River Bend Park's gravel project will help salmon

09/04/2013 12:00 AM

09/04/2013 7:55 AM

The latest effort to restore salmon spawning in the American River began Tuesday at Sacramento's River Bend Park.

The project involves spreading gravel in the riverbed so migrating wild chinook salmon have more room to create "redds," or nests for their eggs. The aim is to replenish gravel that would have naturally washed downstream but has been blocked for decades by Folsom and Nimbus dams.

Led by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, which owns the dams, the project is in its sixth year and has proved successful by increasing the number of documented redds.

About 6,000 tons of gravel will be added to the river during this year's project. About 5,500 square yards of habitat will be created at an estimated cost of $400,000.

Work will be Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., immediately downstream of the bridge at River Bend Park. Completion is set for Sept. 27.

The gravel will be placed using front-end loaders and bulldozers. People in the area are advised to use caution and pay attention to signs in the work area, at boat ramps and on the bridge at River Bend Park.

For information, contact Louis Moore at (916) 978-5106 or wmoore@usbr.gov, or go to http://ht.ly/owDKP.

Contact The Bee's Matt Weiser at (916) 321-1264. Follow him on Twitter @matt_weiser.

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