River gravel project aims to replenish fish nursing areas

RANCHO CORDOVA, Calif. (AP) — Crews are laying tons of gravel in the American River near Sacramento to re-establish a crucial spawning area for native salmon and steelhead trout.

The Sacramento Bee reported Saturday that the project started this month will allow female salmon to use the loose stones to build redds, a kind of nest, to deposit their eggs.

Officials say because of dams upriver, sediment and debris that would otherwise settle along the river are blocked, making the area less hospitable to fish.

Also part of the project is a new side channel that will create a protected stretch for juvenile fish to grow. The shallow, slower moving water will allow insects and vegetation to flourish for feeding.

Similar restoration projects are planned for the American River over the next 15 years.

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Information from: The Sacramento Bee, http://www.sacbee.com

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