Since its formation in 1959, YCWA has worked with local, state and federal agencies, as well as environmental groups and tribes to protect wild salmon and steelhead in the lower Yuba River.
Although heavily impacted by the effects of hydraulic gold mining and the federal government’s construction of Englebright Dam, the lower Yuba River supports important fisheries.
Spring and fall-run Chinook salmon, and steelhead, annually return to in the lower Yuba River to spawn. YCWA’s New Bullards Bar Reservoir’s cold-water releases helps provide dependably cool water in the summer and fall for adult fish to spawn and juveniles to rear and out-migrate to the ocean.
The Lower Yuba River Accord, a 2008 agreement between YCWA, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, National Marine Fisheries Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bay Institute, Trout Unlimited and South Yuba Citizens League has further improved salmonid habitat in the lower Yuba River through higher instream flows. Through the Accord, YCWA has funded $5 million in fishery studies that have paved the way for fishery habitat improvements, and continues to fund $500,000 each year for further studies.
The Yuba Salmon Partnership Initiative, a collaboration between YCWA, CDFW, NMFS, American Rivers, Trout Unlimited and California Sportfishing Protection Alliance is working on a program to reintroduce spring-run Chinook salmon to the North Yuba River above New Bullards Bar Dam, and to enhance habitat in the lower Yuba River.