Big Chico Creek Restoration I

Restoration Stories

Fish Passage Improvement Program

Planning Stage (Estimated Completion Date 2026) – The Iron Canyon Fish Ladder Passage Project is focused on a fish ladder with 17 small concrete weirs built in the 1950s. Currently, fish migrations are blocked by a total upstream migration barrier located in a bedrock gorge called Iron Canyon located in Bidwell Park, a vast and rural park managed by the City of Chico. The fish passage barrier is preventing both steelhead and spring-run Chinook salmon from accessing critical upstream holding, spawning, and rearing habitats. CalTrout, City of Chico, Big Chico Creek Ecological Reserve, Mechoopda Tribe, CDFW, NOAA, USFWS, Syblon Reid, Michael Love and Associates, & Gallaway Enterprises, will be restoring fish passage by removing components of a non-functioning fishway and reconfiguring a rock fall. The result will be a natural channel form that is completely passable at a range of stream flows allowing anadromous fish access to an additional 8.5 miles of cold-water refuge. Learn more. © USFWS