The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation has cut water releases from 1,100 cubic feet per second down to 500 feet.
"That has exposed some of the fall run salmon nests or 'redds' as they're called, r-e-d-d."
Tom Ghoring is with the Sacramento Water Forum.
On Capital Public Radio's Insight with Beth Ruyak, Ghoring said early surveys show that reductions, prompted by the dry winter, have left 15 percent of salmon nests or "redds" out of water.
"We know that exposing them is harmful to them. An exposed redd doesn't necessarily kill the eggs buried in the redd, but some of the nearby redds that are still underwater may be harmed so much that they could die."
~Tom Ghoring, Sacramento Water Forum
Reclamation officials say reducing water flows into the American River will help conserve the water supply stored behind Folsom Dam.
Insight will have more about how the lack of rain is impacting the region, coming up at 9 a.m.
Overall water use decreased again in September compared to last year in the Sacramento region. Water providers are also pumping less groundwater, despite a heavier reliance on it in the drought.
If a flood were to hit Twitchell Island in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta it would threaten much of California’s water supply. It’s why emergency management agencies are holding flood-fighting exercises during a drought.
UC Davis researchers have identified 'high priority' dams in California where releasing water may be a key for the survival of native fish species.
California Governor Jerry Brown says the state can lead the way with its water policies just as California is leading the way with initiatives for renewable energy and climate change.
A winter forecast from NOAA's Climate Prediction Center Thursday shows the California drought may persist or intensify in parts of the state.