Farmers Helping Fish

 

FD and CDFW Group Photo

From left to right: Jennifer Bull (CDFW), Lindsay Magranet (Siskiyou RCD), Preston Harris (Scott River Water Trust), Jeff Fowle (Farmers Ditch Company), Gary Curtis (CDFW), Chris Adams (CDFW)

Scott Valley – 2014 is an extraordinary year. We are experiencing an extreme drought and have had a record number of Coho Salmon spawn in our system. Due to drought conditions, the spawning occurred in the main stem of the Scott River, since there was not enough fall and winter runoff for the salmon to reach the systems tributaries. Record low snow pack, ranging from 4% – 12% of average, has resulted in extremely diminished surface flows, which are dropping at a rate never seen before. To further complicate the situation, salmon from other systems spawned in the Scott River, all the way into late March.

In an effort to try and keep sufficient flows in the main stem, to allow the late spawning eggs to emerge, allow for the 1+ salmon to migrate to the Klamath and the fry to migrate into the tributaries, members of the Farmer’s Ditch Company have put their surface right back in the Scott River to help augment flows. This was a voluntary and collaborative effort between the farmers, the Scott River Water Trust and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

 

Preston and FD

Preston Harris, Executive Director, Scott River Water Trust

 

“We recognize the importance of having as many salmon survive this extraordinary year, not only for our system, but others throughout California, where the salmon were not able to enter due to lack of precipitation and resulting low flows,” said Gareth Plank.

The collaboration between the farmers, the Trust and the Department will keep sufficient flows through a critical reach of the Scott River, for a longer period of time, allowing for natural migration and reduce the need for fish trapping and relocation. Additionally, it will keep eggs wet, in reds from the late spring, to hopefully allow for more hatching and live fry.

The Scott River had over 3000 coho salmon spawn this year, resulting in a potential of 4 million fry.

  1. May 5, 2014 at 5:23 AM

    Inspired from the story. Thank you!

  2. May 8, 2014 at 7:52 PM

    Great work and a great article. Thanks. I’ll be reading Common Sense AG from now on.
    John Brennan
    Hammond Ranch

    Siskiyou Land Trust too

  1. May 3, 2014 at 5:01 PM

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