Portz to lead as Program Manager

Don Portz to lead San Joaquin River Restoration Program for Reclamation

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The Bureau of Reclamation’s Mid-Pacific Region announced Thursday the selection of Don Portz as the San Joaquin River Restoration Program manager. Portz has been involved with the SJRRP since 2010 and has served as its lead fish biologist since 2015.

“Dr. Portz has extensive experience with the San Joaquin River Restoration Program and many of the stakeholders and partners we work with to accomplish its goals,” said Deputy Regional Director Federico Barajas. “He is the right person to lead the Program at this critical time, as we implement the new framework and the upcoming construction actions expected to begin in 2019.”

Portz began his federal career with Reclamation in 2000 as a fisheries biologist for the Technical Service Center in Denver. In that role, he worked to address fisheries issues throughout the Western United States with a focus on California’s Central Valley. In 2010, he began performing fisheries studies for the SJRRP and collaborating with stakeholders.

Portz has contributed greatly to fisheries research and survival of Chinook salmon at the Tracy Fish Collection Facility, and has been instrumental in the effort to reintroduce spring-run Chinook salmon in the San Joaquin River, where they had been absent for over 60 years

Portz holds a doctorate in fish ecophysiology from the University of California, Davis, a master’s in aquatic biology/fish ecology from the University of Colorado at Boulder, and a bachelor’s in biology from the State University of New York at Albany.

The SJRRP is a comprehensive, long-term effort to restore flows to the San Joaquin River from Friant Dam to the confluence of the Merced River and restore self-sustaining Chinook salmon populations in the river while reducing or avoiding adverse water supply impacts from those flows.

For more information on the San Joaquin River Restoration Program, please visit www.restoresjr.net.

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