Historically, Chinook salmon and Steelhead inhabited the entire Yuba River watershed, including the North, Middle and South Yuba Rivers. Today, there are two barriers restricting and inhibiting volitional fish passage to the upper Yuba River. These are Daguerre Point Dan, a 24-foot impounded diversion dam outfitted with incompetent fish ladders that do not meet modern design standards and Englebright Dam, a 260-foot impassible dam that is the upstream limit of anadromous fish migration, inhibiting volitional fish passage to the upper reaches of the Yuba River. New sediment removal techniques make dam modifications at the Daguerre Point Dam and Englebright Dam a real possibility for restoring volitional fish passage and the historic Yuba River fishery.
“Daguerre Point Dam built in 1910 and Englebright Dam built in 1941 were constructed for the specific purpose of holding back the debris generated by hydraulic mines operating in the upper Yuba watershed. Due to the likelihood that large quantities of contaminated sediment are stored behind them, dam removal has been discounted as an option for increasing access to natural habitat for anadromous salmonids.”Carrie Monohan, Ph.D., Program Director