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Thursday, December 9, 2010

Russian River Water and Fisheries Public Meeting

Public Meeting Scheduled on 15-year Plan for
Russian River Fisheries, Water Supply

A 15-year blueprint to help endangered and threatened fish while maintaining the region’s primary water supply is the subject of a meeting scheduled 9 a.m. – 12 p.m., Monday, December 13, at the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors Chambers, 575 Administration Drive, Santa Rosa

The Russian River Biological Opinion was released by National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) in September 2008. This 15-year plan requires the Sonoma County Water Agency (Water Agency) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACOE) to modify Russian River water supply and flood control operations to prevent harm to endangered coho salmon and threatened steelhead trout. The Public Policy Facilitating Committee (PPFC) – comprised of elected and appointed officials from public agencies throughout the region – meets annually to review progress.

“The Water Agency has made significant progress over the past year in an effort to comply with the Biological Opinion, spending significant resources to improve fisheries habitat,” said PPFC Chairman Paul Kelley, a Water Agency Director and a member of the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors. “It is not business as usual for the Water Agency and the delivery of water to 600,000 people -- given the Biological Opinion. The PPFC meeting will be a venue for the public to get up to speed on this progress and meet face-to-face with Russian River Biological Opinion stakeholders.”

The Biological Opinion requirements include reducing minimum summertime flows in the Russian River and Dry Creek (known as the “Fish Flow Project”); changing the way the sandbar is breached at the estuary in Jenner between May 15 and October 15; and enhancing habitat in Dry Creek.

Representatives from the Water Agency, the USACOE, NMFS and California Department of Fish & Game will make presentations on the Fish Flow, Estuary and Dry Creek projects. The public will have an opportunity to comment.

For additional information, please contact Ann DuBay, (707) 524-8378 or

Sonoma County Water Agency provides water supply, flood protection and sanitation services for portions of Sonoma and Marin counties. Visit us on the Web at

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