The Sand Slough Side Channel Enhancement Project involves enhancing an existing constructed side channel to improve its performance as juvenile salmonid rearing habitat. The project is located just upstream of the Red Bluff Diversion Dam, on the east bank of the Sacramento River in Tehama County, California. The side channel was constructed in 2012 by the Bureau of Reclamation as mitigation for the Red Bluff Diversion Dam Fish Passage Improvement Project. Identified issues with the current conditions are that the side channel does not flow perennially as was contemplated and it lacks structural diversity. The channel was designed to flow at Sacramento River flows as low as 5,500 cfs. The channel currently flows during summer irrigation flows and during elevated storm events in the winter but is dry during the fall, winter (in between elevated storm events) and early spring. In addition, fisheries agency survey personnel have stated that, even when the side channel is flowing, it lacks sufficient structural diversity to serve as high-quality rearing habitat.
The project includes the following components:
- Hydraulic / Hydrologic Modeling
The concept is to lower the elevation of the two side channel inlets by several feet to create a perennially-flowing side channel and add wood / boulder structures to the channel to enhance habitat conditions.