SYRCL letter

A fish ladder at Daguerre Point Dam is pictured in 2011.

The South Yuba River Citizens League (SYRCL) is seeking community support for a petition to help salmon in the Yuba River.

Hoping to allow more salmon to reach their spawning grounds, the SYRCL has asked for citizens of the region to sign a letter requesting the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for help with the cleaning and maintenance of the fish ladders at Daguerre Point Dam.

SYRCL said the fish ladders at Daguerre Point Dam are so poorly maintained that salmon in the Yuba River are limited in their ability to access their spawning habitat. The grassroots activist organization said the Army Corps of Engineers’ efforts in making sure the ladders function properly have “been insufficient to provide adequate passage for over a decade.” The SYRCL said fewer than 3,000 Chinook salmon return to the lower Yuba River annually, a 99.5 percent decrease from their historic population size.

“The fish ladders have long suffered from neglect and inconsistent maintenance,” said Melinda Booth, SYRCL’s executive director, in a statement. “What we are asking is for the Army Corps of Engineers to prioritize keeping the fish ladders at Daguerre Point Dam functional and clear of debris to give this imperiled species a better chance at survival.”

The SYRCL said proper ladder maintenance helps salmon access restoration sites such as Lower Long Bar, Upper Long Bar, and Rose Bar, all of which are located above Daguerre Point Dam.

“Salmon are not only a keystone species in our watershed, they are also part of our region’s legacy and right now they are threatened,” said Booth. “We hope that by organizing the community and giving their concerns voice, we can compel the Army Corps to act now. The salmon can’t wait.” 

To view or sign the petition, visit cleanthedamladders.org.

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