Save Auburn Ravine Salmon and Steelhead

Save Auburn Ravine Salmon and Steelhead

Mission Statement:  to return salmon and steelhead to the entire length of the Auburn Ravine

    SARSAS is trying to do with one stream, the Auburn Ravine, what must be done to all streams and rivers on the entire West Coast and that is to make the entire length of the ravine navigable for Anadromous Fish. 

    The health and well-being of Salmon is directly linked to that of people.  If we improve the health and well-being of Salmon, we improve the health and well-being of mankind and therefore ourselves. 

    Salmon are as resilient and adaptive as humans; when they can no longer adapt, neither can mankind.  They need our help....NOW.

Please click link below to view SARSAS Plan:

The SARSAS plan for returning salmon and steelhead to the Pacific Marine Fishery (Click to view the plan.)

"SARSAS - Returning Salmon to Auburn Ravine

  SARSAS on Facebook                   The SARSAS Blog

SARSAS White Paper
Auburn Ravine - High Potential for Salmon
March 12, 2015

(Click here to read the document.)

Auburn Journal - Monday, February 16, 2015

"Field Trip - A Step Forward in Salmon Habitat Efforts
SARSAS Led Outing Brings Ideas, Creates More Solid Partnerships"

Click here to read the article.


 Jack L. Sanchez, SARSAS President - January 2015

Salmon are being held hostage by NID to pressure Foothill Water District (FWN) of which SARSAS is a member to withdraw ...... Click here to read more.

Salmon Once Again Are Destroying Themselves Desperately Trying to Get over Hemphill Dam
November 10, 2014

Nevada Irrigation District (NID) did not apply for a permit from California Fish and Wildlife in a timely manner to do the work it told SARSAS it would do this year to allow fish to get over the dam to reach good spawning gravels on Auburn Ravine so now CFW will not grant NID the permit because salmon and a redd are at the dam and so granting the permit would imperil them. 

The result is that salmon will for another year be injuring and beating themselves to death trying to get over the dam.

SARSAS is very disappointed and feels great sympathy for our salmon brothers who will die after a journey of thousands of miles and up to seven years duration in the Pacific Ocean, fighting daily for survival,  and then return to Auburn Ravine to die at Hemphill Dam because of NID’s complete meltdown on its word to partially fix HH dam for salmon passage. This is a great tragedy for one of nature's most gifted creatures.

Small Placer Dam is a Big Barrier to Salmon

An Article from the Sacramento Bee - Sunday, November 23, 2014
Click here to read the article.

Salmon Need Our Help to Survive
Read letters to the editor - Sacramento Bee
Click here to read.

Lincoln Messenger - December 4, 2014 - Reader Input
"Irrigation District Ignores Environment"
John Sanchez (aka Jack Sanchez)

Click here to read the article.

"California Rescues Salmon Trapped in Yolo Bypass"
Sacramento Bee - Thursday, December 4, 2014

Click here to read the article.

"Auburn Ravine Salmon Migration Blocked at Hemphill Dam"
Lincoln News Messenger - December 11, 2014
SARSAS - Guest Column - Jack Sanchez
Click here to read the column.

Important Notice:

Ways You Can Help Auburn Ravine Salmon with Your Letters to Create Passage for Salmon and Steelhead over Its Two Dams, Hemphill and Gold Hill

First, write letters to local Gold Country Media papers i. e. Auburn Journal, Colfax Record, Lincoln News Messenger, Loomis News, Roseville Press Tribune, et. al. and to the Sacramento Bee urging Nevada Irrigation District (NID) to provide PERMANENT fish passage over its two dams on Auburn Ravine, Hemphill and Gold Hill.

NID has become a pariah water contractor concerned with the bottom line at the expense of the environment, especially the fishes it is blocking from spawning with its dams and harming them by inaction.  

NID has spent over $488k on just filing fees alone to build the monstrous Parker Dam on the Bear River at a projected cost of $160 million while completely neglecting its Auburn Ravine dams.

NID has been singing a happy song for a long time without action. Your voice will help salmon so please write a letter, the most effective action any citizen can take. NID will only react from public pressure.

Second, write a letter to Jim Bachman, Chairman of the Board of the Nevada Irrigation District (NID), demanding he put fish passage over Hemphill and Gold Hill Dams on Auburn Ravine.  His address is Nevada Irrigation District, 1036 West Main Street, Grass Valley, CA95945. He is responsible for the management of NID.

And, finally, write to Senators Dianne Feinstein, who has help SARSAS protect salmon, and Barbara Boxer, asking that the Department of Commerce instruct NOAA to become active on Auburn Ravine in its mission of protecting Inland Anadromous fishes, salmon and steelhead.

Your letters will also help save the salmon on the Pacific Coast, but you must write.  Inaction allows salmon to head toward extinction.

2014 Auburn Ravine - Chinook Salmon Run - Hemphill Dam
A Video by Steve Hubbard

What should have been a great year for the wild salmon on the beautiful Auburn Ravine is turning out to be a disaster.  An early December storm brought fish into the system in much greater numbers than 2012, but the fish found themselves unexpectedly blocked by Nevada Irrigation District's (NID) Hemphill Dam.

A temporary baffle structure, built last year by Nevada Irrigation District (NID) to help fish past the dam in low water conditions, wasn’t removed on schedule or not planned to be removed at all.  The structure should have been removed before this year’s run and replaced by a system more suitable for normal water flows, like this year’s.  

But the district failed to remove the structure in time and it has remained in place during the storms and the ensuing high water conditions; it was finally removed after SARSAS pointed out the disaster.

