109-year-old Potter Valley Project the Controversial Link Between Russian and Eel Rivers

109-year-old Potter Valley Project the Controversial Link Between Russian and Eel Rivers

About 80 feet behind the PG&E hydropower plant in Potter Valley, gray-green silt-laden water from the Eel River passes through a steel gate and is invisibly transformed. It has become part of the Russian River, which provides water for more than 600,000 people from Redwood Valley to northern Marin County. “Once it passes the gate, … Read more

PG&E Files Notice of Intent to File Application for New License

PG&E Files Notice of Intent to File Application for New License

The re-licensing process for the Eel River dams has begun. PG&E filed their “Notice of Intent / Pre-Application Document” today with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Now begins the long process of reading all 800+ pages and submitting study proposals by the end of the year. Click here for PG&E’s Notice of Intent and Pre-Application … Read more

Threatened Salmon a Concern as PG&E Plans to Pull Plug on Butte Creek Hydro Project

Threatened Salmon a Concern as PG&E Plans to Pull Plug on Butte Creek Hydro Project

DeSabla >> Operating the hydroelectric plants on Butte Creek just isn’t worth it to PG&E anymore, and that’s a potential threat to a rare strain of salmon. The electric company is going to withdraw its application for a license with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission later this month, said PG&E corporate relations representative Paul Moreno. … Read more

Feds OK plan to keep more water in Lake Pillsbury reservoir

Feds OK plan to keep more water in Lake Pillsbury reservoir

Federal authorities have granted temporary flow reductions aimed at keeping more water in Lake Pillsbury, a small but crucial reservoir high in the Mendocino National Forest that supplies water to the Eel River, Lake Mendocino, the Russian River and the people, farmers and fish dependent on them. The move is aimed at ensuring healthier river … Read more

Federal Water Decision that Could Affect Russian River Flows Imminent

Federal Water Decision that Could Affect Russian River Flows Imminent

Federal approval of a drought-related request to reduce flows from Lake Pillsbury could come Friday or early next week, relieving concerns shared by PG&E, North Bay water managers and ranchers in Potter Valley. If the remote reservoir on the Eel River in Lake County falls too low this summer, it could trigger a dramatic cutback … Read more

Shrinking Lake County Reservoir Prompts North Bay Supply Concerns

Shrinking Lake County Reservoir Prompts North Bay Supply Concerns

Water supplies for Sonoma, Mendocino and Marin counties this summer could hinge partly on the dwindling storage in a remote, drought-starved reservoir on the Eel River that serves as a cornerstone to the region’s water system. Water managers, fisheries biologists, environmentalists and PG&E have their eyes on Lake Pillsbury, a diminishing Lake County reservoir where … Read more

Drying Times are Trying Times for Eel River Fish

Drying Times are Trying Times for Eel River Fish

By: Scott Greacen Originally published by Econews, June 2014 Serial Variance Requests Reveal Vulnerability of Eel River Fisheries to Demands from Russian River Irrigators The Eel River’s surviving salmonids—chinook, coho, and steelhead—are struggling to come back from near-extinction. Good returns from 2010 to 13, particularly for chinook, felt like recovery might be getting underway. Unfortunately, … Read more

Beautiful River, Growing Thirst, Looming Battle Over the Eel River

In the third-largest watershed in California, the Eel River rambles through some of the state’s most stunning landscape. Nothing about the river, with its clusters of redwoods along its sandy banks, hints at the looming battle over its blue-green water. In about three years, though, a federal commission will begin reviewing an application by Pacific Gas … Read more

The Potter Valley Project Variance Dance: Drought and the Russian River Diversion

By: Scott Greacen April 18, 2014 New Rules for Drying Times? Serial Variance Requests Reveal Vulnerability of Eel River Fisheries to Demands from Russian River Irrigators The Eel River’s surviving salmonids—­chinook, coho, and steelhead—are struggling to come back from near-extinction. Good returns from 2010 to 13, particularly for chinook, felt like recovery might be getting … Read more