Repairing the Feather River (NOAA Story Map)

About one year ago, record rainfall and snowmelt wreaked sudden damage on the spillways at Oroville Dam in Central California, putting nearly 200,000 people who live downstream in danger. NOAA Fisheries worked closely with the California Department of Water Resources (CDWR) to support their rapid and extensive emergency measures to protect downstream communities and assist first responders. While public safety was paramount, our concerns and assistance went beyond that to also take in to account the ecological effects of the extraordinary flows on the Feather River’s sensitive ecosystem and the threatened fish that depend on it.

This is the story of how dedicated biologists and other agency staff took action to safeguard imperiled fish that are vital to California’s economy and culture and to major West Coast salmon fisheries. Looking back a year after the emergency, we can now see how those timely actions paid off for Feather River salmon, and everyone who depends on them. (more)