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California’s severe climate-driven drought is having a significant impact on the state’s water supply, but it’s also putting the state’s salmon population at serious risk. Managing California’s water needs during this water supply crisis means minimizing the impacts of drought and water management on the environment while meeting the health and safety needs of communities and supporting the economy and agriculture. DWR and CDFW are actively working to respond to drought and climate change impacts on native species and ecosystems.
State and federal biologists have begun moving endangered adult winter-run Chinook salmon to the upper reaches of Battle Creek and threatened spring-run Chinook salmon to Clear Creek in northern California, where colder water temperatures will better support spawning and help their eggs survive the continuing drought.
The California Fish and Game Commission has adopted emergency regulations allowing CDFW to extend low-flow related fishing restrictions on portions of the Smith, Eel and Russian rivers and a number of other coastal rivers and streams through April 30 if needed to protect runs of salmon and steelhead.
CDFW has begun releasing juvenile fall-run Chinook salmon into the Klamath River now that river conditions have improved with cooler temperatures and increased flows that give the young salmon their best chance at survival and reaching the Pacific Ocean.
CDFW has announced that the Shasta Valley Wildlife Area in Siskiyou County will be closed to waterfowl hunting for the entirety of the 2021-22 season as a result of lost wetlands and waterfowl habitat due to drought conditions.
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