Fewer than 3,000 Chinook salmon return to the lower Yuba River annually, which is a 99.5% decrease from the historic population size. The poorly maintained fish ladders at Daguerre Point Dam limit their ability to access what little remains of their spawning habitat. These fish ladders are supposed to be maintained by the Army Corps of Engineers, but their efforts have been insufficient to provide adequate passage for over a decade.
As a grassroots organization dedicated to uniting the community to protect and restore the Yuba River watershed, the South Yuba River Citizens League has advocated for fish passage improvements for well over a decade. Tell the Army Corps of Engineers to prioritize cleaning the fish ladders at Daguerre Point Dam to give this imperiled species a better chance at survival by signing the letter below now.
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To: Army Corps Chief of Engineers Lieutenant General Scott A. Spellmon and Sacramento District Commander Colonel James Handura
Re: Keep the Fish Ladders at Daguerre Point Dam Clear of Debris and Functional
Dear Lieutenant General Spellmon and Colonel Handura,
Yuba River Chinook salmon need your help. The U.S. Army Corps has an opportunity to make a tangible and immediate difference for Yuba salmon by cleaning and maintaining the fish ladders at Daguerre Point Dam on the lower Yuba River in Northern California.
A meager 1% of their historic population remains, which was once robust enough to feed communities, wildlife, and the forest. Yuba salmon are suffering from the same issues that are plaguing salmon statewide – limited habitat and warming waters. SYRCL and partners have been working to restore salmon habitat in the Yuba River, but these threatened native fish still face multiple challenges in their attempts to reach their native spawning habitat.
Fish ladders at Daguerre Point Dam have long suffered from neglect and inconsistent maintenance. The result is that frequently one or both of the ladders are physically blocked with gravel and other debris, and that operations to ensure attraction flows for Chinook are not met. SYRCL and our allies have been bringing attention to this issue since 2006 and hope that the Corps will step up to ensure that both fish ladders at Daguerre Point Dam are operating properly, thereby removing the additional hurdle they pose to diminishing salmon populations.
On behalf of California’s native salmonids, and for all who want our state’s fishery restored, we respectfully request that you provide adequate funding and direction to regional staff to ensure the fish ladders at Daguerre Point Dam:
Are passable and operational during all ecologically significant periods for anadromous fish in the Yuba River.
Maintain attraction flows – the combination of water depth and velocity which are essential to signal migration timing and direction to anadromous fish to find and navigate the fish ladders at Daguerre Point Dam.
Salmon are a part of our region’s legacy and should be a part of our region’s future. Restoration on the lower Yuba aims to help salmon survive more frequent drought and rising temperatures, but we need your leadership to ensure they can access this expanded habitat and slow the consistent decline in population. Please take action to advance the restoration of salmon populations in the Yuba watershed, by prioritizing fish ladder maintenance at Daguerre Point Dam immediately.
"O to break loose, like the Chinook salmon jumping and falling back, nosing up to the impossible stone and bone-crushing waterfall."
- Robert Lowell
You can make an even bigger difference by sharing this petition with your networks via email, social media, and/or text message. Doing so will make our message even clearer: Yuba salmon need the Army Corps to do their jobs so this threatened species can make it to their spawning grounds.
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Visit our Yuba Salmon Now page to learn more about our work to protect this threatened keystone species.