NMFS releases biological opinion of Freeman Diversion Dam's effect on southern steelhead
In July 2008, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) released a biological opinion regarding Freeman Diversion Dam and southern steelhead on the Santa Clara River. While United Water Conservation District maintains a fish ladder at the diversion dam, NMFS contends that its operation does not sufficiently accommodate the timing, duration, and magnitude of flow events that anadramous fish require for upstream migration. Of particular note, the diversion dam (located at River Mile 10.8) blocks steelhead access to high-quality spawning habitat in Sespe Creek, a major tributary to the Santa Clara River. Next steps in the process include convening a panel of experts to determine the best designs for getting fish around the dam and drawing up a plan of short-term solutions.
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