A new tool developed by the Center for Watershed Sciences at UC Davis has many hoping to correct a universal problem that's grown during the drought.
The issue of dam operation and their effect on the environment is a global problem.
"But California is unique in that we have literally thousands of dams in the state, essentially every major river and stream is affected by a dam in some way. And we also have a highly diverse and interesting fish fauna," according to research biologist Ted Grantham with the U.S. Geological Survey.
And that's why California is the flagship project.
Grantham says scientists have identified 181 state dams that could pose a threat to native fish because of altered water flows.
Addressing the drought Grantham argues there needs to be a triage approach to correcting the problem.
"When you identify 'Where do we have species that are really on the brink, where this drought potentially threatens their future persistence? And where changing the dam operations could potentially make the difference,'" he said.
The American River's Folsom Dam is on the "high priority" list.