Eiler Fire Threatens Hat Creek

Two large wildfires burning in the Northern California threaten fisheries and the Hat Creek Restoration Site. The Eiler fire is still only 20% contained and burning less then 10 miles from our Hat Creek Restoration site. The Bald Fire is 30% contained and still threatens the town of Burney. Cassel, Johnson Park and Big Eddy Estates have all been evacuated and a Evacuation Advisory is still in effect for the town of Burney. 

For updates on the fire see the stories at:
http://wildfiretoday.com/page/2/

http://www.krcrtv.com/tuesday-fire-update-containment-of-eiler-fire-grows-to-20/27319984

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HCRP Crowdfunding Goal Surpassed

We’re thrilled to announce that we surpassed the goal of $25,000 for our Hat Creek Restoration Project crowdfunding campaign.  Almost $11,000 was raised through the Indiegogo platform and an additional $22,500 was donated directly to CalTrout bringing the total amount to $33,420. The donations secure a matching grant from Orvis and bring the total funding for the 3-year project to $1.15M.

We’d like to recognize and give special thanks to Sherri Wood whose generous donation on behalf of the World of Outdoors Foundation (WOOD Foundation) put us well above our mark. The $20,000 donation was made in memory of her husband, David, an avid fly fisherman who loved Hat Creek and would certainly appreciate the work being done to restore a robust, vibrant trout fishery for future generations to experience.

Each and every contribution, large and small, will help to bring Hat Creek back to its glory. Thanks to all who supported this important project.

CalTrout Thanks Senators for Introducing Klamath Basin Legislation

California Trout, along with other organizations, extended our thanks to Oregon Senators Wyden and Merkley and California Senators Feinstein and Boxer for their work on drafting legislation for the Klamath Basin settlement agreements.

CalTrout is a signatory to the Agreements which will, among others things, restore access to over 400 miles of spawning and rearing habitat for salmon and steelhead through the removal of four dams on the mainstem Klamath, provide certainty to water users, promote economic stability and help resolve decades of water disputes.

We will continue to provide updates on the bill’s progress. You can read more about the legislation in today’s Times-Standard article.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

May 21, 2014

CONTACT

Severn Williams, 510-336-9566

sev@publicgoodpr.com

AGREEMENT STAKEHOLDERS SUPPORT SENATOR WYDEN’S KLAMATH LEGISLATION

Klamath Falls, Ore. – Senator Ron Wyden introduced a bill today in the United States Senate aimed at implementing hard-won negotiated agreements among a wide variety of stakeholders in the Klamath Basin. The agreements establish a water sharing plan aimed at supporting ranchers and farmers, Tribes, native fisheries and bird refuges in the basin.

In response to Senator Wyden’s leadership in establishing a brighter economic and environmental future for all Klamath Basin residents, agreement stakeholders issued the following statement:

“We thank Senator Ron Wyden for working tirelessly to help us find a lasting solution to our water sharing challenges in the Klamath Basin. We are hopeful that this legislation will finally bring an end to more than a century of challenging times in our community. People came together from all corners of the basin to hammer out these agreements, and the give and take has not always been easy. We are grateful to Senator Wyden, Senator Merkley, Senator Feinstein and Senator Boxer for sponsoring this important legislation. Similarly, Governor Kitzhaber and other leaders who have supported our local process have given all basin residents a reason to hope for a brighter future here for our children, our grandchildren, and the fish and wildlife that rely on this region’s natural resources for survival.”

This statement was released on behalf of:

American Rivers
California Trout
Institute for Fisheries Resources (IFR)
Karuk Tribe
Klamath Water Users Association
The Nature Conservancy
Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations (PCFFA)
PacifiCorp
Salmon River Restoration Council
Sustainable Northwest
Trout Unlimited
Upper Klamath Water Users

For those interested in the history and details, you can read Senator Wyden’s address to Congress here.

CalTrout Launches Hat Creek Restoration Project Site

With CalTrout’s Hat Creek Restoration Project kicking into high gear, we want to be sure our members and supporters are kept abreast of the latest developments in this 3-year, $1.1 MM  endeavor.  To that end, we’ve created this HCRP micro-site where you can find all you’ve ever wanted to know about Hat Creek, the project plans and the partners with whom we’re collaborating.  We’ll be posting frequently with the latest news and developments so bookmark it, share it, and visit often.

We’ll also be posting to Facebook and tweeting from the field #HatCreek so follow that too!

Water Talks: Fire and Water – Wednesday April 30th 2014, 6pm to 8pm, Mount Shasta Sisson Museum

Join us for an educational panel presentation: Fire and Water

Wednesday April 30th 2014, 6pm to 8pm
Mount Shasta Sisson Museum, 1 North Old Stage Road Mount Shasta, CA

Fire and Water? How does fire on the landscape interact with water resources in the watershed including potential impacts to water quality?

This program is in partnership with the Shasta Valley RCD’s Forest Stewardship Workshop Series.

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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.

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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2013 Pit River Anglers Satisfied With Catch Rates, Size, and Overall Experience

A three year angler survey conducted by Spring Rivers Ecological Sciences on behalf of PG&E suggests that the Pit River remains one of the best wild trout fisheries in northern California.

PG&E’s federal hydropower license requires them to monitor annual fishing results and angler satisfaction in the Pit 3, 4, 5 reaches.

The 100 plus page report, titled Pit 3, 4, and 5 River Fish Monitoring Plan: 2013 Angler Survey Report, surveyed 131 fisherman last season and found that anglers remain satisfied with the “overall fishing experience.” Anglers commented that higher flows do limit previously accessible waters, but the fishing remains above average.

