A chance of a lifetime for communities, farms and fish on the Eel and Russian Rivers.
California Trout along with Two-Basin Solution partners, Humboldt County, Sonoma Water, Mendocino County Inland Water and Power Commission, and the Round Valley Indian Tribes have submitted a plan to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on how the Potter Valley Project on California’s upper Eel River could continue to operate after its current license expires in 2022. The project is currently owned by PG&E. The plan calls for the removal of Scott Dam, which blocks access for salmon and steelhead to nearly 300 miles of prime spawning and rearing habitat, as well as new facilities to enable continued diversion of water from the Eel to the Russian River.
Prior to the construction of the Potter Valley Project and other human uses, the Eel River once saw salmon and steelhead runs of as many as one million fish annually. Today, most of these salmonid species are threatened or endangered. The plan submitted to FERC will improve conditions for fish in the Eel River and increase water supply reliability for communities in Mendocino, Marin, and Sonoma Counties. These communities rely on water diverted from the Eel River into the Russian River watershed through the Project’s operations.