Category Archives: Salmon

Lack of rainfall signals driest season since 1976-77

The water-supply picture for Placer County is growing grimmer.

While a Pacific Gas & Electric Co. official has briefed the Placer County Water Agency’s board about conditions that could signal one of the driest years since records have been kept, water providers remain hopeful that precipitation to replenish reservoirs will provide a March – or even April – miracle.

Dave Ward, PG&E partnership coordinator, said that as of Thursday, seasonal precipitation across the Sierra Nevada was 42.6 percent of average. Seasonal precipitation is measured between July 1 and June 30.

“This year is barely above 1976-77,” Ward said. “If the current pattern continues, it could be the sixth or seventh driest year in 117 years of record-keeping.”

PG&E is also currently projecting that less than half of normal runoff will occur on the Yuba River and American River watersheds. As the season continues and warmer weather moves in, there will be less opportunity for snowpack to build up water reserves.

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Auburn Ravine salmon restoration effort aims for Auburn

The goal is clear: To allow salmon to move upstream along the Auburn Ravine to spawn at two Auburn city parks.

But for Save Auburn Ravine Salmon and Steelhead President Jack Sanchez, what looks like a quixotic quest to some can be done with determination and cooperation.

Sanchez outlined the organization’s movement toward the ultimate goal of spawning salmon turning the Auburn Ravine shades of gold and red on a future fall day.

The Nevada Irrigation District has been working to retrofit two dams – Hemphill and Gold Hill – before salmon can reach Wise Powerhouse, at the corner of Ophir and Wise roads in Ophir, just outside Auburn city limits.

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Effie Yeaw to hold speaker series on Sacramento’s natural wonders

The Effie Yeaw Nature Center along the American River is launching a new speaker series in January to illuminate the region’s natural wonders.The six-speaker series begins Jan. 20 with a presentation on venomous bites and stings.

Each event costs $5 per person, or $25 for all six. Space is limited and registration is required.

The first speaker is Mike Cardwell, an expert on venomous snakes and bite treatment. He’ll discuss California’s only dangerous native snake, the Northern Pacific rattlesnake, how to avoid bites, appropriate first-aid, and common myths about venomous snakes.

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50 years of protecting the American River Parkway

The Save the American River Parkway Association celebrated its 50th anniversary this month and received a resolution from the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors honoring its accomplishments over the past five decades.

“We commend the work that a whole host of folks (at the association) have done in providing a strong voice for a precious resource,” Supervisor Don Nottoli said Tuesday as he presented the resolution.

The Save the American River Association is a volunteer, nonprofit group of more than 600 members and a Board of Directors that started in 1961 to develop the American River Parkway and to create a plan to maintain it.

The 23-mile American River Parkway hosts more than 5 million visitors each year for fishing, boating and rafting on the water – and picnicking, golfing and paved walking and bicycling trails for land lovers.

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Outbound Escapes: A fly fishing talk; a salmon watching spot

Fish fanciers take note: The salmon ladder at the Nimbus Fish Hatchery opened Nov. 1, signaling the official start of the spawning season on the Sacramento River.

Nimbus is one of three state-run hatcheries in the Central Valley that will take approximately 38 million eggs from salmon over the next two months in order to produce 24 million Chinook salmon for release next spring.

Nimbus has a viewing area where visitors may watch the spawning process and a playground where kids and adults may enjoy replicas of giant salmon.

The center, located at 2001 Nimbus Road, Suite F, Gold River, is open from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekends every day except Christmas. Raceways (fish-rearing ponds) are open from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily. Opening time may vary during spawning season.

For more information, go to

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Salmon run to be on display as Nimbus fish ladder opens

The fish ladder at Nimbus Hatchery on the American River is expected to open for the season Tuesday, giving visitors a chance to witness a resurgent fall salmon run.

Visitors are likely to see a strong fall chinook salmon run at the hatchery for the first time in four years. Fishermen are enjoying the first full salmon season since 2007. Anglers are crowding both the American and Sacramento rivers for the chance to catch a king salmon, which typically return to spawn in their freshwater birthplace after three years in the ocean.

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Hundreds Voice Outrage Over Possible Plan For New Flood Operation Center

The building could be built on the American River next to the Nimbus Fish Hatchery.The federal and state government is studying three different locations for a new flood operation center that would house three state and federal agencies, the Department of Water Resources, the Bureau of Reclamation, and the National Weather Service.

The proposed site is the Nimbus Fish Hatchery and two alternative sites are Mather Airport and near the intersection of Sunrise and Killgore in Rancho Cordova.

The size of the proposed center is 200,000 square feet.

Hundreds of concerned residents are angry the government would even consider building such a large structure so close to the river and the bike trail.

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Sacramento foodie’s cookbook will drive locavores wild

Are you the type of person who fishes shad out of the Sacramento River and who treks along the American River to forage for blackberries, fennel, miner’s lettuce and all sorts of other goodies? Do you go down to Napa to shoot wild turkeys grown fat on thieved grapes from the vineyards or crawl into Dixon to blow away a few quail for dinner?

Local food writer Hank Shaw is best known for his food blog Hunter Angler Gardener Cook (, where he chronicles his gourmet approach to wild food. Shaw has recently come out with a new book. Hunt, Gather, Cook: Finding the Forgotten Feast (Rodale, $25.99) is the must read for the hunter/fisher/forager and all-around foodie.

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Impact report available for Nimbus Hatchery fish ladder project

The final environmental impact report on the Nimbus Hatchery Fish Passage Project has been released by the federal Bureau of Reclamation and California Department of Fish and Game for public review.

The agencies propose to extend the fish ladder from the hatchery to the Nimbus Dam stilling basin, using the basin itself to hold and divert fish to the ladder.

Under this proposal, the existing weir would be permanently removed and the Department of Fish and Game would recommend changes in local fishing regulations to the California Fish and Game Commission, according to a news release.

The Nimbus Fish Hatchery is along the lower American River, a quarter-mile downstream from Nimbus Dam.

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River flows below Nimbus Dam to decrease for work on fish weir

Flows in the American River below Nimbus Dam will be decreased Tuesday and Wednesday for maintenance and installation of a fish weir structure at the Nimbus Fish Hatchery in Rancho Cordova.

The federal Bureau of Reclamation announced that flows will be temporarily decreased from 3,500 cubic feet per second to as low as 1,000 cfs to perform maintenance and prepare the hatchery weir foundation for installation of the weir’s super structure.

Working hours will be from approximately 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day. The bureau will increase flows at 4 p.m. Tuesday to 2,500 cfs and at 4 p.m. Wednesday, to 3,500 cfs. If necessary, maintenance flows could extend into Thursday, according to a bureau news release.

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