Trout Unlimited and California Trout Advocate for Science-Based Approach to Floodplain Management and Salmon Recovery
SACRAMENTO, Calif., Nov. 9, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — California Trout and Trout Unlimited today launched an outreach campaign to advocate for a science-based approach to managing the Central Valley’s flood protection system including connected floodplains required for salmon recovery. The groups came together in response to FloodSAFE, a California Department of Water Resources (DWR) initiative designed to improve the state’s integrated flood management plan.
FloodSAFE is a result of 2007 legislation. The program is in part charged with developing a comprehensive Central Valley Flood Protection Plan to promote integrated flood management. Scientific research increasingly supports the value of floodplain-connected rivers for salmon recovery as well as for general watershed health.
“It is possible to protect the environment and public safety, while also protecting private economic interests. If the state does this right, we will see benefits for farmers, commercial fishermen, the public and iconic fish like Chinook salmon,” said Brian Johnson, California Director for Trout Unlimited.
The state’s updated approach to flood management will likely include reconnecting the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers to some of their historic floodplains. These connections can reduce the risk of catastrophic floods in occupied areas while creating important salmon habitat.
The Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers have long been disconnected from their traditional floodplains. Since these river management systems were designed more than 100 years ago, research has shown that disconnecting rivers from floodplains increases risks to public safety and damages the environment.
“Recent studies suggest that access to floodplains would be integral to creating sustainable salmon and steelhead recovery,” says California Trout executive director Jeffrey Thompson.
Central Valley Chinook salmon and steelhead have long been an important economic driver for commercial and recreational fishing in California. Research out of the UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences indicates that juvenile salmon that have access to floodplains grow significantly larger, increasing their chances of survival.
The draft Central Valley Flood Protection Plan is expected to be released for public comment by the end of the year.
About California Trout (www.caltrout.org)
California Trout works to protect and restore wild trout, steelhead, salmon and their waters throughout California.
About Trout Unlimited (www.tu.org and www.tucalifornia.org)
Trout Unlimited has been working to conserve, protect, and restore North America’s trout and salmon fisheries and their watersheds since 1959.
SOURCE California Trout; Trout Unlimited