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Fish screens to protect coho salmon in Scott River dedicated
Program to be
operated by the Siskiyou RCD
ETNA — State and local wildlife officials
dedicated a series of 32 fish screens along the
Scott River on Wednesday.
The Wildlife Conservation Board (WCB), California Department of Fish and Game (DFG)
and Siskiyou Resource Conservation District (SQRCD) held the ceremony at at a diversion site along the river’s French Creek tributary near Etna. The WCB funded the fish screen program, designed to protect the threatened coho salmon with screens, head gates, diversion and riparian improvements on the properties of 20 private landowners, through a $565,741 grant.
“This program will help solve the ongoing
conflicts between the needs of threatened and
endangered species and the agricultural needs of
farmers and landowners,” said DFG Director Ryan
Broddrick. “The program’s objective to ensure
protection of thousands of juvenile anadromous fish
each year succeeds through the efforts of several
agencies and the support of landowners who recognize
the importance of such an undertaking.”
The Scott River Fish Screening Program began in 2002 and supplements the ongoing fish screening efforts of DFG and the SQRCD to protect salmon that travel through the Klamath River basin. The program fulfills the mission of both the SQRCD and the Scott River Watershed Council to improve anadromous fish populations and habitat while maintaining existing resource economies. The federal Natural Resource Conservation
Service is also involved in the program.
The Scott River Watershed is an 812-square mile drainage in extreme northern California. The headwaters reach more than 8,000 feet in elevation and stretches 70 stream miles to the Klamath River at an elevation of 1,600 feet. The main stem of the Scott River begins at the southern end of Scott Valley.
Designers of the self-cleaning fish screens ensured that they met specifications developed by DFG and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Contractors built screens along diversions on the Scott River and tributaries to the Scott River that are accessible to chinook and coho salmon, steelhead and native rainbow trout.
“Prior to the fish screen program, thousands of juvenile anadromous fish were routinely lost to the unscreened diversions. These screens prevent losses by keeping juvenile fish out of diversion ditches and returning them safely to the stream,” said SQRCD district manager Carolyn Pimentel. “With the tremendous help from the Wildlife Conservation Board, the SQRCD was able to make a significant contribution to the protection of anadromous fish in the Scott River watershed.”
Page Updated: Thursday May 07, 2009 09:14 AM Pacific
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