Thursday February 23, 2023

Monterey Herald

Among the homes and businesses severely damaged by flooding along the Carmel River on Jan. 9 was a critical steelhead trout facility protecting the endangered fish that have suffered because of over-pumping of the river to provide drinking water for the Monterey Peninsula.

Operated by the Monterey Peninsula Water Management District, the Sleepy Hollow Steelhead Rearing Facility in Carmel Valley was designed in the early 1990s and came online in 1996 to rescue federally listed endangered steelhead trout that have been cut off from upstream spawning grounds. The over-pumping has turned parts of the river into ponds that trap the steelhead.

In a recent report by District Environmental Resources Manager Thomas Christensen and District Engineer Larry Hampson, the damage to the facility from last month’s flooding is estimated to be about $250,000. The emergency funding will come out of a reserve account and the district will later seek reimbursement from state and federal agencies as well as insurance.

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