The channel is key to maintaining water quality balance with the transfer of controlled releases from northern Central Valley Project storage reservoirs, such as Shasta and Folsom, to the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and to the headworks of the Delta-Mendota and Contra Costa canals.
When the gates are open, fresh water is drawn from the Sacramento River to Snodgrass Slough and the Mokelumne River for a distance of 15 miles to the San Joaquin River, then another 35 miles through Old and Middle rivers to the C.W. “Bill” Jones Pumping Plant intake channel. The water is used to combat salt water intrusion in the Delta, dilute local pollution, and improve the quality of irrigation supplies in the Central Valley.
Fisheries and Fish Protection
The pros and cons with the gates being opened up and being closed impacts the migration of salmons. For example, “the diversion provides an adequate supply of water to the intakes of the state and federal pumping facilities, improves the irrigation supplies in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta which helps repel ocean salinity.” but it also a problem for chinook salmons that are being diverted from their migratory path up the Sacramento River. Source: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Science by Storm
Opportunities
When the gate is open, it let the salmons in, and that leads us to some opportunities to have salmon laboratory, fishing, restore salmon. Source: Science by Storm
Restoration
About 8 million of the 12 million Chinook salmon that were released in 2014 strayed off course when they returned to freshwater to spawn. Anticipating a similar event this year, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Nimbus Hatchery, located near Sacramento on the American River, opened its fish ladder early on Oct. 9 to accommodate the arrival of more straying fish. Source: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Recreation
The Bureau of Reclamation will begin weekday closures at its Delta Cross Channel gates Monday. The weekday closures, expected to last at least into mid-October, are in coordination with the California Department of Fish & Wildlife. They are intended to help reduce fall-run Chinook salmon straying from the Sacramento River. The gates will reopen Fridays to minimize impacts to weekend recreation. Source: Reclamation Managing Water in the West
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