Restoring the Yuba River

Guest post by Steve Rothert, American Rivers’ California Field Office Director

The fight to restore the Yuba River and restore salmon and steelhead runs to the upper Yuba has entered a new phase.  The Yuba County Water Agency recently started the process to obtain a new operating license from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for its New Bullard’s Bar Dam. The relicensing efforts are a great oppotunity to also   get salmon past the first dam on the Yuba, Englebright Dam, and we are working closely with local partners like the South Yuba River Citizens League (SYRCL) in that goal.

American Rivers’ hydropower program has used the FERC relicensing opportunity to leverage important restoration actions across the country, including removing dams on the Penobscot River in Maine and, most recently, on the Klamath where we just reached an agreement with PacifiCorp to remove their four dams.   

The Yuba River has one of the last wild populations of spring run Chinook salmon in California, and getting them back up into their home waters will be critical to help them adapt to climate change.

Watch a video of a Yuba River salmon below Englebright Dam.