PG&E, land trust agree to preserve Yuba River salmon habitat

Buckeye_NarrowsThe Appeal Democrat – Marysville

One of the most important stretches of salmon habitat in the lower Yuba River is now protected until the end of time.

Pacific Gas and Electric Co. recently entered into an agreement with the Bear Yuba Land Trust to hold a conservation easement, permanently protecting the 23-acre property along an area known as the “Narrows” from sub-division and future development.

The area — hemmed in by steep, rock walls just below Englebright Dam — was devoid of habitat until the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers injected more than 20,000 tons of gravel into the river to be used by salmon digging nests, called redds, to fill with eggs, said Gary Reedy, river science director for the South Yuba River Citizens League.

With the gravel in place, data from the Yuba River Management Team show salmon redds are clustering around the area, attracted by the cold water below the dam.

“It is being heavily used by salmon,” Reedy said. “That area of the river is a very important salmon habitat-enhancement project.”

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