Dredging and Mining

SAN FRANCISCO BAY ESTUARY — IMPACTS OF DREDGING ACTIVITIES ON SENSITIVE FISH SPECIES ESTUARY

There is concern over the level of suspended sediments caused by dredging activities in the San Francisco Bay Estuary. In this U.S. Army Corps of Engineers project, AAR assessed the impacts of dredge-related sediments on the sensitive fish species in the San Francisco Bay Estuary.

SAN FRANCISCO BAY ESTUARY — TOOLS FOR ASSESSING AND MONITORING FISH BEHAVIOR IN RELATION TO DREDGING ACTIVITIES

In this U.S. Army Corps of Engineers project, AAR identified methods that could be used to assess behavioral effects of dredging activities on sensitive fish species in the San Francisco Bay Estuary.

PETALUMA RIVER — IMPACTS OF DREDGING ON FISHERY RESOURCES

AAR assessed the impacts of a project involving the dredging of a previously-existing lagoon (Bahia, Marin County) so that the homeowners could use the lagoon once again for boating activities to and from the Petaluma River. Fish species of concern included Chinook salmon, steelhead, delta smelt, and Sacramento splittail.

CLIFTON COURT FOREBAY — IMPACTS OF DREDGING ON STRIPED BASS

In a California Department of Water Resources project, AAR assessed the potential impacts of different concentrations of suspended sedimenst on striped bass, as a result of dredging in Clifton Court Forebay in the San Joaquin River Delta.

CARMEL RIVER LAGOON — IMPACTS OF ANNUAL BREACHING ON STEELHEAD

Mechanically breaching (dredging) the Carmel River Lagoon is eroding a road on Carmel River Point. AAR assessed the impacts of different breaching methodologies on steelhead inhabiting or passing through the lagoon. Project Tasks included: (1) Analyzing existing biological and physical data; (2) Working with the Federal, state, and local agencies to identify solutions; and, (3) Oral and written testimony by Dr. Alice Rich.

PERMANENTE CREEK, CALIFORNIA — IMPACTS OF LIMESTONE QUARRY MINE ON SALMONIDS

As part of a Clean-Up and Abatement Order, Hanson-Permanente Cement was required to hire a fisheries specialist to evaluate the activities of their limestone mining quarry. AAR assessed the mine’s impacts on fish habitat in Permanente Creek, downstream of the mining activities.

UPPER RUSSIAN RIVER — AGGREGATE RESOURCES MANAGEMENT PLAN

As part of the Aggregate Resources Management Plan for the Upper Russian River for Mendocino County, AAR evaluated the impacts of past, present, and future gravel mining on fishery resources, particularly steelhead, including: (1) Documenting the status of fishery resources conditions; (2) Identifying appropriate gravel extraction sites; (3) Identifying appropriate extraction methods; (4) Developing a Fishery Resources Monitoring Plan; and, (5) Integrating fishery resources needs into the Aggregate Resources Management Plan.

MAD RIVER, HUMBOLDT COUNTY — IMPACTS OF GRAVEL EXTRACTION MINING ON SALMONIDS

AAR provided assistance in connection with Granite Construction Company’s gravel mining operations in the Mad River in northern California. AAR’s Tasks included: (1) Section 7 Consultation with the Federal agencies; (2) Assessing past and present fishery resources conditions; (3) Identifying appropriate extraction methods; and, (4) Providing an Adaptive Management Plan that incorporated long-term cause-and- effect monitoring.

DRY CREEK, IDAHO — IMPACTS OF PHOSPHATE MINE EXPANSION ON SALMONIDS

AAR analyzed the impacts of the expansion of a phosphate mine in Dry Valley Creek (part of the Blackfoot River Watershed) in Southeastern Idaho. The main issue of concern was the potential impacts of the project on the Yellowstone cutthroat trout. Tasks performed by AAR included: (1) Fish habitat and population surveys; (2) Heavy metal impact analysis, including bioaccumulation of heavy metals by fishes; (3) Macroinvertebrate sampling and analysis; (4) Analysis of fish food-growth relationships; and, (5) Analysis of sediment impacts.

SOUTH FORK SALMON RIVER, PAYETTE NATIONAL FOREST, IDAHO — IMPACTS OF GOLD MINE EXPANSION ON SALMONIDS

In connection with the proposed expansion of a gold mine in the Payette National Forest in Idaho, AAR analyzed the impacts of the proposed project on the threatened spring-run Chinook salmon, proposed Federally-threatened steelhead trout, bull trout, and westslope cutthroat trout. Tasks performed by AAR included impact analyses on: (1) Fish food-growth relationships; (2) Sedimentation and heavy metals; and, (3) Macroinvertebrates. In addition, AAR provided a risk assessment of potential fuel and chemical spill on salmonids.

MIDDLE FORK BOISE RIVER WATERSHED, IDAHO — IMPACTS OF GOLD MINE FAILURE ON SALMONIDS

In connection with a catastrophic failure of the Talache Gold Mine tailings impoundment, AAR designed a Fishery Resources Risk Evaluation. Of particular concern were the potential toxic impacts on the Federally-listed threatened bull trout and other sensitive salmonid fishes. AAR’s analysis included determining toxicological impacts, fish food-growth relationships, sedimentation impacts, and macroinvertebrate impacts.

HUMBOLDT RIVER WATERSHED, NEVADA — IMPACTS OF GOLD MINE EXPANSION ON FISHERY RESOURCES

In connection with the proposed expansion of a gold mine in the Humboldt River Watershed in Nevada, AAR provided an assessment of: (1) Water quality and thermal impacts on fishery resources; (2) Potential impacts of heavy metals and other potentially polluting agents to the fishes; and, (3) Cumulative impacts of this and other mining activities (past, present, and proposed) on fishery resources.