Fish & Wildlife 3 (Napa)
(California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Region 3)
Pescadero Creek 2014 Emergency Action
NOE - Notice of Exemption
CDFW working jointly with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries are implementing an emergency action to open the Pescadero Creek sandbar in June 2014 to provide passage to the ocean for steelhead and to reduce water level in the lagoon to avoid or reduce the development of lethal water quality parameters. A shallow breach channel will be excavated across the sandbar at the mouth of Pescadero Creek. If the shallow breach is insufficient to provide fish passage or to reduce inundation to upper Butano Marsh, a slightly deeper breach would be excavated. The unusually early season closure of Pescadero Creek in 2014 due to drought conditions has trapped steelhead in the lagoon preventing them from entering the ocean and has led to early inundation of portions of Butano Marsh. Extremely poor (lethal) water quality is expected to develop unusually early in the summer, which would result in a fish kill that could affect both adults and smolts. Thus, this year's low water in-flow and early lagoon closure trapping adult steelhead are expected to result in substantially more extensive adverse effects than when lagoon closure typically occurs in late fall. Immediate implementation of this action is necessary to prevent or mitigate an imminent danger of trapped adult steelhead and lethal water quality parameters and is consistent with actions to be taken to CDFW to protect fish and wildlife resources described in the Governor's April 25, 2014 Drought Proclamation.