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San Joaquin River flows halted to protect salmon

 •  by Lois Henry
The San Joaquin River meanders east from Friant Dam in this Nov. 2018 photo. CREDIT: Lois Henry

Flows into the San Joaquin River under a program to bring back native salmon will be stopped now through early September to try and protect fish already upstream.

The flow reduction being instituted by the San Joaquin Restoration Program is in reaction to rapidly dwindling runoff coming out of the Sierra Nevada mountains this year. The Restoration Program was created under a 2009 settlement agreement between environmental groups, the Bureau of Reclamation and Friant Water Contractors to restore the river and bring back threatened spring-run Chinook salmon.

The new restoration flow plan was approved earlier this week and releases into the river were already being “stepped down” starting early Thursday morning, according to Restoration Administrator Tom Johnson.

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