>Feather River Watershed

Feather River Watershed

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The Feather River Watershed is located in California’s northern Sierra Nevada and encompasses a broad variety of terrain, climate, historic use, and flora and fauna. It drains over 6,000 square miles of landscape, from the Sierra Nevada crest westward into the Sacramento River. It is the largest tributary to the Sacramento River below Shasta Lake. Watershed elevation ranges from ~100 to over 10,000 feet, and annual precipitation varies broadly from more than 70 inches on the wet western slopes to less that 12 inches on the arid east side. Vegetation is diverse and ranges from productive agricultural lands, grasslands, and oak savannah in the west to sparse sage/yellow pine plant communities in the east.

The Plumas and Tahoe National Forests manage over 75 percent of the watershed, while the Sacramento Valley portions are predominantly privately owned and are agricultural. The Upper Feather River Watershed is a rural landscape and includes the small communities of Almanor, Quincy, Nevada City, and Grass Valley. The Lower Feather River Watershed is also predominantly rural, but does include the larger towns of Oroville, Yuba City, and Marysville.

The Lower Feather River Watershed supports salmon (predominantly fall-run; few spring-run), but there are no salmon above Oroville and Englebright dams. The Upper Feather River Watershed has several very active and successful watershed groups and agencies: FRCRM; Feather River, Butte, Nevada, and Sutter County Resource Conservation Districts; SYRCL; Friends of Deer Creek; and the Yuba Bear Watershed Council.