Hemphill Dam begins construction of fish passage

Hemphill Dam Ravine Bypass Installation (08/11/2022)

“The Hemphill Dam passage improvements will greatly improve Auburn Ravine for spawning and rearing by native fishes. It is a good example of improvements needed to benefit native fish populations at hundreds of locations across the state.”

Peter Moyle, a UC Distinguished Professor Emeritus and advisor to Water Audit

In 2019, Water Audit California sued the Nevada Irrigation District seeking a court order to “compel the respondent to remediate the Hemphill Dam’s impairment to fish passage, and to cease the unlawful kill of fish caused by the inadequate manner of diversion.” In 2020, Nevada Irrigation District voted to to adopt a fish passage improvement plan for Hemphill Dam in Auburn Ravine.

On May 11, 2022, the NID Board of Directors awarded the construction contract. On August 25, 2022, WAC was been able to verify that construction of the Hemphill Dam fish passage is underway (original url).

This project is the culmination of a 20-year process involving citizen advocates and regulatory agencies, including Water Audit California, Friends of the Auburn Ravine, Save Auburn Ravine Salmon and Steelhead, NOAA Fisheries, and California Department of Fish and Wildlife.