EBMUD’s commitment to environmental protection begins with our mission statement and continues through our many programs and services. Efficient use of water, a limited and precious natural resource in California, is an important step every Californian can take to protect the environment.
EBMUD's 1996 Watershed Master Plan, Range Resource Management Plan, Fire Management Plan and Habitat Conservation Plan (see PDFs below) are all major programs within the East Bay Watershed.
East Bay Fisheries & Wildlife
EBMUD biologists monitor fish, wildlife and plant species on East Bay watershed lands in accordance with the East Bay Watershed Master Plan and the EBMUD East Bay HCP. Fisheries and Wildlife biologists perform pre-project surveys and make recommendations to minimize or avoid impacts to sensitive species. Biologists conduct habitat assessments, population studies and other research to inform management of sensitive species on the watershed.
EBMUD's Lower Mokelumne River Management Plan was implemented in 1993 to provide a reliable water supply and to sustain and enhance the lower Mokelumne River fisheries, especially fall-run Chinook salmon and steelhead trout, and other aquatic and riparian resources.
Mokelumne Fisheries & Wildlife
EBMUD monitors and manages biological resources in the Mokelumne River watershed, including the lower river. As part of efforts to manage the natural resources EBMUD is entrusted with, EBMUD biologists gather critical information needed to measure the success of environmental programs that boost natural habitat and protect wildlife. EBMUD tracks the numbers of slamon, for example, at various points in their lifecycle, including counts of salmon nests (redds), numbers of adult salmon that return to the river, and ocean-bound juvenile salmon counts.
EBMUD can best provide benefits to the Mokelumne River as a whole by working collaboratively with regulatory agencies to implement enhancement projects. For example, by partnering with UC Davis, US Fish and Wildlife Service and the Department of Fish and Game, EBMUD has enhanced more than 1 kilometer of spawning habitat in the upper reach of the lower Mokelumne River. This improved habitat provides a high-quality area for adult salmon to build their nests. EBMUD also works with numerous landowners and stewardship groups to help acquire funding, equipment and materials needed for restoration projects. These local partnerships are essential if we are to meet our goal of an ecologically healthy Mokelumne River.
In 2012, the Chinook salmon return to the Mokelumne River exceeded 12,000 fish, which is almost three times the long-term average on the river. This follows the 2011 record of over 18,000 returning salmon. This demonstrates the solid rebound on the Mokelumne River and a record of success from the efforts of EBMUD and its partners, and also makes the Mokelumne one of the most productive salmon rivers in the Central Valley, based on flow volume.
The increasing numbers of endangered California tiger salamanders at EBMUD-built ponds in the Mokelumne watershed are increasing optimism for the species' future. Habitat restoration for three endangered species was a key part of the federal Safe Harbor Agreement that EBMUD entered with the US Fish and Wildlife Service. California red-legged frogs, California tiger salamanders and Valley longorn elderberrry beetle will benefit from this 30-year agreement.
Since the agreement was signed, EBMUD built and rehabilitated eight shallow water habitats (ponds). Last February, staff found salamander eggs. After a recent survey, six known populations of tiger salamanders were identified; before the agreement there was only one.
In terms of area covered, the agreement is the largest ever, covering 28,000 acres of District-owned land in Amador, Calaveras, and San Joaquin counties. The agreement ensures that species habitat will be protected and enhanced through conservation and management activities. For more information contact Lodi Fisheries & Wildlife (209) 333-2095.
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