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Environmental Services - Delta Fish Agreement - Four Pumps


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Environmental Services

Dean Messer, Chief

3500 Industrial Blvd.
West Sacramento, CA 95691
(916) 376-9699

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 942836
Sacramento, CA 94236-0001



four pumps

Delta Fish (Four Pumps) Agreement
(Delta Pumping Plant Fish Protection Agreement)

The 1986 Delta Fish Agreement between the Department of Water Resources and the Department of Fish and Game provides for offsetting adverse fishery impacts caused by the diversion of water at the Harvey O. Banks Delta Pumping Plant, a key part of the State Water Project located at the head of the California Aqueduct. Direct losses of Chinook salmon, steelhead, and striped bass are offset or mitigated through the funding and implementation of fish mitigation projects. DWR and DFG work closely with the Fish Advisory Committee to implement the agreement and projects funded under the agreement. The Fish Advisory Committee is made up of representatives of the State Water Contractors, sport and commercial fishing groups, and environmental groups.

Robinson Project
Robinson Reach, Merced River Salmon Habitat Enhancement Project

The Agreement

The agreement was signed by the Directors of DWR and DFG on December 30, 1986, and has been amended twice since that time. The Delta Pumping Plant Fish Protection (Delta Fish) Agreement is also commonly known as the Four Pumps Agreement because it was subsequently identified as mitigation for the enlargement of the Banks Pumping Plant, including four additional pumps.

The Agreement
Revised Appendix A
Amendment 1
Amendment 2
Amendment 3
Article VII Agreement

2 dozers
The Four Pumps Program has implemented a variety of projects in the Sacramento and San Joaquin river basins and in the Bay-Delta area, such as...
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An Annual Expenditure Report is presented to the Fish Advisory Committee after the calendar year ends. Mitigation fund expenditures through December 31, 2009, $40.6 million for the Annual Mitigation Account and $13.3 million for the $15 Million Lump Sum Account. Funds approved but unexpended from each account were $8.0 million and $1.6 million, respectively. The remaining funds are allocated for new or longer-term projects.
DWR funds these projects through State Water Project Funds provided by the State Water Contractors in two accounts:

  1. $15 Million Lump Sum Account - No fish mitigation credits are associated with these projects.
  2. Annual Mitigation Account - Fish mitigation credits from these projects offset or mitigate direct fish losses.

Project and Funding Partners

We also encourage and rely on cost share partners to help implement many projects. Our cost-share partners have included:

    • DFG
    • USBR-DFG Tracy Fish Mitigation Agreement
    • CALFED Category III
    • CALFED Ecosystem Restoration Program
    • USFWS Anadromous Fish Restoration Program
    • NOAA Fisheries
    • Wildlife Conservation Board
    • Robinson Cattle Company
Mitigation Status

The Four Pumps Agreement has been a very effective tool in mitigating direct impacts for the three species, and has offset over 100% of the mitigation losses as determined by DFG for salmon (188%) and steelhead (121%) and for striped bass (102%). Mitigation is on a fish-for-fish basis. The program is in a period of project maintenance and replacement as older projects end. Passage projects, migration flows, and enhanced enforcement for spring-run Chinook salmon continue to be priority projects, as do natural production projects for steelhead.

Annual Fish Loss and Credit Report