Thursday, March 23, 2017

Yuba Reservoir Update

Here's an update on the possible treatment of Yuba Reservoir from Chris Crockett, Central Region Aquatics Manager:

Good afternoon, I wanted to give everyone a quick update on progress at Yuba.

1.  Biowest was awarded the contract to fulfill the Yuba Rotenone Environmental Assessment (EA) in early February.  The purpose of an EA is to ensure that decision makers consider the environmental impacts when deciding whether or not to proceed with a project in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act.  Compliance with NEPA is required for consideration of funding from federal agencies.  Part of the assessment will include the compilation and evaluation of public comment.   Biowest has been diligently working through the EA process and are currently distributing a scoping notice (see attached).  I encourage you to provide comments (whether positive or negative) via the contact information provided on the notice.  The media outlets to be included are being finalized but will include local newspapers, angling groups, etc. Our goal is to have the EA complete by the end of July 2017.

2.  Mike Slater and I met with Jim Walker, the Lower Sevier River Commissioner, on February 8 to discuss anticipated water levels at Yuba in 2017.  The meeting was very informative and helped us better understand the typical sequence of drawdown.  Based on anticipated snow levels and water availability we don't expect Yuba Reservoir to drop below 15% volume this year (our highest volume where treatment is still feasible).  We plan to meet with Jim again in April to conduct a second evaluation based on updated reservoir volume and snow levels to estimate fall drawdown.  We have also submitted an enhancement (funding request) to help cover a portion of treatment costs.    

3.  Numerous volunteers assisted us in the collection of Northern Pike to benefit the state's Tiger Muskie program.  We were able to capture over 150 individuals.  Several of the NP captured were released back into Yuba once the eggs were stripped, some were retained in the Lee Kay Hatchery to establish a captive brood and some were used for disease certification purposes to assure no diseases or pathogens were found or are being transferred from Yuba to the hatchery or other waters.  We now have approximately 3,095,802 Tiger Muskie eggs incubating in the hatchery system. Thanks to Mike Slater for organizing the event and all those that participated.

Sincerely, Chris Crockett

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