Friday January 20, 2023

NOAA Fisheries

California salmon are now traversing a rocky stretch of river northeast of Sacramento for the first time in a century. Until a few months ago, an 8-foot concrete dam in Auburn Ravine stopped most of them from reaching miles of cool spawning habitat. NOAA Fisheries supported the planning and removal by partners of 8-foot Hemphill Dam. It had been installed in the early 1900s to divert water into the Hemphill Canal but lacked passage for native salmon and federally listed steelhead.

“This is a true win for the native fish stocks in Auburn Ravine and the people who live in Placer County,” says Neal McIntosh, Natural Resources Management Specialist for NOAA Fisheries California Central Valley Office. “The Placer County Conservation Program has helped focus the community and partnering agencies by highlighting important projects like this one.”

According to recent stream surveys by Friends of Auburn Ravine, “Before the dam was removed no more than 10 percent of the salmon that tried to get past the dam succeeded. Now that the dam is gone, 79 percent of the fish are getting past the old dam site.”

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