View Full Version : Whitewater releases affecting native plants?

06-17-2004, 04:29 PM
From: Tracy Chimenti palmcrestlane@juno.com
Date: 09/29/02
Time: 03:20 PM

I would like to know if CNPS members have concerns with sudden, large water releases down rivers. Do you feel this negatively affects native riparian vegetation? Recently FERC approved new operating criterea that enhances rafting and kayaking opoortunities on the North Fork Feather River. A lot of people feel this will have undesireable effects on the river's ecology-- fish populations, river insect concentrations, movement and dispersal, and vegetation around the river that feeds the insects (that feed the fish). On the Feather, one week-end per month beginning in June thru October, PG&E releases this "extra volume" of water. Time of release runs from 10:00AM unitl 4:00PM during the first weekend of every month, after which the flow is shut-down rather quickly. During trials, there were reports of stranded fish. To be precise, the river was operated at 200 cfs thru May. Then on Saturday and Sunday (June 1 and 2) flow was kicked up to 1200 cubic feet per second until 4:00PM. This is 6-times the minumum flow-- way off the mark for historic summer flows. We are of the opinion that this can not be good for river ecology. Will this have delleterious effects on say, sedges, scarlet monkey flowers, elephant ear ferns, alders, willows, etc? Can certain plants die or simply lose vigor if sujected to 12-hours of submersion every first weekend of the month for the months of June thru Oct? In perpetuity? FERC relicensing is going on all over the nation and this is happening on many, many rivers. 26 operational licenses are up for re-newal in Californai alone and the whitewater lobby is after similar releases on all of them. Stanislaus R. is coming as is numerous sections of the Pit River, Trinity River and upper Sacramento Rive, above Shasta. Please comment if you have time. Tracy Chimenti

06-17-2004, 04:29 PM
From: Bob Schmedlok
Date: 10/01/02
Time: 01:58 AM

Yes, we have been hearing about these flows and it can't be good for native riverine vegetation.

06-17-2004, 04:30 PM
From: Brian Kempkes troutnut@pacbell.net
Date: 06/05/03
Time: 05:10 PM

I would also like to see the CNPS reply to this issue.