Upper Sacramento River Anadromous Fish Habitat Restoration Program

Purpose

The purpose of this program is to increase and improve Chinook Salmon and steelhead spawning and rearing habitat by restoring and establishing additional side-channel habitat and spawning habitat along the Sacramento River in Tehama and Shasta Counties. The declines of naturally spawned salmonid stocks is due in part to the loss of spawning and rearing habitat through reduced gravel recruitment and altered flow patterns which historically created and maintained side channel habitats. Floodplain and side channel habitats serve as important refuge and rearing areas for juvenile salmon and these habitats likely contribute substantially to the productive capacity and life history diversity of Chinook Salmon.

This effort is funded in part by the Central Valley Project Improvement Act (CVPIA).

Partners

Upper Sacramento River Anadromous Fish Habitat Restoration Program is comprised of a network of partnerships. It brings together the expertise, community connections, and implementation capacity of local, state and federal agency staff, nonprofit organizations, water districts, university faculty and graduate students, tribes, and support of willing private landowners.

The US Bureau of Reclamation, NOAA Fisheries, US Fish and Wildlife Service, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, the California Department of Water Resources - Northern Region Office, Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission, the Sacramento River Forum, California State University, Chico, Department of Biological Sciences, Geographical Information Center, the Resource Conservation District of Tehama County, River Partners, Yurok Tribe, and numerous water districts.

Completed Projects

Anderson River Park Side Channels

The Anderson River Park Side Channel project established 1.95 miles of perennially flowing side channels along the Sacramento River to provide rearing habitat for juvenile Chinook salmon. The project is within the City of Anderson in Shasta County, and was completed between 2019 and 2021.

Reading Island Side Channel

The Reading Island Side Channel project was completed in late November, 2019. It created 11,500 linear feet of suitable perennial habitat for salmon of all age classes (including endangered winter-run Chinook), steelhead and trout.

Rio Vista Side Channel

The Rio Vista Side Channel project was completed in early November, 2019. The project opened a 0.3 mile long side channel along the Sacramento River in Red Bluff, California. The channel is designed to provide provide suitable flows for juvenile Chinook salmon throughout the year. Woody debris and native plants were installed along the channel to provide habitat for salmon and other wildlife.

Lake California Side Channel

The Lake California Side Channel project was completed in December of 2017. The project modified an existing side channel to provide suitable flows for juvenile salmon throughout the year. Prior to construction the channel's flow was greatly reduced due during the winter by accumulated debris and gravel at the mouth of the channel.

Market Street South Gravel Placement

The Market Street South Gravel Placement 11,900 tons of spawning gravel was added to the river at the Market Street Bridge in Redding, California in August 2019 to provide spawning habitat for Chinook salmon.

Keswick Gravel Injections

Over 20,000 tons of spawning gravel was added to the river just below Keswick Dam in September 2019 to provide spawning habitat fro Chinook salmon. Gravel will continue to be added periodically to the river at this location.

A juvenile Spring Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) Photo courtesy of NOAA.

This program aims to increase the quality and availability of off-channel juvenile rearing habitat for all runs of Chinook in the Sacramento River.

Program components include:

  • Injecting spawning gravel into the Sacramento River to improve anadromous fish spawning habitat.
  • Reconnecting side channels to the main river to increase shelter and rearing habitat for juvenile salmonids.
  • Bank revegetation using native plants.