Fishing, Conservation, Tribal Interests Concerned About Proposed Raising Of Shasta Dam

As Shasta Lake’s once dismally low, drought-affected water level have since been rejuvenated with plenty of water for houseboating and fishing, but as a new push has been introduced to raise Shasta Dam – previous calls for such a project have been rejected – the fishing and conservation communities are opposing the idea.

USFWS Photo/Steve Martarano

Here’s more from the Sacramento Bee from earlier this week on the latest push to raise the dam, which would be of most benefit to Central Valley farmers, while being potentially devastating to the McCloud River’s wild trout fishery and potential salmon runs:

A Shasta Dam raise would need to address the concerns of various groups and stakeholders. The California Wild and Scenic Rivers Act protects the McCloud River and its wild trout fishery, which could be affected by raising the Shasta Dam. The act prevented the state group from helping the Bureau. Several years later, the Bureau is still without local aid.

“There have been no recent actions to accelerate or progress the project given the lack of funding to support the project and therefore no updated information has been developed,” Tara Jane Campbell Miranda, a spokeswoman for the agency, wrote in response to questions about the project…

The Winnemem Wintu have been working for decades to bring salmon back to their breeding grounds and would like a passageway for the fish to swim upstream. Humans right now have to carry eggs to the McCloud River. “Survival of the salmon is the same as the survival of the tribe,” Sisk said. Instead of raising the dam, Sisk said, the government should try to deepen the reservoir by removing sediment build up at the bottom.