Shasta Water Transactions Program

by perry on September 30, 2015

From our Partner TNC:

Hello partners, friends and conservationists!

Since 2009 the Shasta Valley community had been supporting the return of adult fall-run Chinook salmon back to the Shasta River Watershed by voluntarily leaving water instream.  In 2012, a record number of adult fall-run Chinook returned to the Shasta River during a time when the majority of water is diverted for agricultural use.  The Shasta River Water Transaction Program worked with agricultural landowners, resource agencies, the local watermaster district and others to coordinate adding voluntarily flows  increase stream to assist the returning adult salmon. In 2015, The Nature Conservancy co-authored a paper in the Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management with researchers at UC Davis Center for Watershed Science and Watercourse Engineering, Inc, showing that these increased stream flows had measurable water quality benefits to adult Chinook salmon who inhabit pools prior to completing their migration to spawning areas. Surprisingly, water quality was being impaired by the oxygen demand of the fish themselves.

This study demonstrates that increased stream flows are particularly effective when flows are low, large numbers of fish return, and conditions promote elevated oxygen demand by the fish. The results of this study validates that working from the ground-up in close collaboration with one another we can address resource related issues that work for both the fish and the farms.

To read the study click on the following link:

To find out more about the Shasta River Water Transaction Program visit the following link:

A special thanks to the Shasta Valley agricultural community, the Shasta Valley RCD, CA Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Shasta Valley Watermaster District, Bureau of Reclamation, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and many more.


Amy Campbell | Shasta River- Salmon Initiative |  The Nature Conservancy

701 So. Mt. Shasta Blvd., Mt. Shasta, CA 96067 | 530-926-3281 (o), 530-859-3814 (c)

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