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Thread: How many undammed rivers in California?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
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    Default How many undammed rivers in California?

    How many undammed rivers remain in California?

    It depends on whom you ask. After speaking to several experts, we came up with a short list, including the Smith, the Clavey, the South Fork of the Trinity and the Mattole.

    According to Ron Stork, senior policy advocate for Friends of the River, only one river in the state is undammed from source to ocean: the Smith River, tucked up in the northwest corner of California near the Oregon border.

    But the Smith isn't the only answer we got.

    "The Cosumnes is the only major river that I know of that does not have a major dam on it," said Eli Ilano, deputy forest supervisor for the Tahoe National Forest, raising the question of what's considered a "major" river.

    "There is a small dam on [the Cosumnes]," Steve Rothert, the California Director at American Rivers pointed out. "I think it's now sort of defunct, but it does have a dam on it."

    Instead, Rothert pointed to a small tributary of the Tuolumne. "Many people consider there to be one river that's not dammed in California, and that's the Clavey River."

    Others suggested the Mattole in the Lost Coast and the South Fork of the heavily dammed and diverted Trinity River.

    It all depends what your definition of "dam" is, said Jeanine Jones, interstate resources manager for the California Department of Water Resources. "There are some rivers that people conventionally speak of as being "undammed," but in fact have some small diversion dams on them."

    It also depends on what your definition of "river" is.

    "In some respects this issue is a little bit harder in California because of our very climate and the fact that we do have some rivers that are very wet and some that are basically ephemeral streams," Jones said.

    "Anyway you cut it," said Stork of Friends of the River, "we dammed a heck of a lot of rivers."

    Produced by Don Clyde and Lisa Pickoff-White
    Bill Kiene

    Fly fishing travel consultant
    Certified FFF Casting Instructor
    Email: billkiene63@gmail.com
    Cell: 530/753-5267
    Web: www.billkiene.com

    Contact me for any reason........
    ______________________________________

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
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    Davis, CA, USA, Earth
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    Default

    How many dams are there in California? 1,400 named ones.


    http://www.kqed.org/news/science/cli...dpower/map.jsp


    You can enlarge that map to see more details.
    Bill Kiene

    Fly fishing travel consultant
    Certified FFF Casting Instructor
    Email: billkiene63@gmail.com
    Cell: 530/753-5267
    Web: www.billkiene.com

    Contact me for any reason........
    ______________________________________

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    Corte Madera Creek Watershed
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    Default

    Big Sur, Gualala, Garcia, Navarro, Ablion, and Big Rivers do not have any dams to my knowledge
    Forgive your enemy but remember the bastards name
    -Scottish proverb

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
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    El Dorado County, California
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    Default

    Bill, the Cosumnes being the one of the only undammed rivers in CA is a great achievement! Although, considering that it is a tributary to the Sacramento river and joins the Moke before terminating it's flows into the Sac, it is a shame (and wonder) why there are no runs of salmon or steelhead in the system... Obviously the river would need year round flows to support those anadromus fish to migrate up and spawn, something that this river hasn't been able to accomplish in MANY years. I recently read an article that DFW is looking into the possibility to restore and utilize this river system as a habitat for steelhead and Coho (if I'm not mistaken)... I'd love to see something happen with this river really soon! Haven't fished it or heard of a trout coming out of that place in a few years as it is filled with red eye bass, smallmouth and sunfish. Can't wait to hear what DFW decides to do with it.

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