Fox News gave a misleading news clip pointing out the great job NID did to remove the blockage saying nothing about NID's inattention created the mess.

Debris floating down the river caught on the retaining cable of the poorly designed baffle and formed a debris dam.  The debris dam actually makes Hemphill MORE dangerous to fish than its previous condition, before the temporary structure was built, because in its current state fish are funneled away from the channel towards the baffle, which they have no chance of getting over.  They are blocked from spawning in their historic grounds.


Here is the May 2008 plan (on Page 12) envisioned to get salmon into the Upper Auburn Ravine with local water contractors engaged and working together.So far the plan has not moved from the paper description ... nothing has been done to implement this plan. Salmon are still blocked by Nevada Irrigation District's (NID's) Hemphill Dam. Salmon suffer while water contractors fiddle.  Click here to read the plan.

he SARSAS Plan for Saving Salmon in California and in the Pacific Marine Fishery - The Plan Can Serve as a Model for Other Groups Forming on the 737 Tributaries of California's Two Great Rivers. Effective October 2014.

Yes, the people of California, volunteering together, can save the salmon.  The people must spearhead the saving of the salmon because time is critical.  The salmon has little time left on the planet without the help of the people ...  To read more, click here to download the document.

Click here to view a larger image of the map of the Auburn Ravine.

Thank You for the Help.

NOAA Special Agent Don Tanner will stay in our area with his office changing from Sacramento to Alameda.  Don staying is a great help for SARSAS because of his constant patrolling of Auburn Ravine.  Thanks to all who wrote letters in support of agent Tanner.  

Sacramento Bee - Monday, November 17, 2014
"Sacramento's Salmon Run in Full Swing, but Drought Still a Worry" - Fewer Fish Spawning Amid Drought - Fall Salmon Run Comes Up Short

Click to read the article.

ugust 2, 2014 - Auburn Journal - Guest Column by Jack Sanchez

"Another View: Conditions Excellent for Salmon Returning to the Auburn Ravine"

Auburn City Council Signs Resolution of Support for SARSAS

Resolution of Support for SAVE AUBURN RAVINE SALMON AND STEELHEAD (SARSAS) by the City of Auburn, signed unanimously on Monday, November 10, 2014

WHEREAS, SARSAS is an all-volunteer group dedicated to the objective of returning native salmon and steelhead to the upper reaches of the Auburn Ravine, and

WHEREAS, SARSAS supports responsible development and is committed to preserving public access to this unique riparian environment, and

WHEREAS, community outreach by SARSAS has included founding of the annual Salmon Celebration in Lincoln, recruiting volunteers for the annual Sierra Stream Cleanup Day, numerous presentations to community groups and commissions, grant applications and funding, and documentary film production seen by thousands of viewers, and

WHEREAS, SARSAS has spearheaded the installation of a $1.2M fish ladder at Lincoln Gauging Station which enabled 373 salmon to reach marginal spawning gravel and dig over 100 redds and spawn in the Auburn Ravine for the first time since 1989, and

WHEREAS, the organization is currently working with the Nevada Irrigation District on fish passage over Hemphill Dam two miles upstream from the City of Lincoln, the current obstacle to fish migration at the twenty- two mile mark, and

WHEREAS, SARSAS has work collaboratively with federal and state agencies removing eight dams in the Auburn Ravine, probably more than any other organization in California, and

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the City of Auburn unanimously signs and endorses this Resolution for SARSAS.

To view photos by
Phil Robertson taken along the Auburn Ravine, click on the link above on the menu bar for "Photographs".


SARSAS meetings hosted by Placer County Supervisor Robert Weygandt are held on the fourth Monday of every month at 10 am at the Domes, 175 Fulweiler Avenue, Auburn, Ca 95603.  Meetings are held to one hour.

March Meeting: Monday, April 27, 2015

April 27, 2015: Heidi Perryman, PhD
President and Founder
Worth a Dam
"Beaver Restoration in Urban Creeks"

(Click here to view the agenda)

   Future Meetings

May 18, 2015 (Please note date): Steve Hubbard
SARSAS Program Director
Gold Country Images 
"SARSAS Movie Making"

June 22, 2015: Daryl Hayes

"Update on the Installation of fish Screens
on Pleasant Grove Canal"

July 27, 2015: Mike Love
Hydraulic Engineer
Mike Love and Associates
"Planning fish Passage on Auburn Ravine"

SARSAS at the Salmon Celebration 2014

SARSAS at the Auburn Festival of Lights Parade - 2014


Visit the SARSAS Blog
Click here to view.

Paul Newman speaks about "Salmon Nation"
(Press the play button to listen)

Visit the website for Salmon Nation

Next Barrier Needing a Fish Ladder and Fish Screen on Auburn Ravine

The Hemphill Dam is the next target for fish passage. It is an Nevada Irrigation District Dam. NID just put a fish ladder on the Lincoln Gauging Station last November which really allowed salmon to reach the first marginal spawning gravels below Hemphill Dam. Once HH is retrofitted for fish passages, salmon will be able to reach prime spawning grounds moving 6 miles upstream to the Gold Hill Dam, another NID Dam.

One of the Reasons SARSAS is Now at Work

It's early, but mark your calendar!

Wild Salmon or Tri-Tip Dinner

A benefit for SARSAS

Saturday, May 16, 2015
6:00 PM

Hosted by Pescatore Winery
7065 Ridge Road, Newcastle, CA

The dinner sold out very quickly last year so we want to get word out early.  Several reservations have already been made for the 2015 dinner. Please do not wait to make reservations.  Call or email now.

Jack Sanchez
(530) 888 - 0281

Click here to view the flyer for this event.

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