Wednesday August 16, 2023

Record Net

Disaster has again struck Butte Creek, a tributary of the Sacramento River that has seen a number of die-offs of endangered spring-run Chinook salmon in recent years, including a fish kill of an estimated 19,773 out of  21,580 salmon before they were able to spawn in 2021. 

The waters of the creek flowed a yellowish brown and orange color from the Sierra/Cascade foothills for 20 miles into the Sacramento Valley after a plume of sediment rushed down the hillside from a breach in a PG&E canal starting around 9 p.m. on Wednesday, August 9. 

The sediment release appeared to be dissipating at press time, but it has left an extensive layer of sediment of silt and clay throughout the creek bed. In fact, local farmers shut off diversions because they didn’t want the water going into their fields.  

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