The Nimbus Basin on the lower American River will permanently close to all fishing as of March 1, 2018, as per fishing regulations amended by the Fish and Game Commission in December 2017.
The closure will take effect from Nimbus Dam on the lower American River to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) gauging station cable crossing approximately one-half mile downriver (California Code of Regulations Title 14, sections 7.50(b)(5)(A) and (B).
Under current regulations, the American River from Nimbus Dam to the Hazel Avenue bridge piers is open to fishing all year (CCR Title 14, section 7.50 (b)(5)(A)), and from the Hazel Avenue bridge piers to the USGS gauging station cable crossing about 300 yards downstream from the Nimbus Hatchery fish weir from Jan. 1 through Aug. 15 (section 7.50(b)(5)(B)).
Closure of the Nimbus Basin to fishing is part of the Nimbus Hatchery Fish Passage Project, which involves reorienting the hatchery’s fish ladder into the Nimbus Basin and removing the existing fish weir. This project will create and maintain a reliable system of collecting adult salmon and steelhead broodstock for the hatchery and increase the amount of natural spawning and rearing habitat available in the lower American River.
The changes will also minimize American River flow fluctuations associated with installation and removal of the hatchery’s weir and eliminate health and safety concerns relative to the deterioration of the existing weir structure. The new spawning habitat opened up by the permanent removal of the weir will improve juvenile salmon production and increase harvest opportunities downstream.
The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife completed a joint Environmental Impact Statement/Environmental Impact Report (EIR/EIS) for the Nimbus Hatchery Fish Passage Project in 2011. Planning is currently underway and construction is scheduled to begin in federal fiscal year 2019. The EIR/EIS is available for download from www.usbr.gov/mp/ccao/hatchery.
Jeanine Phillips, CDFW North Central Region Fisheries, (916) 358-2030
Harry Morse, CDFW Communications, (916) 323-1478
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is holding a public meeting to solicit comments on proposed fishing closure alternatives for 5.5 miles of the Sacramento River above the Highway 44 Bridge in Redding to the Keswick Dam. CDFW has determined a potential closure may be necessary to protect endangered winter-run Chinook salmon.
The meeting will be held Monday, Nov. 14, from 5-7 p.m. at the Redding Public Library, 1100 Parkview Ave., Redding (96001).
CDFW is proposing a suite of closure alternatives in this critical holding and spawning area to ensure added protection for the federal and state endangered winter-run Chinook, which face high risk of extinction. Given the gravity of the current situation, it is imperative that each and every adult fish be given maximum protection. Current regulations do not allow fishing for Chinook, but incidental catch by anglers who are targeting trout could occur.
This reach is the principal spawning area for winter-run Chinook, with an estimated 98 percent of 2014 and 2015 in-river spawning occurring in the 5.5 mile stretch under consideration for closure. This section represents only 10 percent of the waters currently open to fishing upstream of the Red Bluff Diversion Dam.
In 2014 and 2015, approximately 95 percent of eggs and young winter-run Chinook were lost due to elevated river temperatures.
CDFW works with the California Fish and Game Commission to determine whether fishing restrictions in certain areas are necessary.
Persons with disabilities needing reasonable accommodation to participate in public meetings or other CDFW activities are invited to contact CDFW’s Accessibility Coordinator Melissa Carlin at (916) 651-1214 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jason Roberts, CDFW Northern Region, (530) 225-2131
Andrew Hughan, CDFW Communications, (916) 201-2958
On Aug. 6, 2014 the California Fish and Game Commission adopted a proposal to implement early restrictions on angling in the Merced River, pending a legal review. Monday, Aug. 25, the Office of Administrative Law (OAL) approved the proposal, effective immediately. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) was notified on Tuesday, Aug. 26.
This early closure affects only the Merced River from Crocker-Huffman Dam downstream to the Snelling Road bridge, a distance of approximately 5.5 miles. Angling in the river below Snelling Road bridge is subject to normal fishing regulations and closures. A map of the closure can be found here.
The lower Merced River is typically only closed to angling from Nov. 1 through Dec. 31. The purpose of the annual closure is to increase survival of juvenile and adult wild rainbow trout and steelhead by reducing fish mortality associated with hook-and-line fishing.
This year’s move to close the river ahead of schedule is intended to protect drought-stressed waters and their salmonid populations during the fall spawning.
The river will re-open to anglers on Jan. 1, 2015.
Jordan Traverso, CDFW Communications, (916) 654-9937
Dean Marston, CDFW Fisheries Branch, (559) 243-4005 ext. 122, or email@example.com