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California Natural Resources Agency Recommends Adding Mokelumne River Segments to State’s Wild and Scenic Rivers SystemWritten by Dustin Rocksvold
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Lisa Lien-Mager, (916) 653-9402
April 18, 2018
California Natural Resources Agency Recommends Adding Mokelumne River Segments to State’s Wild and Scenic Rivers System
SACRAMENTO – The California Natural Resources Agency (CNRA) today released a final report that recommends adding 37 miles of the upper Mokelumne River to the California Wild and Scenic Rivers System.
The report, delivered to the Legislature and Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr., recommends adding five Mokelumne River segments to the system due to their extraordinary recreational and scenic resource values. It also recommends special provisions to address local concerns, including protecting existing water rights and allowing future local water development projects if they will avoid adverse impacts to the river segments.
AB 142 (Bigelow) of 2015 directed CNRA to evaluate the suitability of five segments of the upper Mokelumne River’s main stem and North Fork for inclusion in the state system. The segments cover about 37 miles from below Salt Springs Dam to just upstream of the Pardee Reservoir flood surcharge pool near Jackson. CNRA released a draft study report in January 2018, held two public meetings, and received extensive public comment.
The process marks the first time a river has been assessed for addition to the California Wild and Scenic Rivers System since 1994. If approved by the Legislature and signed by the governor, legislation to designate the Mokelumne a California Wild and Scenic River would preserve the segments in their “free-flowing state” and prevent construction of new dams or impoundments on the designated segments. Current water and land uses would continue.
Bob Capron has been doing the Shoshone River fish rescue with the East Yellowstone Chapter of Trout Unlimited out of Cody, Wyoming, for 22 years. TU members and volunteers from the community gather each fall to net native Yellowstone cutthroat and other nonnative cutthroat, as well as brown and rainbow trout. An average of 5,000 to 6,000 fish are saved annually from irrigation ditches in the Bighorn Basin. The fish end up in the ditches and would perish each fall when the canals go dry or freeze. For those wondering, the largest fish to show up was a 29-inch brown. All fish are returned to the section of the Shoshone River where the canal originated.
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