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.
Record dry January expected in many Northern and Central California cities as drought drops reservoir levels.
The California Department of Water Resources says the state’s snowpack is “dismally meager.” A lack of snow in the Sierra is keeping rivers low and drying up some reservoirs.
The City of Roseville is yanking grass and replacing it with drought-resistant landscaping to conserve water. Roseville also offers homeowners a 'Cash For Grass' rebate program.
The City of Sacramento says water customers in 2014 "cut water use to the lowest level per person per day in 100 years."
Salmon rely on cool water temperatures and aquatic plants to survive. So California’s drought has hit them particularly hard. But UC Davis researchers have found one area where the fish are flourishing.