Mountain Meadows Reservoir - Water Rights Agreement between PG&E and California Department of Fish and Game.

Mountain Meadows Reservoir - Water Rights Agreement between PG&E and California Department of Fish and Game.
These documents are from a 1989 agreement between PG&E and the CDFW on lake levels to be maintained in MMR. This agreement was the result of a protest filed by CDFW to PG&E's water right Application no. 26651, associated with its Hamilton Branch Hydroelectric Project, on file with the California State Water Resources Control Board, Division of Water Rights. Documents in this catalog include the final agreement, and the State Water Board's decision approving the agreement.

The agreement is subject to the following terms:

1. Pacific shall not draft water from storage in Mountain Meadows Reservoir, during a normal water year, for the period May 15 to July 1 of each year.

2. In the event of a dry year, drawdown of Mountain Meadows Reservoir shall be limited to two feet below the maximum surface elevation obtained that year prior to July 1. A “dry year” shall be defined as any twelve-month period beginning May 1 in which the natural run-off of the Feather River at Oroville for the April 1 to July 31 period, as forecast on April 1 by the State of California Department of Water Resources, and as may be adjusted by the State on May 1, will be 50% or less of the average for such a period as computed by the State for the 50-year period used at that time.

3. After July 1 of all years, Pacific agrees not to draft from the reservoir, except for fish release flows and existing leakage, when storage is 3500 acre feet (Elevation 4954.05’) or less. If Pacific minimizes dam leakage to less than 3 cfs, Pacific shall not draft when storage is 1750 acre feet (Elevation 4952.82’) or less. All elevations contained herein refer to Red River Lumber Company datum (Attachment A).

4. Pacific shall not draft water between November 1 and May 15 of the following year, except for fish release flows and leakage, if storage is less than 4000 acre feet (Elevation 4954.20’)
5. Pacific shall release at all times from Indian Ole Dam sufficient water to provide a flow, when combined with dam leakage, of at least 2 cfs in Hamilton Branch as measured by existing recording type gaging station located on Hamilton branch Creek near Keddie Camp (NF-44).
6. Pacific shall release at all times from Hamilton Branch Diversion Dam a flow of 4 cfs, as measured by a staff gage (as defined by a theoretical weir rating) located at the entrance to the fish ladder. Pacific shall maintain the existing fish ladder in operable condition. It is the parties belief that based upon the information available at this time, that the flows identified will be sufficient to keep fish in good condition. If, in the future, new data becomes available indicating the biological need for modifications, the parties agree to consult as ti the sufficiency of the flows.

7. Department recognizes that Pacific must draft Mountain Meadows Reservoir below the storage specified in items 1, 2, 3, and 4 above, to determine the extent and/or for performance of the repairs necessary to minimize leakage from Indian Ole Dam. Pacific shall give department 14 calendar days written notice prior to commencement of said work.

8. Pacific shall provide Department with accurate daily records of flow releases and storage upon request.

9. Temporary departure from provisions of this agreement may occur: (a) to perform necessary maintenance on facilities pursuant to the notification provisions to Department as referenced in this agreement; (b) during emergencies as defined in the Public Resources Code section 21060.3 (Attachment B); (c) as required by Division of Dam Safety; (d) in the interest of public safety; or (e) for reductions for fish or wildlife purposes as requested by Department. In the event of an emergency, Pacific shall notify Department within 2 working days of the emergency. For scheduled maintenance work which will either affect flow releases or result in deviations from the criteria herein set forth, Pacific shall notify Department at least 14 calendar days prior to conducting the work.

10. This agreement shall be in effect as long as the Hamilton Branch Hydroelectric Project is operated by Pacific or its successors or assigns. Any modification shall be mutually agreeable to both Pacific and Department.
Water rights document and management conditions related to drawdown of MMR.
Begin Date
End Date
Originator Name
California State Water Resources Control Board, Division of Water Rights
Access Limitations
No Restrictions
Fishing, Flycatcher, Lake Almanor Watershed, Reservoirs, Water Law, Water Management, Water Rights, Water Storage
Limits on Use
No Restrictions
Resource Type
Resource Owner

To the owner of Mountain Meadows Reservoir Wildlife Enhancement; water quality improvement project

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