York Creek dam removed!

Photo: California Water Blog/Amber Manfree

Water Audit California is pleased to announce that our inspectors have observed water flowing at the site of the recently-removed York Creek dam in Napa. Local authorities had stalled on the court-ordered removal of this dam for a decade until WAC began enforcement action in 2017. Removal activities began earlier this summer and WAC can confirm that the passage is now clear in time for winter rains.

The recent removal of the sediment-filled York Dam in Napa County has reconnected two miles of steelhead trout habitat that has been blocked for over a century. While the dam itself was small and non-functional, it took nearly 30 years to accomplish removal. Thousands of barriers to stream flow and fish passage similar in size and impact to York Dam are scattered throughout California, contributing to population declines in native fishes and other freshwater species.

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Given that most dams in California were built in the last century, many are no longer functional or provide limited benefits to people. Non-functioning dams should be removed in a safe, planned manner, before they fail on their own.

California WaterBlog: Small Dam, Big Deal: York Dam Removed in Napa Valley.

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