California Department of Fish and Wildlife

Water Branch

Series of 9 photos: Vernal pool wildflowers, Western pond turtle, Yolo Wildlife Area with Sacramento in background , Salt marsh harvest mouse, Juvenile steelhead, Wetlands in the Yolo Basin, Greater sandhill crane mother and chick, Adult Chinook salmon, Elk bull on Grizzly Island

Photo Credits: R. Bittman, D. Feliz, B. Burkholder, A. Moore, J. Ferreira, and K. Barnes, CDFW

The Mission of the Water Branch is:

To fulfill our public trust responsibility to the State of California by providing sound leadership in the balanced and integrated management of California's water resources, for the benefit of aquatic and terrestrial species and those habitats upon which they depend.

Goals of the Water Branch

The goals for establishing the Water Branch were:

  1. To develop CDFW scientific expertise
  2. Enable CDFW to compete effectively with other major water interests for the benefit of California’s fish and wildlife resources

To achieve these goals, existing water and habitat related programs from the Wildlife Branch and the former Central Valley/Bay Delta Branch were brought together in the Water Branch, including refuge water supply, Bay Delta Conservation Plan, and the Ecosystem Restoration Program. In addition, new programs were established in the Water Branch to increase CDFW’s ability to engage on a statewide basis with other water interests in the areas of water rights, water quality, in-stream flow, and hydropower relicensing.

Water Branch Today

Current Water Branch programs include: