Whistleblower saves Butte Creek springers

Butte Creek - CA (Siskiyou County)

Whistleblower saves Butte Creek springers
Photo Credit: GSSA

by GSSA Staff

In March, Chris Tocatlian, who manages a duck club in the Sacramento Valley, noticed adult spring run salmon dead in an agricultural canal that feeds into Butte Creek. Butte Creek spring run salmon are federally protected as a threatened species. Chris shot video of the dead fish and shared it with GSSA and others to call attention to the problem. GSSA contacted top brass at CDFW, as did others, no doubt.

Within a few days the state promised to take action to address the problem. According to reports, overgrown vegetation in Butte Creek has acted almost like a beaver dam, forcing the creek to spill over into agriculture canals in higher volumes than it would otherwise. This has essentially redirected a significant portion of the creek out to fields and then back to the creek at a downstream site, where the spring run salmon were found. Thanks to Chris and everyone else who spotted this problem and worked to address it.

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