Quincy resident Steve Person (pictured far left) assisted with this project with the fish ladder project near Paxton. Photo submitted

Fish ladder complete under Highway 70 at Paxton

The 300-foot fish ladder at Soda Creek underneath Highway 70 directly across the river from the Paxton Lodge is complete. This fish passage provides a route for the migrating fish of the Feather River to make their way up Soda Creek.

Upon removal of the AquaDam cofferdam, which controlled the flow of water in the Feather River to allow placement of concrete 8 feet below the water level, fish were observed immediately swimming in the ladder. Excavation inside the tunnel running under Highway 70 was performed with an electric excavator; whereas a standard diesel-powered excavator would have created unhealthy emissions for those working in the confined space.

The project began in the summer of 2019, temporarily suspended due to weather constraints, then began again in May 2020. This was a project funded by the California Department of Transportation and constructed by Pacific Earthscape of McKinleyville, California.