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Fish Need Help

The California Department of Fish and Game and several fishery groups petitioned for mitigation measures on PG&E's DeSabla Centerville Project #803 in the late 1970's and early 80's. They got almost nothing! In the early 90's DFG and Fish and wildlife Service requested flows up to the natural inflow of Butte Creek below Centerville head dam. FERC only required PG&E to increase the minimum flow release to 40 cfs and still the fish responded like nobody would have believed. Just add water! Now that the spring run salmon have demonstrated their resiliency, protections need to be established to ensure the maximum survival. Here is a list of mitigations from those documents that should be required by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

  1. PG&E to construct a fish ladder at Centerville Head Dam.
  2. Flow below Centerville head dam in the low-flow reach up to a maximum of the natural inflow of Butte Creek to maintain a temperature of 19 C at the Helltown Bridge.
  3. PG&E to pay for the cost of taking eggs and rearing 72,500 native Butte Creek yearling spring run salmon annually.
  4. PG&E to pay for the cost of taking eggs and rearing 50,000 native Butte Creek yearling steelhead annually.
  5. PG&E will screen diversions to prevent entrainment of juvenile trout/steelhead.
  6. Canals and other waters not accessible by anadromous fish will be maintained unlined and stocked.
  7. Staged drawdown of canals with notification of the Department and the public.

Please send letters to FERC at the address belowasking that they help restore the Butte Creek fishery by requiring the following mitigations for the loss of 30,000+ trout (aka steelhead) and several thousand spring run salmon. PG&E successfully negotiated their way out of any significant requirements to mitigate these losses. The fish have suffered to this day.

In addition, flows, temperature and dissolved oxygen need to be monitored in all anadromous fish holding, spawning and rearing areas to maintain the fish in good condition. Canals may be used to rear the above mentioned native Butte Creek salmon and steelhead for planting in the stream.

Please send your comments to:

Office of the Secretary
Attention: George Taylor
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
888 1st St. NE
Washington, DC 20024