Feather River Salmon Spawning Restoration Project

– So the project that’s going on right now is a Salmon Spawning
Gravel Restoration Project, just downstream of the
Feather River Fish Hatchery. So what we’re doing is
replacing 5,000 cubic yards of salmon spawning gravel
into the Feather River. This material is related
to a project we did back in 2014, where we
did a similar project with 8,300 cubic yards of spawning gravel. And at the end of that project, we stockpiled another 5,000
cubic yards up on the bank, knowing that we would have a need for it in the future, at some point. So this gravel’s placed in the river. During high flow events,
it migrates downstream. It’s pushed downstream
with the high flows. So the gravel that was here in 2014, a lot of that has moved downstream now, and is now laying on spawning areas further downstream from this location. So we have that stockpiled,
and the material is being placed in dump trucks. It’s being cleaned up
there at the stockpile, or sprayed, at least,
trying to get some of the dirt off of the rocks. And it’s being placed with an
excavator into dump trucks. The dump trucks are driving
out into the river channel, unloading their material, and then we have a bulldozer that’s in the river channel, that’s pushing it out to the proper depth. We have biologists out
here on site right now, that are directing where
the gravel is to be placed, and how deep it needs to be placed. All of the heavy equipment
that’s going in the river has had its hydraulic fluid
replaced with vegetable oil, and that’s just a precaution in case there was a hydraulic leak of some kind, it wouldn’t place any of the vegetable oil in the river channel. We have a variety of
environmental requirements and protections that we need to implement, and that’s just one of many. Another component of this project is there’s a side channel out on the river bar on the other side, that was filled in with gravel, so we’re gonna be excavating that gravel out as well, to reestablish
that side channel. It’s called Moe’s Side Channel. It’s a very popular place
for salmon spawning. This project benefits
Chinook salmon and steelhead, and we have the hatchery right next door. The hatchery produces eight
million salmon every year, and about 450,000 steelhead. But what’s nice about this project is it’s producing
naturally-produced salmon. These are wild fish that are
being produced by this project. So I’m very pleased to
do this project going on. It’s come about faster than any project of this magnitude that I’ve ever done. Our director had decided
back in the late spring, to go ahead and go
forward with this project. So we put it together very quickly, working with our state and
federal regulatory agencies. They partnered with us to help get this thing off the ground, so I’m very happy to see it going on.

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