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Mill Creek and Deer Creek Drought Response

On May 10, 2021, Governor Newsom declared a drought state of emergency for 41 counties, including all counties within the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta watershed (May 2021 Proclamation). The May 2021 Proclamation directs the State Water Board, in coordination with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), to evaluate the minimum instream flows and other actions needed to protect salmon, steelhead, and other native fishes in critical streams. Mill Creek and Deer Creek are tributaries to the Sacramento River, located in Tehama County. Both creeks support multiple self-sustaining natural populations of anadromous salmonids, including threatened Central Valley spring-run Chinook salmon and threatened California Central Valley steelhead. Protecting and restoring these populations is recognized as significant to the recovery of these threatened species.

During July and August of 2021, CDFW and the National Marine Fisheries Science (NMFS) requested that the State Water Board pursue an emergency regulation to curtail water diversions in order to provide minimum drought emergency flows for the protection of native fish on Mill and Deer Creeks similar to actions taken during the last drought in 2014 and 2015. The State Water Board adopted an emergency regulation for Mill and Deer Creeks on September 22, 2021

Below are links to important information regarding drought activities in the Mill Creek and Deer Creek watersheds. This website will be updated with additional information regarding this matter as it becomes available.

  For information on other drought response actions in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Watershed, please visit the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Watershed Drought Information webpage.

Beginning October 15, 2021, curtailment is in effect to achieve the following flows:

  • Mill Creek curtailment: 50 cfs to the confluence with the Sacramento River
  • Deer Creek curtailment: 50 cfs to the confluence with the Sacramento River
Deer Creek
Deer Creek

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Drought Response Topics

Curtailment orders were issued in the Mill Creek and Deer Creek Watersheds on October 11, 2021

Beginning October 15, 2021, curtailment is in effect to achieve the following flows:

  • Mill Creek curtailment: 50 cfs to the confluence with the Sacramento River
  • Deer Creek curtailment: 50 cfs to the confluence with the Sacramento River

Curtailment Schedule

Dates Species Flow Pulse Flow
October 15-March 31 Adult CCV Steelhead present 50 cfs or full flow without diversions, whichever is less  
October 15-June 30 Juvenile CV SR Salmon or Juvenile CCV Steelhead present, and Adult CV SR Salmon or Adult CCV Steelhead not present 20 cfs or full flow without diversions, whichever is less  
April 1-June 15 Adult CV SR Salmon present 50 cfs or full flow without diversions, whichever is less 100 cfs or full flow without diversions, whichever is less. In lieu of base flows, and lasting 24-72 hours, as approval by the Deputy Director
June 1-June 15 Juvenile CV SR Salmon or Juvenile CCV Steelhead present   100 cfs or full flow without diversions, whichever is less. In lieu of base flows, and lasting 24-48 hours, as approval by the Deputy Director

  How to Report an Unauthorized Diversion or Water Waste

Report an Environmental Concern logo

  Visit the CalEPA Complaint System to report unauthorized diversions, such as violations of water right permits or diversions impacting fisheries.

Save Our Water logo

  Visit savewater.ca.gov to report water waste, such as leaks and overwatering, to your local water agency.

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