December 30, 2016 – The United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) is seeking public comment for a habitat restoration project on the Lower Yuba River in Yuba and Nevada counties. The purpose of the project is to increase the spawning success and enhance juvenile rearing of the Central Valley spring-run Chinook salmon evolutionarily significant unit (ESU) (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha).

The proposed project, funded by USFWS through the Anadromous Fish Restoration Program, would also benefit the Central Valley steelhead distinct population segment (DPS) (Oncorhynchus mykiss) and the Central Valley fall run Chinook salmon ESU (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha).

The current condition of the project site inhibits the natural meander of the river and reduces the quality of salmon spawning habitat. The proposed topographic manipulation and spawning gravel replenishment activities would increase the quality and availability of spawning areas for salmonids by providing increased areas with spawning gravels within the appropriate size range (and by removing shot-rock); increasing availability of spawning habitat; improving gravel permeability and water quality; and decreasing the likelihood of redd (nest) superimposition.

The proposed project has been developed in cooperation with willing landowners. The proposed project is located on the Yuba River immediately downstream of Englebright Dam on the western slope of the Sierra Nevada mountain range, approximately 11 miles west of Grass Valley, California. The project site extends into two counties, Yuba and Nevada, generally separated by the Yuba River.

For the environmental analysis, the USFWS is seeking public input to assist them in identifying issues regarding the proposed project. The Environmental Assessment/Initial Study document can be found online here:

Please submit your written comments by January 31, 2017 to Elizabeth Campbell, USFWS, 850 S. Guild Avenue, Suite 105, Lodi, CA  95240-3188. For additional information, please call (209) 403-1344.

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