Delta diversion gates near Walnut Grove stuck in open position

Published: Friday, Jun. 1, 2012 - 12:00 am | Page 2B
Last Modified: Sunday, Jun. 3, 2012 - 10:12 am

Water diversion gates in the Delta near Walnut Grove became stuck open Tuesday, posing a potential threat to juvenile salmon.

The Delta cross channel gates, operated by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, divert Sacramento River water into the interior of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, then to pumps near Tracy.

The gates are normally closed on weekdays – so salmon are not diverted from their migratory path in the Sacramento River – and open on weekends for boat traffic.

While officials were attempting to close the two gates on Tuesday, one gate could not be moved due to a mechanical problem. So reclamation workers left both gates open while they work on a fix.

Jim Milbury, spokesman for the National Marine Fisheries Service, said via email a "preliminary assessment" indicates a low risk of harm.

"Most juvenile salmon have already migrated past the gates," Milbury said.

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