Saturday, November 14, 2015

SYRCL Takes Aim at a Dam less than 25 Feet High, on a Creek.

Given the problems that are visited upon us by fossil fuels, I think it very short sighted to view all dams as artifacts of damnation.  I'd rather get the weather in balance first, and then take care of the fishes.  To the extent that hydro power can do that, let it be.  I don't see any mad dash to remove the rest of the new Rome Powerhouse.

Way up at Donner Summit, just south of Old Highway 40, lies a dam, less than 25 feet from spillway to base.   In fact it may be even less than 20 feet high, I'd have to drive up to double check it.  Note the United States survey marker next to the railway tracks, at 6,758 feet.  Note the height of the spillway, 6,769 feet

This dam has been there over 150 years.  They question its "legality."   The also question its safety.  Then they come up with "scientific proof" based on generalizations including data from all kinds of studies of these kinds of dams world wide.  They list scholarly papers, but offer no original charts to show just how similar those dams may be to this particular dam.

In point of fact, despite using the internet to post all of this, they do not offer one single LINK!

Then they go on to list data that they have gathered, above and below the dam since 2006.  They do not list the fluctuations in the lake level.  They do not list the outside air temperatures, and they offer no comparisions from earlier years of this pertinent data.  They appear to be claiming that this dam is the one and only determinent factor of downstream temperatures, and completely ignore the giant thermal mass of the granite over which this creek soon to become river flows.

This dam catches the runoff from Caste Peaks on down to the Mt. Lincoln area.  Immediately below the dam, however, a very substantial addition to the water in the South Yuba (still a creek on Topos) comes from Rattlesnake Creek and Ridge, and Signal Mountain. It is then, about two miles west of Cisco Grove, that the South Yuba shows up at river size on the maps.  See the points circled in red.

How far up do the salmon have to come to spawn?  Were salmon ever caught east of Cisco Grove?  East of Plavada ?  Or at Soda Springs itself?  Did they swim up Castle Creek?  Inquiring minds want to know.

In addition, were any volume measurements taken, of water flow, at Soda Springs, at Plavada, at Cisco Grove?  How about temperature?  How long has it been since Lake Van Norden had water coming over the spillway?  If the dam has been out of water this whole time, then the measurements would be meaningless.  The photo they used in their blog shows no water anywhere near the dam.  Salmon were welcomed up the river in the fall.  How much water has been flowing during the fall?

Another point of concern for SYRCL, is DaGuerre Point Dam.  They talk of the fish, but do not take temperatures above and below.  They also never mention the point of the dam, which is to provide irrigation water via the Stahl Ditch, to much of the croplands to the north and east of Marysville.

A final concern is how to get fish up over the Englebright dam?

I would propose a plexiglass elevator, a counter weight going down the back side of the dam, and a system of transfer for the water containing the fish to the backside.  Seems to me this could be done.

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