- This event has passed.
Flyway Nights Speaker Series – Fremont Weir Big Notch Project
January 5, 2023 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Josh Martinez, Restoration Ecology Unit Manager, CA Dept. of Water Resources
The Yolo Bypass Salmonid Habitat Restoration and Fish Passage Project, or Big Notch Project, is a joint State and federal project between the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) and the United States Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation). This project provides essential benefits to various native fish species, including threatened and endangered Chinook salmon, steelhead, and sturgeon. Since the construction of the Fremont Weir in the 1930’s, the northern Yolo Bypass has been a literal dead end for many adult fish migrating upstream to their spawning grounds. The Big Notch Project provides a critical point of entry back into the Sacramento River, allowing these fish to continue their migration. Additionally, juvenile salmon and steelhead journeying downstream to the Pacific Ocean will have access to thousands of acres of Yolo Bypass floodplain rearing habitat through the operable Big Notch gates. Off-channel rearing habitat, such as floodplains, provides juvenile fish access to an abundant food supply not available in the mainstem river. Considering nearly 95% of historic off-channel salmon rearing habitat has been disconnected from the river by dams and levees, the Big Notch Project represents a significant recovery of this important ecosystem function.
Josh Martinez is a Senior Environmental Scientist with the California Department of Water Resources. As manager of the Restoration Ecology Unit, Josh has spent the last 14 years working on habitat restoration and fish passage projects in the Yolo Bypass.