Putah Creek Pipeline for Salmon

By Robin Meadows

“The dream is to reestablish a natural run of salmon in Putah Creek,” says UC Davis professor emeritus Peter Moyle. In 1972 Putah creek was a trickle of water between heavy machinery mining gravel for the campus roads. Moyle and others urged the university to cease mining and by the end of the decade the machinery was gone and the administration designated a riparian reserve along the creek on campus. After droughts and an ensuing long legal battle, the Solano County Water Agency, which manages the dam upstream, eventually appointed Rich Marovich as Streamkeeper to lead the creek’s restoration. Since then “there’s been an incredible increase in salmon,” Marovich says. Adult counts for recent years have hovered between 500 and 1,000. “That’s in the range where they could be self-sustaining.”

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About the author

Robin Meadows is an independent science journalist in the San Francisco Bay Area. She covers water and climate change adaptation for Estuary News, is the water reporter for the Bay Area Monitor, and contributes to Bay Nature, Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, PLOS Research News and Water Deeply. Robin also enjoys hiking and photography.