Metropolitan Bay Delta Committee: update on habitat and fish projects in the Yolo Bypass

Maven’s Notebook –

At the January meeting of Metropolitan’s Bay Delta Committee, Program Manager Randall Neudeck updated the committee on some of the projects and activities happening underway the Yolo Bypass.

The Yolo Bypass is located just west of the city of Sacramento on the west  side of the Sacramento River.  The Sacramento River and Feather River flow down from the north with the confluence just north of Sacramento.  The Yolo Bypass is shown in green; right now, it’s about 60,000 acres mainly used for agriculture, mostly in rice production.

The Department of Water Resources has an easement to flood that area, so there is a set of weirs throughout the system.  Mr. Neudeck explained that weirs are just engineered low points on levees so that during the high flow periods, water will go over the weirs and into the bypass rather than flowing uncontrolled into urban areas downstream.

“During high flows, water will overtop the weirs and water will come down and start filling up the bypass,” he said.  “In 2017, over 400,000 cfs went down that bypass because the river can only hold 100,000 cfs, so altogether that would have been 500,000 cfs – almost a million acre-feet a day flowing through the Delta for a two week period.”

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