Wednesday November 2, 2022

NOAA Fisheries

State and federal biologists and engineers, in partnership with the Winnemem Wintu Tribe, have begun testing an experimental system in Shasta Reservoir. It could help collect young salmon from the McCloud River in future years and return them to their historic habitat.

The Juvenile Salmonid Collection System is a pilot project 6 years in the making. It is part of a long-term effort to help fish better survive California’s hotter, drier future and more extreme droughts. The collection system will float in the McCloud River arm of the reservoir and guide cold water toward a collection point. This cold water flows down from the Shasta-Trinity National Forest. The initial testing is running from September to mid-November. It will not involve salmon but will use temperature and hydraulic measurements to assess the operation and performance of the collection system.

If successful, the system will be tested in future years with salmon to determine its efficacy and if it can be a critical part of winter-run salmon reintroduction. Biologists expect that juvenile salmon will follow the colder water to that collection point. They can be retrieved there and transported downstream around the dam to continue their migration to the ocean.

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