California Department of Fish and Wildlife

Delta Mitigation & Restoration Programs

The Water Branch participates in two State Water Project (SWP) mitigation programs. First there is the 1986 Delta Fish Agreement (DFA), which is required to offset direct fish losses that occur at the Delta SWP pumping facility. Second, is the 2009 Fish Restoration Program Agreement (FRPA), which partners CDFW with the Department of Water Resources (DWR) to implement specific actions of the Operations Criteria and Plan. A major objective of FRPA is to implement the restoration of more than 8000 acres of marsh habitat in the San Francisco Bay Delta. These two Agreements are separate but linked to one another as well as other Delta actions and planning processes such as the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP).

Fish Restoration Program Agreement (FRPA)

The Fish Restoration Program Agreement (FRPA) was signed on October 10, 2010, and addresses specific habitat restoration requirements of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service (NFMS) Biological Opinions (BiOps) for State Water Project (SWP) and Central Valley Project (CVP) operations including the habitat requirements of the CDFW Longfin Smelt Incidental Take Permit (ITP) for SWP Delta operations. The primary objective of the FRPA is to implement the BiOps and ITP fish habitat restoration requirements and related actions in the Delta, Suisun Marsh, and Yolo Bypass with a focus on 8,000 acres intertidal marsh habitat for delta smelt habitat and juvenile Chinook salmon, including 800 acres of mesohaline longfin smelt habitat.

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The 1986 Delta Fish Agreement

On December 30, 1986, the Directors of CDFW and DWR signed an agreement to provide for offsetting adverse fishery impacts caused by the diversion of water at the Harvey O. Banks Delta Pumping Plant (Banks), located at the head of the California Aqueduct near Tracy, California. The agreement, currently referred to as the Delta Fish Agreement (DFA), was previously known as the Delta Pumping Plant Fish Protection Agreement or Four Pumps Agreement because it was adopted as part of the mitigation package to add four additional pumps to Banks during the late 1980ís. Among its provisions, the agreement provides funding to estimate the annual fish losses at Banks and a process to mitigate those accumulated direct fish losses.

In February, 2006, the Directors of CDFW and DWR agreed to direct staff to begin discussions to amend the Delta Fish Agreement (DFA) to develop additional measures to mitigate impacts caused by the State Water Project (SWP) operations in the Delta. These measures were intended to be part of a long term solution to Delta problems. The primary objective of the amendment was to mitigate for take of delta smelt, longfin smelt, winter-run Chinook salmon, and spring-run Chinook salmon at the State Water Project Delta Pumping Plant.

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