Scott River Restoration III

Restoration Stories


The Scott River Water Trust in Siskiyou County is the first water trust in California and has pioneered the use of voluntary low-volume, low-cost water leases to enhance environmental flows. The trust pays farmers along the Scott River and its tributaries to leave water instream for salmon and steelhead, typically 30 to 90 days, particularly during periods of drought and low flows. The Water Trust leased a total of 6,080.58 acre-feet of water from 2013 through 2015, which comprised of 33 leases throughout 4 tributaries and at 4 different locations within the mainstem of the Scott River. Of this total, 1,980.58 acre-feet of water was returned instream to benefit rearing salmonids during the summer months, 3,300 acre-feet was returned instream to benefit juvenile migration during the spring of 2014, and 800 acre-feet was returned to assist the migration of Chinook and coho spawning adults in the fall of 2013. This three-year total accounts for more than half of all leased water in the history of the Water Trust, showing the growth and dynamic nature of the water-leasing program. Given that 2013 through 2015 were Critically Dry water year types, a base of $65 an acre-foot was established for all three years. Learn More © Scott River Water Trust