Drought could make salmon fishing conditions even worse

They also said they don’t think there were more than just a few fish in the water.

October is typically the most active time of year for salmon fishing, but that activity has slowed to a trickle because of the ongoing drought — and it could be about to get worse.

The Bureau of Reclamation last week reduced water flows into the river in an effort to store what little water remains at Folsom Lake. Less water typically means warmer water, and anglers say it has gotten too warm for the fish.

“We’ve been up and down the river, all the spots that we fish, they’re so low, you can’t even fish them,” said Rodney Durrett, who had his fishing line in the water at Sailor Bar Park. “We’re talking like, 6 inches of water, where we should have 2 feet of water. I mean, it’s kind of sad.”

The flow was reduced from 800 cubic feet per second to 700 in late September, then ultimately to 600 on Oct. 1, said Shane Hunt, a spokesman for the bureau, and, it might be reduced even further, Hunt said.

He said the agency is keeping a close eye on water temperature changes.

More at KCRA.com >>>



Emergency drought measures move forward at Folsom Lake

Plastic pipes that will go over Folsom Dam and connect to pump barges were rolled out Thursday as the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation continues to work on a temporary emergency floating pump system.

The floating pump system will be used if water levels at Folsom Lake drop below the city’s regular intake. The bureau said this system is an insurance policy.

The barges would pump water through 10 18-inch diameter pipes, each a quarter of a mile long, to a pipeline that provides water to the city of Folsom. The barges, which were built on site, will be rolled out within the week.

More at KCRA.com 



Livestock to aid fire prevention on American River Parkway

Livestock soon will be grazing in the American River Parkway as part of an effort to reduce vegetation that could fuel fires.

In response to the drought and increasing damage from fires along the parkway, Sacramento County’s Department of Regional Parks announced that grazing animals will be added to the fuel reduction program, beginning in Discovery Park.

More at SacBee.com >>>



Migration takes turkey vulture flocks through Auburn area

With wingspans of six feet prominent in the clear early fall sky, turkey vultures are paying their annual migratory visit to Auburn.

On their way from areas in an around Washington State to final wintering destinations as far south as Brazil and Argentina, the majestic birds typically hunker down in the evenings in the American River Canyon and then take off in a swirl of feathers and flight to soar farther southward.

This year, the birds have flocked to Auburn in the hundreds, according to counts taken over the past week, mostly from a lookout knoll at Overlook Park in Auburn.

Deren Ross, an  Auburn birdwatcher, has been one of the group of spotters scanning the skies above Auburn from the Pacific Avenue park perch in late morning to count the vultures.

The count was up to 950 winged visitors by Tuesday, with 500 migrant turkey vultures spotted on Monday and  400 on Sunday. That was up from 40 on Saturday and another down day on Tuesday with no “kettles” of birds circling skyward and then taking off to the south.

Watchers spotted several vultures on Tuesday morning’s vigil but no confirmed migrants. Ross said that the skyway takes vultures through the Sacramento Valley and then left at the Sutter Buttes to move through Auburn for the turn south into the Sierra and toward Central America.

More at AuburnJournal.com >>>



Rangers enforce burning ban along American River Parkway

Sacramento County park rangers have started using a new enforcement tool to crack down on illegal camping, hoping to prevent grass fires along the American River Parkway.

Starting Thursday, rangers are confiscating barbeques, grills and propane tanks — any incendiary device generating an open flame.

The new ban on burning comes after the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors, led by Supervisor Phil Serna, adopted an urgency ordinance on Tuesday, making it a misdemeanor to generate campfires on the American River Parkway.

The only exceptions are designated picnic areas at county parks. Sgt. A.J. Bennett found his first illegal campfire today within three minutes of beginning his patrol, with KCRA 3 riding along.

Five homeless campers received citations and lost their barbeque grill.

More at KCRA.com >>>



Online petition drums up support for ending Sacramento’s camping ban

An online petition to halt an anti-camping ordinance that mostly affects Sacramento city homeless residents had gathered 77 signatures and counting by Sunday evening, four days after its release.

The campaign was launched by the Sacramento Regional Coalition to End Homelessness, which called for an immediate moratorium on the local law until a separate plan to build 1,500 rapid rehousing units for homeless people was completed.

