PG&E canal failure under investigation Were state officials notified in a timely manner?

This photo was taken by an observer of the devastation caused by the canal breach.

by Leslie Layton
posted Aug. 15

The failure of the PG&E-operated Butte Canal that caused a landslide into Butte Creek last week, turning the water a sludgy-orange, is under investigation by the law enforcement arm of the state’s Department of Fish & Wildlife.

“We’re very aware of the situation there,” said Peter Tira, an information officer for the department. “Butte Creek has the largest spring run of wild Chinook salmon in California, and that’s the reason we monitor it so closely.” read more

PG&E canal failure a threat to salmon, wildlife Harthorn: "This event is an underwater Camp Fire"

photo courtesy of Friends of Butte Creek

by Leslie Layton
posted Aug. 12
This story was updated at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 12 with an additional response from Pacific Gas & Electric Corp. (PG&E).

The breach in PG&E-operated Butte Canal that has turned Butte Creek into orange sludge will turn out to be the death knell for many salmon and some members of other species, says fisheries expert Allen Harthorn.

Harthorn, founder of the advocacy organization Friends of Butte Creek, warns the environmental disaster triggered by the Aug. 10 breach is a threat to what was the state’s best chance to save spring-run Chinook salmon. Butte Creek, a 93-mile tributary of the Sacramento River, is considered critical to the spring run’s survival. read more