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Yolo Bypass

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sutter bypass

Environmental Services

Dean Messer, Chief

3500 Industrial Blvd.
West Sacramento, CA 95691
(916) 376-9699

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 942836
Sacramento, CA 94236-0001

 

 

Yolo Bypass Links

Yolo Bypass Salmonid Habitat Restoration and Fish Passage Project




photo of weir Fremont Weir. Photo Credit: Eva Olin

Overview

The Yolo Bypass Salmonid Habitat Restoration and Fish Passage Project will improve fish passage within and through the Yolo Bypass (providing the primary structure that will improve fish passage over a wide range of high flow conditions) and will enhance up to 17,000 acres of floodplain rearing habitat for juvenile salmonids (salmon and steelhead).

The project will consist of one or more gated or passive channels in the Fremont Weir, at the northern end of the Bypass. These changes will improve the connection between the Sacramento River and the floodplain from December through March 15, when the targeted juvenile fish are in the river. The increased flow will help young salmon by enhancing natural flooding, which now occurs in about 70% of years. An increased volume of water entering the Bypass will result in a greater floodplain area. Longer flooding will allow salmon to feed in a food-rich floodplain for a longer time where they can rapidly grow to a large size, thus improving their survival to the ocean. The increased flows will be managed to avoid or minimize effects on farmers’ spring planting time.

To improve fish passage, the project will also include modification to an agricultural road crossing in the Yolo Bypass, which consists of two 36" culverts with headgates. The road crossing is located near Fremont Weir.

DWR and Reclamation are working collaboratively with area landowners and governments to plan this project. Completion of this project will fulfill NMFS BO RPA Actions I.6.1 and I.7

Next Steps

Construction

Construction is anticipated to begin in or after 2020.

Planning and Design Status

The draft Environmental Impact Statement/Environmental Impact Report (EIS/EIR) for the project has been completed as is available for public review. Two public meetings will be held on January 17 and 18, 2018. Written comments must be received by close of business Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018.

Reviewers should focus on the sufficiency of the EIS/EIR in identifying and analyzing the possible impacts on the environment and ways in which the significant effects of the project might be avoided or mitigated. Comments are most helpful when they suggest additional specific alternatives or mitigation measures that would provide better ways to avoid or mitigate the significant environmental effects. In the comments, the reviewer should include a contact person for future consultation.

Reviewers should focus on the proposed finding that the project will not have a significant effect on the environment. If persons and public agencies believe that the project may have a significant effect, they should:

  • (1) Identify the specific effect,
  • (2) Explain why they believe the effect would occur
  • (3) Explain why they believe the effect would be significant.

In addition, reviewers should explain the basis for their comments, and should submit data or references offering facts, reasonable assumptions based on facts, or expert opinion supported by facts in support of the comments.

For more information, see the notice below:

Notice of Availability of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement/Environmental Impact Report for the Yolo Bypass Salmonid Habitat Restoration and Fish Passage Project

The California Department of Water Resources and federal Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) took steps toward improving fish passage and rearing habitat in the Yolo Bypass today with the release of the draft environmental document for the proposed Yolo Bypass Salmonid Habitat Restoration and Fish Passage Project in Yolo and Sutter counties. The document is being made available for public review and comment.

The draft EIS/EIR identifies methods to improve adult fish passage and increase floodplain rearing habitat for juvenile salmonids in the Yolo Bypass. The document analyzes the effects of taking no action and six alternatives that would put one or more gated notches in the Fremont Weir, at the northern end of the Yolo Bypass.

The goal of the project is to increase the volume of water entering the Yolo Bypass in an effort to pull more fish onto the bypass and create a larger floodplain area. This would allow juvenile salmon to feed in a food-rich area for a longer time where they can rapidly grow to a large size, thus improving their chances of survival as they travel to the ocean. The project would also reduce migratory delays for adults returning to their spawning grounds.

The project increases the availability of floodplain fisheries rearing habitat for juvenile Sacramento River winter-run Chinook salmon, Central Valley spring-run Chinook salmon and Central Valley steelhead, per Reasonable and Prudent Alternative (RPA) action I.6.1 as described in the existing biological opinion from the National Marine Fisheries Service. It also reduces fish passage migratory delays and loss of fish at Fremont Weir and other structures in the Yolo Bypass for salmon, steelhead and sturgeon, per RPA action I.7.

Analysis under CEQA indicates the potential for significant impacts to water quality, fisheries, agricultural resources, air quality, and noise caused by the construction and/or operation of some of the alternatives under consideration. Two public meetings have been scheduled to receive oral or written comments on the draft EIS/EIR:

  • Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2018, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Woodland Community and Senior Center, 2001 East Street, Woodland, CA 95776.
  • Thursday, Jan. 18, 2017, 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., West Sacramento Community Center, 1075 West Capitol Ave, West Sacramento, CA 95691.

The draft EIS/EIR is available at Reclamation's website.

A printed copy is available to view during business hours (8 a.m. to 5 p.m.) at the DWR office located at 3500 Industrial Blvd. in West Sacramento and Reclamation’s Bay-Delta Office at 801 I St., Suite 140, in Sacramento.

Please submit written comments to either:

 

  • Karen Enstrom, California Department of Water Resources, 3500 Industrial Blvd., West Sacramento, CA 95691 or Karen.Enstrom@water.ca.gov.
  • Ben Nelson, Bureau of Reclamation, Bay-Delta Office, 801 I St., Suite 140, Sacramento, CA 95814 or bcnelson@usbr.gov

Written comments must be received by close of business Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018. For further information, please contact Karen Enstrom at (916) 376-9778 or Karen.Enstrom@water.ca.gov or Ben Nelson at (916) 414-2424 (TTY 800-877-8339) or bcnelson@usbr.gov.