Yuba Accord River Management Team
The foundation of the award-winning Lower Yuba Accord is the Fisheries Agreement. In addition to improving salmon and steelhead habitat along 24 miles of the lower Yuba River, the fisheries agreement established a $6 million River Management Fund, financed by YCWA. A River Management Team was also established to guide the expenditures of these funds, which include $500,000 each year for studies. The RMT consists of representatives from YCWA, National Marine Fisheries Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, CDFW, Pacific Gas and Electric Co., Department of Water Resources and conservation groups working collaboratively with University of California, Davis researchers and professors.
Focused on science, the RMT has developed a large active research program and a state-of-the-art monitoring and evaluation program for the lower Yuba River. Guided by the RMT, Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission staff perform a suite of fish population data collection activities to study adult upstream migration, spawning, juvenile rearing and outmigration life stages of Chinook salmon and steelhead. Additional RMT activities include the identification of potential habitat restoration and enhancement measures in the river.
The RMT maintains a web site, www.yubaaccordrmt.com, where research results are available for public review.
Programs and activities supported by YCWA
Classroom Aquarium Education Program – Arctic Chiller Program
The Classroom Aquarium Education Program, which began as the product of a thesis paper around 1993, has been educating young students about fish and the Yuba River watershed ever since.
The program originally involved raising young fish in 10 to 15 gallon tanks in classrooms with the goal of eventually being able to release them into the wild.
After experiencing challenges with keeping the classroom-based tanks at an appropriate temperature for the fish to thrive, other options were explored, which ultimately led to the use of Arctic Chillers made by Glacier Corporation.
YCWA purchased the first Arctic Chillers, which have successfully kept the young fish alive long enough to be studied and transported to the river. The units continue to be utilized in classrooms all around the area, and YCWA continues to support the program and educating Yuba County’s youth.
District 10 Wild Duck Egg Salvage Program
Rice fields throughout the Sacramento Valley draw a plethora of waterfowl, shorebirds and wildlife. Locally, the District 10 Wild Duck Egg Salvage Program was designed to preserve and save duck eggs laid in crop fields from harm by the heavy machinery used to mow the fields prior to spring planting.
Once the eggs are collected, they are taken to a hatchery to be monitored and incubated. Eventually, the hatchlings are released back into the wild once they have been banded.
In 2016, D10WDE raised and released 637 ducks back in the wild. Over the past 24 years of operation, the organization has released more than 35,000 ducks.
The organization also acquired an independent bird banding permit from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which allows D10WDE to continue its operations in Yuba, Sutter and Butter County areas.
The Yuba County Water Agency contributes $5,000 annually to the District 10 Wild Duck Egg program to help with collection and efforts to save the wild duck eggs.