Fremont Weir Fish Passage Groundbreaking On Wednesday

Fremont Weir photo by user Brthomas/Wikimedia

The Fremont Weir fish passage project, which is being designed to help Sacramento River-area native species like salmon get through the Yolo Bypass along the Sacramento River, will be holding a groundbreaking ceremony on Wednesday on the border of Sutter and Yolo Counties. Here’s more from the Marysville Daily Democrat:

The Fremont Weir Adult Fish Passage Modification Project restores an important migration corridor for native fish species and fulfills requirements set forth in the 2009 National Marine Fisheries Service’s Biological Opinion, according to Niki woodard, of the Department of Water Resources.

It also is the first of six California EcoRestore projects that will break ground this year. EcoRestore is a multi-agency effort to restore 30,000 acres of habitat in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

The event will be held at 9:30 a.m. The Weir is located on the west side of the Sacramento River and can be reached by taking County Road 117 north. There will be directional signs along the road.

Event speakers include California Natural Resources Secretary John Laird, California Department of Water Resources Director Karla Nemeth, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation Regional Director for the Mid-Pacific Region David Murillo, NOAA Regional Administrator, West Coast Region, Barry Thom; Yolo County Supervisor Jim Provenza and American Rivers Director of Conservation for California Flood Management John Cain

Partial demolition of the current fish ladder has already begun and continued construction will be put on hold during the ceremony.

The Yolo Bypass is a critical part of the state’s flood control system that conveys flood waters from major valley rivers including the American, Sacramento, and Feather. The Bypass also is a migration corridor for special status fish species such as adult Chinook salmon, steelhead, and green sturgeon.

Here’s the official release from conservation group American Rivers:

American Rivers and partners will celebrate a critical flood protection and habitat improvement project in the Yolo Bypass on Wednesday, May 30.

 

The groundbreaking of the Fremont Weir Adult Fish Passage Modification Project is an opportunity to highlight multi-benefit solutions that provide flood protection, improve water quality, water supply reliability, create recreational opportunities, and restore habitat for fish and wildlife.

 

“When we invest in natural infrastructure that can be sustained by natural processes, people and wildlife reap the benefits,” said John Cain, Director of Conservation for California Flood Management at American Rivers.

 

“The Fremont Weir project is the first in a series of multi-benefit projects across the Central Valley and Delta that are designed to reduce flood risk and improve fish and wildlife habitat,” said Cain.

 

“These are exactly the kind of climate resiliency investments we need nationwide to better protect us from the impacts of drought, flood, and rising sea levels,” he said.

The Yolo Bypass is a critical part of California’s flood management system.  It was designed in the early twentieth century to route flood waters away from Sacramento. It plays a crucial role in keeping people and property safe during heavy rains and rapid snowmelt. The bypass is also a migration corridor for fish such as adult Chinook salmon, steelhead and green sturgeon. During dry periods, the bypass is used for farming, recreation, education and as a wildlife refuge. 

The 2017 Central Valley Flood Protection Plan calls for expanding the Yolo Bypass and creating a new bypass on the Lower San Joaquin River at Paradise Cut to safely accommodate the larger floods that we expect as the climate changes. The Department of Water Resources recently released a Draft EIR for the lower Elkhorn Basin Project to widen the Yolo Bypass immediately north of Sacramento. The project will lower flood stage and improve habitat for fish and birds.

The project at the Fremont Weir will allow adult salmon, steelhead and sturgeon to more easily move through the bypass to spawn in upstream rivers and allow juveniles to move downstream toward the ocean. The project is expected to be completed in late 2018.

EVENT DETAILS:

When: Wednesday, May 30, 2018 at 9:30 a.m.

Where: Fremont Weir, Yolo County. Directional signs along the road will guide you.

Who: Event speakers include:

* California Natural Resources Secretary John Laird

* California Department of Water Resources Director Karla Nemeth

* U.S. Bureau of Reclamation Regional Director for the Mid-Pacific Region David Murillo

* NOAA Regional Administrator, West Coast Region, Barry Thom

* Yolo County Supervisor Jim Provenza

* American Rivers Director of Conservation for California Flood Management, John Cain

 

 

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