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http://www.siskiyoudaily.com/articles/2006/07/06/news/agriculture/doc44ac3f7aadb9c526582963.txt

32 fish screens on Scott River

July 6, 2006

 
 

ETNA Members of the Wildlife Conservation Board, California Dept. of Fish and Game, Siskiyou Resource Conservation District and local farmers and ranchers were on hand to dedicate 32 fish screens on the Scott River on June 14.

The event was held at the John Spencer Ranch in Etna where the French Creek tributary enters the Scott River.

The newly installed screens are intended to protect thousands of juvenile coho and Chinook salmon who routinely find a way to stay in the river and irrigation ditches in the area, rather than making their way back to the ocean.

The project included the installation of headgates, diversion improvements and fish screens on property belonging to 20 landowners along the Scott River.

Local ranchers hope that the installation of the screens will resolve ongoing conflicts between the agriculture community and the needs of threatened or endangered fish.

Estimated cost of the project was in excess of $560,000 and was funded by the Wildlife Conservation Board.

 
 

Thus far, the program has been responsible for the installation of more than 50 screens and the Department of Fish and Game has added another 30 screens to the system.

More than 20 years ago, Scott Valley farmers began conservation efforts on their own property in an effort to enhance riparian areas and improve in-stream structures to prevent fish passage.

The first screen was installed in 2002 as a supplement to ongoing efforts by the California Dept. of Fish and Game to protect salmon that travel through the Klamath Basin.

The long term cost statewide for completion of recovery efforts for California salmon has been estimated at in excess of $5 billion, including $466 million earmarked for the Scott and Shasta River watersheds in Siskiyou county. .

Siskiyou County farmers and ranches in the Scott River watershed are being praised for their long term stewardship on their own land, even though more action remains necessary in the future to complete the project.


 

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