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Federal Fish Agency Reverses Direction on Army Corps’ Responsibility for Dams’ Impacts on Salmon

River conservation groups are outraged at the National Marine Fisheries Service’s (NMFS) changing its position on who is responsible for the Yuba River’s threatened salmon, steelhead trout and green sturgeon populations above several dams. South Yuba River Citizen’s League Executive Director, Caleb Dardick, says that in 2012 NMFS biological opinion stated the Army Corp of Engineers, who own Daguere Point Dam and Englebright Dam, were responsible for the fishes habitat and provided mitigation efforts that could help the fish populations grow. On May 12 of this year, the NMFS reversed its decision.
Click here to listen to Caleb Dardick

NMFS’ new biological opinion concerning Daguerre Point Dam, and concurrence letter concerning Englebright Dam, delete many important mitigation measures required in previous biological opinions for the dams.
Click here to listen to Caleb Dardick

NMFS released its new biological opinion for Daguerre on May 12th as well as a letter concurringĀ  with the Corps’ assessment that the only activities at Englebright the Corps has discretion over are cleaning portable toilets and maintaining the campgrounds and boat ramps.

Executive Director of Friends of the River, Eric Wesselman, says, “Basically, NMFS is giving the Corps a free pass to ignore Englebright and Daguerre’s adverse impacts on threatened fish species.”

In 2011, fewer than 5,000 spring Chinook returned to the Central Valley, a reduction of over 99% from historical levels of over 600,000 returning to their natal streams each year.

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