Increased Water Flows from Whiskeytown Dam Hope to Help Salmon Populations on Clear Creek

The Bureau of Reclamation initiated a series of water releases from Whiskeytown Dam into Clear Creek, commencing Wednesday night. Dubbed ‘pulse flows,’ these releases are scheduled to occur rapidly until Friday, reaching a peak flow rate of 840 cubic feet per second.

The objective behind these releases, according to the Bureau of Reclamation, is to enhance habitats for Clear Creek’s fish population by rearranging rocks and sand, thereby increasing their chances of migrating to the Pacific Ocean.

Recent environmental challenges such as the Carr Fire and California’s prolonged drought have adversely impacted Clear Creek’s ecosystem, particularly its chinook salmon population. There has been a stark decline in the number of chinook salmon returning to Clear Creek, with only about 1,000 observed in 2023 compared to a record 20,000 in 2021.

With improved water conditions and habitat restoration efforts, wildlife officials hope a rebound in salmon populations could be anticipated in the coming years.

While pulse flows are underway, water levels will rise, and currents will intensify in Clear Creek. As a precautionary measure, Rupert advised visitors to exercise caution when navigating or accessing areas near Clear Creek during this period.

Active NorCal

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