California pledges to build channel for threatened fish to bypass Gold Rush-era dam
California officials on Tuesday said they will spend about $60 million to build a channel along the Yuba River so that salmon and other threatened fish species can get around a Gold Rush-era dam that for more than a century has cut off their migration along the chilly waters of Sierra Nevada streams. The project is the latest example of state and federal officials trying to reverse the environmental harms caused by the century-old infrastructure along California’s major rivers and streams. Those dams and canals allowed the state to grow into the economic powerhouse it is today. But they have devastated natural ecosystems that have pushed salmon — a species once so abundant it sustained Native American populations — to the edge of extinction.