Salmonid Restoration Federation

Eel River Dam Removal - August 28

Friday, August 28, 2020

The Potter Valley Project FERC Relicensing Status, Dam Removal Project Plan, and Anticipated Benefits to Salmonids

Darren Mierau, California Trout North Coast Director
Alyssa FitzGerald, PhD, University of California Santa Cruz, and NOAA Southwest Fisheries Science Center Affiliate

Two aging dams on the upper Mainstem Eel River, owned by Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E), currently impede (Cape Horn Dam) or completely block (Scott Dam) migratory access to several hundred miles of habitat for federally listed Chinook salmon and Steelhead. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) license for the Potter Valley Project (PVP) expires in 2022. In 2019 PG&E made a paramount decision to not relicense the Project.

This webinar will describe the Feasibility Study Report and Project Plan submitted to FERC in May of 2020 by a coalition of five regional entities including CalTrout to acquire the license for the Potter Valley Project. The Project Plan includes removal of Scott Dam, modification of Cape Horn Dam, continued power generation, and winter “run-of-the-river” water diversions. The Project plan would result in unimpeded migratory access for salmon and steelhead into the upper Eel River, along with continued diversion of Eel River water to the Russian River.

In addition, we’ll hear an update from Alyssa FitzGerald, PhD, of NOAA Fisheries and the Southwest Fisheries Science Center, on recently completed analyses to confirm the extent and quality of habitat in the upper Mainstem Eel River.

For updated information on the Project, please visit :

A recording of the webinar is available on our Vimeo page:

Aerial view of the Potter Valley Project by Kyle Schwartz

Related Documents