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Millions In Grants For Salmon And Steelhead Habitat

Patrick Koepele / Tuolomne River Trust
 

Patrick Koepele / Tuolomne River Trust

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife has approved funding for dozens of projects designed to help salmon and steelhead habitats.

The department awarded $18 million in grants for 91 projects. Most of the money will go to restore habitat.   

One of the targeted projects is on the Tuolomne River.

Patrick Koepele of the Tuolomne River Trust says the Dennett Dam washed out decades ago but is still blocking much of the river near downtown Modesto. He says the removal of the dam should limit the growth of invasive water hyacinth that has been blocking the fish. 

"For the young fish -- on their way down to the ocean, they don't get trapped there at the dam and also predators that might hang out at the dam don't have a chance to eat all of the young fish. "

Most of the state grants will go to habitat restoration projects in coastal counties to improve watersheds or increase river flows.

About $14 million will go to restore fish habitats. About $3.5 million will go to projects designed to make fish habitats more drought-resistant. About $500,000 will pay to restore forest lands.

The approved projects are mostly in coastal counties from San Diego to Siskiyou.