Letter of support from the Bridge Group for the Butte Creek Barrier Assessment grant proposal
To: Melanie Gange / NOAA Restoration Center
NOAA Fisheries (F/HC3), 1315 East West Highway, Rm. 14853
Silver Spring, MD 20910
RE: 2023 Restoring Fish Passage through Barrier Removal — Butte Creek Migration, Barrier Assessment, Strategic Planning and Capacity Building Support
The members of The Bridge Group support Friends of Butte Creek’s (FBC) proposal for Butte Creek Migration Barrier Assessment, Strategic Planning and Capacity Building. FBC’s proposal directly addresses NOAA’s goals of increasing natural production and increasing spatial diversity of these target species: Spring-run Chinook salmon and California Central Valley (CCC) steelhead. It also addresses the objectives of identifying barriers to improve passage to and from disconnected habitats (upper Butte Creek and Little Butte Creek) and coordinating activities with a local restoration group (FBC), an interagency team and the Wild Salmon Center, the Mechoopda Indian Tribe, CalTrout, Butte County Resource Conservation District, Lassen National Forest, Bureau of Land Management and local private landowners.
The Bridge Group includes Northern California Guides and Sportsmen’s Association, Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Association and Golden Gate Fishermen’s Association, who collectively represent the California fishing industry, and the Northern California Water Association and Sacramento River Settlement Contractors, representing water managers and landowners in the Sacramento Valley.
Butte Creek is one of only three streams that supports genetically distinct threatened Central Valley spring-run Chinook salmon (SRCS). Butte Creek supports the largest individual population averaging 95% of the ESU. Butte Creek also supports threatened Central Valley Steelhead Trout. SRCS in Butte Creek face significant challenges due to the fact that much of the holding habitat of Butte Creek is at a very low elevation subject to increasingly hot summer weather. The funding of Friend of Butte Creek’s proposal will build upon the already funded Phase 1 CVPIA Butte Creek Reserves Floodplain Habitat Restoration project, which will identify critical floodplain characteristics for a 390-acre section of lower Butte Creek. If funded, the Butte Creek Migration Barrier Assessment, Strategic Planning and Capacity Building will allow Friends of Butte Creek to perform important habitat assessments and conceptual designs to identify and initiate fish passage barrier removal projects, expand public outreach, and build capacity to better understand how to holistically manage the watershed to benefit salmon runs well into the future.
James Stone, Executive Director and President
Northern California Guides and Sportsmen’s Association