The Trinity River was once one of the legendary salmon-producing rivers on the west coast of North America. This ended in 1955, when it was connected to California's massive Central Valley Project by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation Project, a transboundary diversion of as much as half of its flow. In the 1990s, NHI, as special water counsel to Trinity County, assisted a vigorous local effort to limit these diversions and rebuild the anadromous fishery. Through interventions before the State Water Resources Control Board, sediment control programs on tributaries, channel modifications, and, finally, enactment of a Congressional amendment to the Central Valley Project authorizations, NHI and our partners succeeded in capping diversions so that an environmental flow could be maintained in this charismatic river. This success may constitute one of the seminal anadromous fish restoration efforts of all time.
Contact: Richard Roos-Collins