Klamath Tribes Approve Water Share Agreement

The Upper Klamath Agreement complements two other agreements CalTrout has been involved with in the Klamath Basin–the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement and the Klamath Hydroelectric Agreement.

This recent Upper Klamath Agreement represents an important moment of unity in the basin where a joint vision for a productive future for all is supported by a broad swath of Klamath stakeholders.  Together these agreements provide a path for basin wide fisheries sustainability and community health.

For more on the Agreement click to read the story by Herald and News.

The Week’s Newsbytes

The Week’s Newsbytes

The Week’s Newsbytes

CalTrout Presents Mount Shasta Spring Waters Data at Crystal Geyser Meeting: 3/24/14

CalTrout presented our Mount Shasta Spring Waters Report Monday night to a packed house of over 200 concerned residents. In response to Crystal Geyser’s proposed Mount Shasta bottling facility, the City of Mount Shasta hosted a series of presentations to provide information for the community.

The city asked CalTrout to present our report as a means to help inform the community and provide decision makers with existing scientific data.

Mount-Shasta-Spring-WatersCrystal Geyser recently purchased for $5 million an existing bottling facility—once occupied by The Dannon Company, Inc. — to manufacture sparkling water, juices, and teas. The company estimates they will draw a max usage of 365,000 gallons per day of spring water from Big Springs: the headwaters of the upper Sacramento River.

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Volunteers needed for fish and habitat surveys in Golden Trout Wilderness

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Heritage and Wild Trout Program (HWTP), is requesting volunteer assistance for fish surveys in the Golden Trout Wilderness Area. This is great opportunity to learn first-hand about native trout and how they are managed, while working in a beautiful wilderness setting and contributing to the conservation of golden trout.  For more details about the opportunity, click here.

The Week’s Newsbytes

Job Announcement: Environmental Restoration for Walker Basin Lahontan Cutthroat Trout

California Trout and California Department of Fish & Wildlife are looking for candidates interested in conducting restoration work in the Eastern Sierra for federally threatened Lahontan cutthroat trout (LCT).

Duties:

The person(s) selected will work as part of a crew on ecological restoration projects under the direction of CDFW staff. Restoration for Lahontan cutthroat trout will utilize a combination of backpack electroshocking to remove non-native brook trout and placement of temporary barriers to secure recovery waters. Other duties will include: pruning riparian vegetation to facilitate crew access to the stream; maintenance of gear; hauling materials and building a modified weir barrier; and data management. Although outdoors, surrounded by amazing vistas and working with an amazingly beautiful native trout, the work can be tiring and repetitious.

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Time to Re-Think Central Valley Hatchery Management

The Central Valley is the only place on Earth with four distinct runs of Chinook salmon (fall, late-fall, winter, and spring).  Each run was adapted for different conditions and had multiple independent populations that spawned in different valley tributaries.   The damming of virtually every Sacramento and San Joaquin tributary resulted in catastrophic losses of spawning habitat…100% of winter run, 90% of spring run, and 60% of fall run (the only run that relies primarily on the valley floor) spawning habitat is above dams.  The pre-dam, Central Valley “diversified portfolio” of runs reached upwards of 2 million spawning fish per year.

From 2009 thru 2013, total returns for all four runs combined ranged between 70,000 and 150,000 fish—only 5% to 7.5% of average historical abundance.  Today, the winter and spring runs are listed under the Endangered Species Act (in 1990 and 1998, respectively), and the late-fall run is small and in decline.  In recent decades most salmon returning to the Central Valley have been fall-run fish and are overwhelmingly (estimates as high as 90% in some years) of hatchery origin.

The decline of California’s wild, fall-run Chinook salmon populations has been driven by dams, loss of floodplain rearing habitat, and a Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta in steep decline.  But, it’s also important to recognize that the plummet in wild fish populations has been both obscured and exacerbated by massive hatchery production.  Although they may look similar to wild fish, hatchery salmon are, in a very real sense, domestic animals bred for hatchery conditions, but sadly unfit for survival in rivers.

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The Week’s Newsbytes