According to the report, “Positive Angler Satisfaction Ratings,” catch rates, size, and overall experience have actually improved slightly in all reaches each consecutive year since the surveys began in 2011.” Additionally, “During the 2011, 2012, and 2013 season, the substantial majority of anglers (>73%) in all three reaches indicated that despite higher flows, they would return and fish the same reach again.”

Pit-River-(Brauneis)Guide satisfaction appears to be a different story. “Guides surveyed for the report indicated that the angling experience for their clients had decreased from the previous year in each of the three survey years.” The majority of guides indicated that the percent of clients capable of fishing the Pit River has decreased each year due to high flows and limited accessibility.

As part of their license, PG&E is also required to conduct numerous other annual monitoring reports that include River Fish, Gravel Augmentation, Macroinvertebrates, and Water Quality and Temperature.

Key highlights from these reports are listed below:

  • Pit River rainbow trout in 2013 exhibit length-at-age estimates that equal or exceed most other northern CA populations reported in scientific literature
  • 2013 trout condition factors remain among highest observed when compared with data from nearby rivers, indicating that Pit River trout are robust and healthy
  • 33 days last season anglers experienced flows that were 2-3 times higher than normal (over 800 cfs) due to power outages and experimental whitewater flows
  • Average biomass of rainbow trout was highest in Pit 3 (9 lbs. per acre) and declined in downstream reaches
  • Catch rates were highest in Pit 3 Reach (2.2 trout per hour per angler) and lowest in Pit 5 (1.3 trout per angler)

To browse the reports, please visit the “Pit 3,4,5 License Implementation Website” set up by PG&E.

For a brief history of the Pit and its flows and what it means for fishermen, check out the video CalTrout produced last year, How to Fish the Pit River’s New Flows.

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California Trout is looking for a Team Leader for the 2014 Hat Creek Youth Initiative

California Trout (CalTrout) is looking for an energetic, organized, and mature college-aged individual to assist in the delivery of CalTrout’s 2014 Hat Creek Youth Initiative. The Team Leader will work under the guidance of the CalTrout Project Coordinator, to supervise and manage a field crew of high school aged students in various stream-bank restoration and scientific monitoring projects. The Hat Creek Youth Initiative is in support of CalTrout’s River Restoration Project and the larger efforts of restoring Hat Creek’s Wild Trout Area. The Team Leader will have opportunities to network with a diverse range of Natural Resource Professionals, and will receive career training and guidance from CalTrout Staff.

Mandatory Requirements of the Position: 

  • US Citizen or Permanent Resident
  • Pursuing or recently graduated with a technical or college degree in Natural Resources is strongly preferred
  • California Driver’s License with a clean driving record (or equivalent from other state)
  • Ability to work with minimal supervision and make field decisions daily
  • College aged
  • Ability to participate in a moderate to high range of physical work
  • Be available full-time during the summer season
  • At least one summer of related field experience

Interested persons with experience and/or education in the following activities are encouraged to apply:

  • Stream-bank restoration
  • Trail layout and building
  • Erosion and sediment control
  • Riparian plant identification
  • Scientific monitoring
  • Public interaction/ supervising youth

This is a paid summer seasonal position at the rate of $16.50/hour with no benefits. The Team Leader will be based during the field season in either Fall River Mills or Burney, in Northern California for the duration of the summer. Having access to your own personal vehicle is encouraged but not required (possibility of using rental vehicle if own insurance is provided). Housing may be provided, but there is no guarantee. Assistance in finding a room/rental can be accommodated if housing is not provided. The area offers numerous opportunities for fishing, hiking, camping and recreating. The town of Burney is located an hour from the city of Redding, CA where there are amenities that the small-town of Burney does not offer. This position does not include benefits or paid holidays.

Experienced and interested individuals are encouraged to forward a detailed cover letter and resume to:

Ally Sherlock
Project Coordinator- Hat Creek Youth Initiative
CalTrout- Mount Shasta Office
701A Mount Shasta Blvd, Mount Shasta, CA, 96067
E-mail: allysherlock@gmail.com
Fax: 530-926-3267

Applications must be received by March 14, 2014 at 12:00 PM PST.

CalTrout Op-Ed — Crystal Geyser Plant, Mt. Shasta

The Mt Shasta office of CalTrout has been closely following Crystal Geyser’s efforts to reopen the dormant Dannon/Coke water bottling facility. Given protecting wild trout is an important part of our mission; we know the area’s cold water springs are critical to local fish populations.  And, while trout fishing is an important economic driver in the area, it doesn’t necessarily mean that we can’t find pragmatic solutions to water issues that can also provide a meaningful economic stimulus to our local community.  Protecting cold water sources and providing jobs do not necessarily have to be mutually exclusive.

In a recent San Francisco Chronicle article (Source of Conflict, February 19th), Crystal Geyser’s CEO said the public’s concern about the project were “overblown”.  The issue of water bottling plants, however, has been a contentious one in many parts of the country.  This is especially true right now during a drought period when people are even more sensitive to potential impacts to water supply.   No doubt, water bottling facilities have impacted water resources in other parts of the country.

In December of 2013, CalTrout established a stream gauge on Mt. Shasta Big Springs in the City Park in cooperation with the Parks and Recreation Department to establish baseline of flow and temperature conditions.  The current flow of the creek is 19 cubic feet per second and the temperature is 45 degrees F.  In a previous study, we found evidence that the majority of Mt. Shasta Big Springs water is sourced from areas above 8,000 feet on the mountain and the water may be underground for 50 years or more before emerging at the spring.  More studies are needed to fully understand these complex spring resources.

Here are a couple of important things to note:

1)     Crystal Geyser is proposing to use 115,000 gallons per day and potentially as much as 365,000 gallons per day.  We know that one cubic [Read more...]