Fish & Wildlife 6 (Ontario)
(California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Region 6)
Benton Pond Fish Habitat Enhancement Project
NOE - Notice of Exemption
CDFW is executing a Streambed Alteration Agreement (Agreement) pursuant to Section 1602 (SAA # 1600-2013-0161-R6) of the Fish and Game Code to the Eastern Sierra Land Trust (Permittee). This project is limited to the removal of encroaching hardstem bulrush (Schoenoplectus acutus) and the removal of non-native Sacramento perch (Archoplites interruptus) from a private pond in Benton Hot Springs. These species must be removed to promote the establishment of speckled dace (Rhinichthys osculus ssp.), a native fish, within the project area. The project will include the use of prescribed burning, mechanical cutting, transplanting three-square bulrush (S. americanus) and pond de-watering to fish removal. Prescribed burning will occur in January or February and be overseen by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. Dewatering will be performed outside of the nesting season for birds. No woody vegetation will be removed for this project, nor will there be a permanent change to the water level of the pond or dam or spillway. The intent of this project is to improve the status of speckled dace by increasing the number of secure populations, and to restoer and extend the lifespan of the pond for fish, waterfowl, and migratory birds.