Wednesday, April 22, 2009

USBR & DFG Announcement

Public Scoping Meetings Scheduled for the Nimbus Hatchery Fish Passage Project EIS/EIR

“The Bureau of Reclamation and the California Department of Fish and Game (DFG) are seeking public input to develop an Environmental Impact Statement/Environmental Impact Report (EIS/EIR) for the Nimbus Hatchery Fish Passage Project (Project). Reclamation is the lead Federal agency for the EIS under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA); DFG is the lead State agency for the EIR under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).

“The Nimbus Fish Hatchery is located along the lower American River, one quarter mile downstream from Nimbus Dam in Gold River, Calif. Reclamation built the hatchery in 1955 to mitigate for the loss of spawning habitat for Chinook salmon and steelhead trout by the construction of Nimbus Dam; DFG operates and maintains the hatchery. The existing fish weir, which helps adult salmon enter the fish ladder, is aging, is susceptible to damage from high flows, and is requiring annual flow reductions for maintenance. Reclamation has tentatively identified two alternatives: replace the existing weir with a new weir structure, or extend the fish ladder from the hatchery to the Nimbus Dam stilling basin, using the basin itself to hold and divert fish into the ladder. With the second alternative, the existing weir would be permanently removed and DFG would assess potential changes in local fishing regulations. The EIS/EIR will evaluate these and a no-action alternative.

“Two meetings to obtain public input on the scope of the environmental documents will be held:

“Thursday, April 30, 2009
Afternoon Meeting, 1-3 p.m. - or - Evening Meeting, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
California State University Sacramento Aquatic Center
1901 Hazel Avenue, Gold River, California

“In December 2003, Reclamation held two public scoping meetings as part of an Environmental Assessment (EA) that was then being prepared for the “Nimbus Fish Hatchery Weir Replacement Project.” The resulting public input showed that an EA was insufficient and an EIS/EIR was needed. These scoping meetings are the beginning of this EIS/EIR process.

“Written comments on the scope of the EIS/EIR will be accepted until close of business Thursday, May 28, 2009, and should be sent to Mr. David Robinson, Bureau of Reclamation, Central California Area Office, 7794 Folsom Dam Road, Folsom, CA 95630 or e-mailed to For additional information, please contact Mr. Robinson at 916-989-7179 or, or Mr. Joe Johnson, DFG, at 916-358-2943 or e-mail, or visit the Project website at
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“Reclamation is the largest wholesale water supplier and the second largest producer of hydroelectric power in the United States, with operations and facilities in the 17Western States. Its facilities also provide substantial flood control, recreation, and fish and wildlife benefits. Visit our website at”