MONTGOMERY CREEK, Calif., April 25, 2002 -- Pacific Gas and Electric Co. has announced plans for water flow studies on the Pit River in Shasta County.
As part of the company's Federal Energy Regulatory Commission relicensing requirements for the Pit 3, 4, and 5 hydroelectric project, a water flow study -- which studies the effects of increased flow -- will take place in two phases, May 6-10 and again in August.
A variety of studies occur during the federal relicensing process, all designed to obtain information that will be used to develop recommendations for future resource management and license conditions. The May flow release is primarily to obtain aerial photographs for aquatic habitat mapping and other studies, while the August flow release is to conduct recreation and ecological studies.
These studies include whitewater boating suitability, fishability, riparian inundation and flow vs. stage height, sediment transport, mollusc and filamentous algae movement, bald eagle foraging habitat, bald eagle disturbance, water temperature and water quality modeling and flow relationships to aquatic habitats.
Numerous representatives from various local, state and federal agencies will be in the field with Pacific Gas and Electric Company employees to gather data before, during and after these studies. Additionally, considerable planning and coordination has occurred to prepare for these required studies in order to minimize the impacts to the nesting bald eagles in the Pit River Canyon.
The May flow releases are scheduled:
The following schedules are approximate dates and durations. Actual flow dates will depend on weather and the ability to complete study tasks before flows are adjusted to the next test flow release.
* May 6 - 250 cfs in the Pit 4 and 5 reaches only
* May 7 - 400 cfs in all reaches Pit 3, 4 and 5
* May 8 - 600 cfs in all reaches Pit 3, 4 and 5
* May 9 - 800 cfs in all reaches Pit 3, 4 and 5
* May 10 - 1,200 cfs in all reaches Pit 3, 4 and 5
* May 10 after 6:00 p.m. begin to ramp down to minimum flows required by the current project license
The August flow releases are scheduled:
For the Pit 3 and Pit 4 Reaches:
-- August 4-6 - 250 cfs (Pit 4 only)
-- August 7-9 - 400 cfs
-- August 10-12 - 600 cfs
-- August 13-14 - 800 cfs
-- August 15-16 - 1,200 cfs
-- August 17-18 - 1,800 cfs
For the Pit 5 Reach:
-- August 16-18 - 250 cfs
-- August 19 - 21 - 400 cfs
-- August 22 - 24 - 600 cfs
-- August 25 - 26 - 800 cfs
-- August 27 - 28 - 1,200 cfs
-- August 29 - 30 - 1,800 cfs
Following the increased flow releases, flows will be ramped back to the current license required base flow.
For more information regarding Pacific Gas and Electric Company, please visit their web site at: www.pge.com