Thursday November 19, 2015

The Union Democrat –

Two hundred years ago, before there were any dams in the Stanislaus, Tuolumne and Merced watersheds, hundreds of thousands of salmon and other migrating fish teemed in the open, unrestrained rivers.

On the Stanislaus River, chinook salmon and steelhead trout ranged as far east and up in the mountains to just below where Beardsley Dam is now. Today, they only get as far as Goodwin Dam, above Knights Ferry, 40 miles downstream.

On the Tuolumne River, salmon and steelhead climbed the river high in the mountains to points east of Groveland. Today, they make it as far as La Grange Dam, below Don Pedro Reservoir, about 30 miles downstream.

On the Merced River, migrating fish swam and jumped upstream as far as El Portal near the entrance to Yosemite National Park. Today, they can get to Crocker Diversion Dam east of Snelling, 40 miles downstream.

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