With the high temperatures once again heating up the north state, the water temperature in Butte Creek is also rising. PG&E has been releasing extra cold water into the creek, where threatened salmon are waiting to spawn.
Every spring, PG&E works with fish and game to conduct a snorkel count of salmon in Butte Creek. The fish are threatened during the summer season because of scorching temperatures that cause water temperatures to rise. It's hoped that the release of cold water from the Philbrook Reservoir, east of Stirling City, will make a difference in fish mortality. These salmon were born in Butte Creek and return to the waterway after traveling to the Pacfic ocean.
Several years ago there was a decline in the number of salmon, to the point that they became threatened. But since then, agencies have worked together to help bring that number up. The main goal is to avoid a big die off from warm water and disease, which caused about half the returning salmon to die in 2003.