County is proving its value for salmon returning from the ocean to spawn.
“Biologists with the California Department of Fish and Game say 150 fall-run chinook salmon have surmounted the ladder near Lincoln in the past three weeks. Officials have also counted 13 spawning sites, or redds, in the gravel creekbed upstream of the ladder.
“That ladder is a godsend and it is working very well,” said John Rabe, a board member of Save Auburn Ravine Salmon and Steelhead, a nonprofit that has worked for more than three years to restore salmon in the creek. “It really exceeds anything we had dreamed of in our wildest dreams.”
“Auburn Ravine is one of hundreds of small Sacramento River tributaries that once hosted salmon runs. Today, the creek enters the Sacramento River via the Natomas Cross Canal, a flood-control channel. It then winds for miles through small farms and suburbs outside Sacramento, Roseville and Lincoln, finally reaching the Sierra Nevada foothills near Auburn.
“The creek in recent years has been blocked by numerous small agricultural dams which, by law, must be removed in the fall for fish passage. This obligation has not always been met. Rabe’s group has helped educate landowners about clearing these barriers each year.”