Grass Valley, Calif. December 28, 2016 – The Nevada Irrigation District has been awarded a planning grant from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife to study alternatives for the Auburn Ravine-Hemphill diversion near Lincoln in Placer County.
Auburn Ravine is part of a network of streams that flow to the Feather River, and NID operates a water diversion structure that may be a partial fish migration barrier at the Hemphill site. The Hemphill Canal was built by NID in 1935 and the structure diverts water for use in NID’s Placer County water distribution system.
Federal, state, and regional agencies have identified Auburn Ravine as a significant fish resource. The purpose of the project is to identify diversion alternatives in order to increase habitat for native anadromous species, including steelhead trout and chinook salmon. Current water management practices have provided greater cold water habitat to benefit salmonid in the region and have the potential to support higher levels after ecosystem improvement.
The Hemphill Diversion is located three miles upstream from a successful fish passage improvement project completed by NID and project partners in 2011, which resulted in a significant increase in salmon populations above the development after the first full migration season.
NID and project partners are assessing migration barriers and alternatives on Auburn Ravine, and this grant will assist with implementation of Phase 2 of the District’s ongoing efforts to support supplying connectivity within the stream system.