That it is being expanded is very good news, from Lake County News.
SACRAMENTO – The Department of Water Resources has secured final state and federal approval for a project that will expand a migration corridor for fish to the Yolo Bypass, the Sacramento Valley’s main floodplain.
The project is part of the largest floodplain restoration action on the West Coast and demonstrates a commitment by DWR, the State Water Contractors, and the Bureau of Reclamation to protect native fish in California, while safeguarding agriculture.
The project aligns with Gov. Gavin Newsom’s recent executive order calling for a water resilience portfolio that creates a suite of actions to secure healthy waterways and ecological function through the 21st century.
The project, formally entitled the Yolo Bypass Salmonid Habitat Restoration and Fish Passage Project, will enhance flood plain habitat for endangered species while protecting current agricultural and flood management uses of the bypass.
“This is the quintessential multi-benefit project,” said DWR Director Karla Nemeth. “It improves fish survival and habitat while preserving the Yolo Bypass as a vital hub for agriculture and flood protection. We look forward to working with the region’s landowners on this win-win project for people, farms, and fish.”
The approximately $190 million project will construct a two-way fish passage gateway at the head of the Fremont Weir, a 1.8-mile concrete wall that provides flood protection to Sacramento and surrounding communities.
The 100-foot-wide gateway, or “big notch,” will open each winter, allowing juvenile salmon to move from the Sacramento River onto the floodplain and then back into the Sacramento River at Cache Slough.
Providing fish access to the food-rich floodplain will expand survival rates for native fish on their migratory journey to the Pacific Ocean.
The project will also allow adult salmon, steelhead, and sturgeon to more easily access the Sacramento River from the bypass.
“California’s threatened fish species are the result of a water and flood system built before people understood how rivers worked or how fish used them,” said Jacob Katz, senior scientist with California Trout. “This first-of-its-kind, multi-benefit project integrates a 21st century scientific understanding of fish and rivers into water management and allows baby fish onto floodplain wetlands to grow, and adults to re-enter the Sacramento River to spawn. It’s a win-win-win for fish, farms and flood control.”