TID, MID to Discuss Fish Passage for FERC Relicensing

Tuolumne River Trust - www.tuolumne.org

The Turlock and Modesto irrigation districts will host the first of a series of public workshops to discuss several issues related to the ongoing Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) relicensing on Wednesday.

One of the issues being discussed in public workshops is providing for the passage of fish migrating upstream and downstream between the La Grange Diversion Dam and Don Pedro Reservoir, which will be discussed at Wednesday’s meeting.

TID and MID, which jointly manage the Don Pedro Reservoir, will be hosting the workshop to discuss upstream and downstream facilities considerations, including determining which species of fish will be required to have passage and why, according to TID spokesperson Calvin Curtin.

The fish facilities are of concern to the districts, as any future fish passage facilities that are required to be built may incur additional rate increases for ratepayers.

“In the FERC licensing process, the National Marine Fisheries Service has the authority to require TID and MID to build fish passage facilities which could be a substantial investment and would ultimately be borne by our ratepayers,” said Curtin.

TID and MID filed their final application for the Don Pedro Reservoir last April and are in the process of licensing the La Grange Dam, which is located just downstream from Don Pedro.

FERC regulates the operation of all dams; the districts operate Don Pedro Reservoir only with FERC’s permission to do so. The district’s current FERC license, issued in 1966, expires in 2016.

The first workshop will take place from 9 a.m. to noon Wednesday in the second floor Multipurpose Room at MID’s Main Office, 1231 11th St. in Modesto. 

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