That won’t happen right away. The rehousing units are one component of a downtown housing initiative the Sacramento City Council approved last month. The initiative calls for 10,000 new housing units to be built in the central downtown corridor over the next 10 years. Sixty percent of those would be sold or rented at market rate, 25 percent intended for working class residents and the remaining 15 percent to immediately house those without shelter.

The rabid rehousing strategy has been gaining steam in numerous cities, and employs a housing-first model that connects unsheltered individuals with whatever services they need once they are housed.

In a release announcing the petition drive, the Sacramento Regional Coalition to End Homelessness, or SRCEH, cited two shifts in national policy to make its case for suspending the city’s camping prohibition on non-recreational campers, a.k.a. people with nowhere else to go.

More at NewsReview.com



No permit, no barbecuing along American River Parkway

Sacramento County supervisors have approved an ordinance that will make it a misdemeanor to start and use a fire in any regional park without a permit.

The goal of the new ordinance is to prevent fires sparked by barbecues from occurring in regional parks, including along the American River Parkway.

People will still be able to barbecue in designated picnic areas.

More than 50 wildfires have broken out in Sacramento County Regional Parks since May, most of them along the American River Parkway.

“Fires in the American River Parkway are an immediate threat to public safety,” said Sacramento County Supervisor Phil Serna. “The goal of this ordinance is to protect everyone who uses the Parkway, the neighborhoods surrounding it, and the public safety personnel who respond to the fires.”

The ordinance will go into effect immediately.

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Cooling Systems At American River Hatchery Providing Adequate Temperatures For Fish Kill Survivors

California Department of Fish and Wildlife / Courtesy

After the death of 155,000 fingerlings of the Eagle Lake Trout species this week, three of the four cooling units required to keep baby trout alive at the American River Fish Hatchery are working again.

The units shut down when sediment from a Bureau of Reclamation pipe at Lake Natoma clogged the hatchery’s filtration system Tuesday.

Andrew Hughan with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife says the system is working well enough to keep the surviving 40,000 alive.

“Both of the chilling plants are back up on line and one of the water circulation plants is back up on line. The water is running  consistently at 65 degrees from a high of 71, which is pretty dramatic for fish. We are hoping to have the second heat exchange plant back up and we’re trying to get the water down to 55.”

Hughan says the department will re-stock lakes and rivers in California with this species of trout, but in smaller numbers than previously planned.

More at CapRadio.org >>>



Sacramento County takes aim at illegal camping, homelessness

The recent rash of brush fires raging across the American River Parkway triggered a strong response Thursday from the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors.

The county is spending about $700,000 to tackle the duel problems of illegal camping and homelessness along the parkway, long considered to be Sacramento’s urban jewel.

“To me, given the tinder-dry conditions on the parkway, the fuel loads out there — combined with the ignition sources or illegal camps — it’s a recipe for disaster,” said Phil Serna, chair of the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors.

As KCRA 3 reported, the American River Parkway has been the site of 34 fires since Memorial Day — many of them very near homeless camps.

Serna championed the relief package today that includes $216,850 for three additional park rangers, along with $101,237 for additional patrol resources at the Mather Regional Park/Dry Creek Parkway Patrol. The county will also spend $121,412 for Mather Regional Park Preserve Fencing and $55,000 for a homeless navigator.

“The navigator is the front-line person that brings them in to our system and ultimately into that housing,” said Ryan Loofbourrow, executive director for Sacramento Steps Forward.

The new funding also includes $160,000 for winter sanctuary housing for the homeless — money to help religious organizations find shelter for those in need. But the long-term goal is permanent housing.

“It does in fact keep people off the street and help them start to rebuild their lives,” said Maya Wallace, external affairs director for Sacramento Steps Forward.

On any given night there are between 200 and 300 people illegally camping on the American River Parkway, officials said.

One of them is Angel Tejeda, who is four-months pregnant.

More at KCRA.com >>>



Gold Miners Rescued via Helicopter near Lake Tahoe

Two gold miners were rescued via helicopter from the rugged wilderness near Lake Tahoe Wednesday, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Three friends had gone panning for gold Tuesday in the Sawtooth Ridge area, near the north fork of the American River, the Placer County Sheriff’s Office said. One man returned to camp early, leaving the other two at the river.

The next day, investigators say the man was unable to contact his friends, Denny McCloud and Denny Jr.

More at Fox40.com >>>