Severe Weather Alert:

All of Central Florida under a tornado watch until 7:00 pm




Sct Thunderstorms
H 85° L 55°
  • cloudy-day
    Current Conditions
    Sct Thunderstorms. H 85° L 55°
  • partly-cloudy-tstorms-day
    Sct Thunderstorms. H 85° L 55°
  • clear-night
    Clear. H 70° L 48°

The latest newscast

00:00 | 00:00


The latest traffic report

00:00 | 00:00


The latest forecast

00:00 | 00:00

California salmon will have places to chill with dam removal

California salmon will have places to chill with dam removal

California salmon will have places to chill with dam removal
Photo Credit: Steve Martarano/ U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service via AP
In this photo provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, a winter-run Chinook salmon is seen on Friday, March 2, 2018. Approximately 29,000 endangered winter-run juvenile Chinook salmon were released into the North Fork of Battle Creek, a tributary of the Sacramento River. A $100 million project removing some dams and helping fish route around others is allowing wildlife officials to restore one of the state's most endangered native salmon to vital spring-fed Battle Creek, which springs from the cold northernmost reaches of the Sierra Nevada. Authorities say Battle Creek could prove a species-saving chill hideout against climate change and drought. (Steve Martarano/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service via AP)

California salmon will have places to chill with dam removal

A $100 million project removing dams and helping fish route around others is returning a badly endangered salmon to spring-fed waters in northernmost California, giving cold-loving native fish a life-saving place to chill as scientists say climate change, drought and human diversions warm the waters.

State and federal officials, in a years-long project with dam-owner Pacific Gas & Electric Co., plan to release 200,000 young, endangered winter-run Chinook salmon over the next two months into the north fork of Battle Creek, where melted snow percolating through volcanic rock provides ideal habitat for native salmon and steelhead that thrive in cold mountain water.

Dam-building for electrical generation and water storage from the 1930s blocked winter-run Chinook from upstream waterways, cutting their numbers from nearly a million to a few thousand barely getting by in warm downstream stretches of the Sacramento River, the state Department of Fish and Wildlife says.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration ranks winter-run Chinook as one of eight marine species most at risk of extinction.

Because of Battle Creek's spring-fed cold water, and the difficulty of keeping the Sacramento River cool enough for the winter-run Chinook, state and federal agencies made a priority of making Battle Creek accessible to winter-run Chinook again.

"Battle Creek has long been recognized as an ideal resource for cold water from snow melt," said Doug Killam, a senior environmental scientist with the state wildlife agency. "It's kind of a jewel of the system."

The ongoing restoration project has removed one dam blocking access to the fish and will remove four more dams. A similar agreement, now awaiting approval or denial by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, would remove a series of dams blocking access to salmon farther north, in the Klamath River watershed.

Other parts of this project included building better fish ladders and fish screens to give migrating salmon an easier time navigating around remaining obstacles.

It's crucial to the survival of winter-run salmon to restore populations beyond the one hanging on in the Sacramento River, where a disaster like a chemical spill or another drought could wipe out the species, wildlife officials said.

In 2014 and 2015, nearly entire generations of the winter-run Chinook died in the too-warm Sacramento, as humans competed with the fish for water releases from behind Shasta Dam during a five-year drought.

Trying to keep cold-loving salmon by eeking out cold water from behind dams is becoming more complicated still as the climate changes, said Howard Brown of NOAA fisheries.

Man-made climate change is reducing the snow runoff that Californians — both animal and human — historically have depended upon for much of their water supply, scientists say.

Easing the winter-run Chinook's dependence on a single waterway, the Sacramento, is a good start, a fishing industry trade group said in a statement.

"Salmon fishermen used to have good fishing right outside the Golden Gate in February years ago before winter run salmon were decimated," said John McManus, head of the Golden Gate Salmon Association. "Maybe someday we'll see this again."

Read More

There are no comments yet. Be the first to post your thoughts. or Register.

