Marysville, Calif. September 6, 2016. A habitat restoration project being planned for the lower Yuba River could help increase populations of Chinook salmon and steelhead trout, which are listed as threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act. With funding from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), the Hallwood Side Channel and Floodplain Restoration Project would transform barren lands in the Yuba Goldfields into habitats beneficial for these fish and other wildlife species.
“The lower Yuba is an important spawning and rearing location for Central Valley salmon and steelhead,” says USFWS biologist Beth Campbell. “The Hallwood Project has the potential to significantly expand this habitat by reconnecting the river to part of its historical floodplain.”
The proposed project site is located on the lower Yuba River near Marysville, on land owned by Teichert Materials and Western Aggregates. The project provides an opportunity for a historic collaboration between the mining industry and advocates for river restoration.
“We have the potential to enhance or create up to 170 acres of seasonally-inundated floodplain habitats, and miles of new side channels,” says Dr. Chris Hammersmark of cbec eco engineering, a consulting firm working with USFWS to design and manage the restoration project. “These will be critical habitats for juvenile fish before they migrate to the ocean.”
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The project team, which also includes Cramer Fish Sciences and the South Yuba River Citizens League, will host an informational public meeting about the project for local residents and regional stakeholders. The meeting will be held at the Hallwood Women’s Club (2629 Highway 20), from 6:00 to 7:30 pm, on September 8th.
Topics covered during the public meeting will include the project’s goals and objectives, design concepts, and potential ways for the public to get involved with the project.
“If you are a local landowner or resident, or are simply interested in the project, your contribution is important and much appreciated,” says Dr. Hammersmark.