Yreka Fish and Wildlife Office
Pacific Southwest Region
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National Fish Passage Program
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's National Fish Passage Program is a voluntary, non-regulatory program that provides funding and technical assistance toward removing or bypassing barriers to fish movement.

3Throughout the United States, millions of culverts, dikes, water diversions, dams and other artificial barriers were constructed to impound and redirect water -- all changing natural features of rivers and streams. Many dams are obsolete and no longer serve their original purpose. Culverts that funnel water beneath roads and train tracks often pose insurmountable barriers to fish. Barriers prevent natural fish migrations, keeping them from important habitats for spawning and growth. As a result, some populations of native fish are gone and others are in serious decline.
Fort Goff Creek culvert. Photo by Karuk Tribe

The National Fish Passage Program is implemented in the lower Basin by the Yreka Fish and Wildlife Office (Yreka FWO). Our goals are to remove or modify barriers currently blocking anadromous fish access to important spawning and rearing areas, and to improve existing in-stream structures (such as agricultural irrigation diversions) to improve passage at those sites. We depend on good will and solid working relationships with private landowners, community-minded organizations, and State and Federal agencies and Tribes to develop and implement fish passage projects.

Yreka FWO Fish Passage Projects
The Yreka FWO has developed and implemented a large number of National Fish Passage projects over the past several years. We have assisted with small projects, such as the removal of small culverts on a tributary stream, to large diversion structure modification and removal projects. We have also participated in multiple stakeholder teams, especially on the large-scale projects. Other projects we have supported include the installation or modification of fish screens to reduce fish mortality due to water diversion structures. The Yreka FWO is always looking for partners to help with this work. Here are examples of projects that we have completed.

Shasta Water Association Dam Demobilization and Water Quality Improvements Project
Historically, the Shasta River was an important salmon-producing tributary of the Klamath River in northern California. Populations of Chinook salmon, coho salmon and steelhead trout have greatly declined in the Shasta River due to habitat problems in the Shasta and parts of the main-stem 4Klamath River. Barriers that block migration of young salmon are one of these problems. The Shasta Water Association dam was built in 1910 to facilitate the diversion of water for irrigation. The dam became a significant fish passage barrier, restricting fish passage during the irrigation season. Also, the water impounded by the dam was low in oxygen and too warm for salmon and trout. The Shasta Water Association partnered with Yreka FWO’s Partners for Fish and Wildlife program and the National Fish Passage Program, the Shasta Valley Resource Conservation District, and other State and Federal agencies to remove the dam and replace it with two rock weirs. The weirs allow year-round fish passage for all life stages of fish while backing up enough water for the Association to divert their legal water right. As a result, the Partners and National Fish Passage Programs helped re-connect 29 miles of habitat year round above the dam on the Shasta River. Shasta Water Association Dam prior to
removal (in winter). Photo by Jennifer Silveira,
USFWS

Klamath River Fish Screen
The Yreka FWO provided funding for this project to increase survival of juvenile Chinook and coho salmon, and steelhead trout by preventing entrainment at a diversion on the Klamath River. The area of the Klamath River affected by the diversion is an important migratory corridor for coho 5salmon, Chinook salmon, steelhead, and other species of anadromous fish. The site is located downstream from Iron Gate Hatchery, which annually releases millions of salmon fry that also migrate through this area of the river. Yreka FWO’s National Fish Passage Program funded the purchase of a conical, self-cleaning fish screen and removal of the existing, poorly-functioning screen. We partnered with California Department of Fish and Game, which funded the site preparation and installation of the new screen.

New self-cleaning fish screen. Photo by Shasta Valley RCD.

Who to contact?
Any of Yreka FWO’s Habitat Restoration Staff can assist with project funding through the Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program or you can contact the Yreka Fish and Wildlife Office at 1829 South Oregon Street, Yreka CA 96097; or you may contact the front office at 530-842-5763.