The Latest Headlines You Need To Know

  • A package destined for Austin exploded early Tuesday at a FedEx ground delivery facility in Schertz, northeast of San Antonio, according to federal authorities. San Antonio Police Chief William McManus told the Austin American-Statesman that a second suspicious package was found at the facility and taken by authorities for further investigation. >> READ MORE: Photos: Austin police investigate explosions | For investigators, a race to decode hidden message in Austin bombings | Map shows location of 4 Austin bombs | Austin explosions: 2 men hurt in fourth blast this month | Officials increase reward to $115,000 for information on Austin bombings | Man held in SXSW threat ruled out as bomb suspect, police say | Austin package explosions: 3 blasts appear connected, claim 2 lives, police say | The Roots' SXSW show canceled after bomb threat; man arrested | Austin package bombings: Friends remember victims Draylen Mason, Anthony House | MORE
  • Two parents from Lakawanna County, Pennsylvania, have been arrested after police said that the they left their two children home alone while the mother traveled to Florida. The investigation started when police were alerted to a case of children who had been left alone for weeks. When they visited the home, they found a 10- and 11-year-old alone, in a home that had food, boxes, pills and trash on the floor, WNEP reported. >> Read more trending news  Police said that Nicole Sciortino told them that she was not far away, but then admitted that she was in Florida. She then told the authorities that the children’s father Vincent Licciardello was watching the children.  >>Read: Police: Florida couple left child living alone in trailer for months He told police he dropped them off at Sciortino’s home on March 5 and he would stop by over the following days to give the children food, WNEP reported. Sciortino told police that she didn’t know that it was against the law to leave the children home alone. Both she and Licciardello were arrested, charged with endangering the welfare of children and are free on $10,000 unsecured bail. The children are staying with friends of the family, placed there by children and youth services, WNEP reported.
  • United Airlines is suspending its PetSafe pet cargo program while it reviews the program.  The suspension comes after a series of pet-related incidents, including one death, on the airline. >> Read more trending news  The Chicago Tribune reported that United will honor reservations that have already been confirmed for the service, which books pets in the cargo section of the plane. “We are conducting a thorough and systematic review of our program for pets that travel in the cargo compartment to make improvements that will ensure the best possible experience for our customers and their pets,” United spokeswoman Maggie Schmerin said in a statement to the Chicago Tribune. According to The Wall Street Journal, the airline will stop taking reservations for the program until May 1. Related: Dog dies on United Airlines flight after being placed in overhead bin Spokesman Charlie Hobart told Bloomberg that part of the review of the program includes the airline considering which pets to accept. Bloomberg reported that United had previously been willing to transport dogs with an increased likelihood of in-flight death or injury, such as brachycephalic, of snub-nosed dogs. On March 12, a French bulldog puppy died on a flight from Houston to New York when its owners said a United flight attendant insisted the pet be stored in an overhead bin. United issued a statement saying it took “full responsibility” for the death. “This was a tragic accident that should have never occurred, as pets should never be placed in the overhead bin,” United said in a statement March 13. “We assume full responsibility for this tragedy and express our deepest condolences to the family and are committed to supporting them. We are thoroughly investigating what occurred to prevent this from ever happening again.” Related: ‘She took him out and he was dead:’ Owners of dog that died in United overhead bin speak out On Tuesday, a German shepherd named Irgo was mistakenly flown to Japan in place of a Great Dane. Irgo was supposed to go to Kansas, where his family was moving from Oregon. The dog was reunited with his family Thursday. Related: Dog mistakenly sent on United plane to Japan reunites with family in Kansas On Friday, the airline mistakenly had a pet boarded on a flight from Newark, New Jersey, to St. Louis. Flight 3996 was diverted to Akron, Ohio, when the error was realized, according to airline spokeswoman Maggie Schmerin. The animal was “safely delivered to its owner.” Compensation aas given to passengers on the diverted flight. According to data from the Department of Transportation, United Airlines had the highest rate of airline reports on incidents involving loss, injury or death of animals during air transportation in 2017.
  • A student who opened fire on a classmate at Maryland’s Great Mills High School died Tuesday morning after injuring two people, St. Mary’s County Sheriff Tim Cameron said at a news conference. >> READ MORE: Do video games lead to violence seen in Parkland, other mass shootings? |  How to cope with fears, sadness after a mass shooting | How to talk to your child about traumatic events like school shooting | What to do if you are in an 'active shooter' situation | MORE
  • The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is looking into a video posted on Snapchat that appears to show an alligator being dragged behind an ATV. WESH reports that the man driving the ATV dragged the tied-up alligator because it was blocking traffic, but investigators say he should’ve called FWC or 911. An FWC officer and a trapper were expected to go out to the man’s home in Mims Monday night to recover the animal. We’ve contacted FWC for an update and to find out if the man will be facing any charges. (Facebook)