Late last week, the PG&E-maintained Butte Canal breached into Butte Creek, resulting in over three days of extreme sedimentation and turbidity. Unfortunately, Butte Creek was currently occupied with holding Spring Run Chinook salmon at the time. The impacts will most likely result in high to complete mortality for salmon and other native fish.
This comes at a precarious time for Spring Run Chinook Salmon in California. Butte Creek is the last remaining stronghold for Spring Run Chinook salmon, but has experienced three years of poor return due to various factors. This sedimentation event may lead to the collapse of the Butte Creek run and moves Spring Run Chinook salmon to the brink of extinction in California.