Scott River and Shasta River Instream Flow Study Plan Development
In 2008, Scott River and Shasta River were identified as high priority water sheds. As the state agency responsible for conserving, protecting, and managing California's fish, wildlife, and native plant resources, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is implementing a collaborative process to collect information, identify issues and concerns, and define future study needs. This collaboration process could include steps to evaluate instream and out-of-stream water use in the Scott and Shasta valleys.
Watershed-wide Permitting Program
Note: The Shasta and Scott River Watershed-Wide Permitting Programs have been suspended:
On October 22, 2009, Klamath Riverkeeper and others (Petitioners) filed a lawsuit against the Department of Fish and Wildlife (Department) challenging the Scott and Shasta River Watershed-wide Permitting Programs (Programs). On May 16, 2011, the court entered judgment in favor of Petitioners and ordered the Department to stop implementing the Programs until it corrects the deficiencies the court identified in its decision.
In response to the court’s order, on June 21, 2011, the Department sent letters to all agricultural water users that applied to the Scott or Shasta Program, to inform them that the Programs had been suspended. Without implementation of the Programs, agricultural water users would be required to comply with Fish and Game Code section 1602, the California Environmental Quality Act, and the California Endangered Species Act through the Department’s standard individual permitting processes for the activities the Programs would have covered. To be in compliance, all water users who substantially divert water or incidentally take coho salmon would need to submit a standard notification package to obtain a streambed alteration agreement (SAA) or incidental take permit (ITP), in addition to other applicable Fish and Game Code provisions, such as section 5937.
The Department is still considering its options in light of the court’s decision, but those options will likely require considerable time and funding. Until such time, the only available permitting option is through the Department’s standard individual permitting process.
If you need advice on whether you need to obtain a SAA or ITP, or assistance to complete a notification or application, please contact Senior Environmental Scientist Donna Cobb at (530) 225-2314 or Donna.Cobb@wildlife.ca.gov.