- New project in Modoc Plataeu assessing and restoring meadows. Full funding secured thanks to NFWF & @CaliforniaDFW https://t.co/FVX9w17R4z ->
- Excited for Shane Anderson's new film about #California's mighty #EelRiver. Support project https://t.co/Sd7nUURS1p… https://t.co/tg3hIELSq6 ->
- Future #fish experts! CalTrout's Levi Keszey teaching middle school students about #California's native #trout on… https://t.co/WGWzwoX2Jf ->
- #CalTrout in the news! Yolo Bypass #floodplains can be the perfect habitat for #fish in winter. https://t.co/CHJgInDgqv ->
- Congrats to our North Coast Dir. Darren Miereau for earning the Conservation Achievement Award from American Fisher… https://t.co/BKtm4xCWRs ->
- Apr 27th, Water Talks program in Santa Paula, hosted by Santa Clara River Steelhead Coalition @SCRSC1 #stewardship… https://t.co/dHOi1sgTt6 ->
CalTrout was recently granted funding from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) for our Sierra Nevada Meadow Restoration Program which aims to replenish the health and biodiversity of mountain meadow regions. The NFWF grant adds $62,000 to the $253,000 grant awarded by California Department of Fish and Wildlife and approximately $100,000 in-kind match from project partners for a total project budget of $397,000.
While California Trout has done extensive work on mountain meadows in the Sierra Nevada region, this project is the first time CalTrout is working in the Modoc Plateau in the Northeast corner of California. CalTrout’s Mount Shasta-Klamath office will be leading the Modoc Meadows Assessment and Restoration Design Project, bringing together a diverse group of partners to assess 30-50 meadows in the Upper Pit watershed, prioritize the meadows according to restoration need, and prepare for restoration activities on three priority meadows.
Mountain meadows are in a state of degradation in the Upper Pit River Watershed as a result of land management practices including channelization, grazing and surface and groundwater diversions for agriculture.
While significant meadow restoration work has been carried out on private lands, work on Federal lands (which comprise 60% of the watershed) has lagged due to lack of agency capacity. The project aims to improve hydrologic and habitat functions of meadows in the Upper Pit River watershed and further landscape-scale meadow restoration on the Modoc Plateau by working on both private and federally owned lands.
Partners for this project include:
California Department of Water Resources
Modoc National Forest
Bureau of Land Management
Todd Sloat Biological Consulting
National Fish and Wildlife Service Partners Program
California Waterfowl Association
Modoc Resource Conservation District
We are excited to announce that our North Coast Program Director, Darren Mierau, was recently granted the Conservation Achievement Award from the Cal-Neva chapter of American Fisheries Society (AFS). Formed in 1870, AFS is the first and largest society of fisheries professionals.
As CalTrout’s North Coast Director, Darren manages several habitat restoration projects, scientific research on water management, and stakeholder coalitions. Additionally, Darren received a Department of Interior appointment to the Trinity River Restoration Program’s stakeholder committee, and is an appointed member of the Fisheries Grant Program Peer Review Committee and the CA Advisory Committee on Salmon and Steelhead.
On top of all this, he’s humble too! Darren expressed his gratitude saying: “This is a team effort, with our entire CalTrout organization, Board of Governors, Directors, Staff, and Donors providing me and us with an incredible platform and foundation to do what we love to do: restore and protect our fisheries and aquatic resources.”
Great work, Darren!
Photo on right by T. Dunklin
- CalTrout's ED Curtis Knight & Dr. Rob Lusardi from @UCDavisWater hosting session at 35th annual Salmonid Restoratio… https://t.co/kEUClOCZSb ->
- Sandra Jacobson, our SoCal Coalition Coordinator, presenting on #SoCalsteelhead recovery at Salmonid Restoration Co… https://t.co/sFWZCPVJMd ->
- CalTrout's Jacob Katz leads tour of #YoloBypass, discusses how weirs & bypass system relieve high flows from Sac Ri… https://t.co/BRpZ027qFQ ->
- Jacob discusses experiment on how flooded ag fields could mimic historic floodplain habitat and turn juvenile fish… https://t.co/1EiTrt3MfV ->
- Who benefits and who loses from water taken for decades from one river and funneled into another river? https://t.co/LLHZkuJcnq #CAwater ->
- By Dr. Jay Lund, @UCDavisWater. What have we learned from this decade of variable, extreme weather? https://t.co/Mbm4kL9W4F #CAwater ->
The CalTrout team recently convened for the 35th Annual Salmonid Restoration Conference in Davis. This year’s theme was “Restoring Watersheds and Rebuilding Salmon Runs”. For over thirty years, the Salmonid Restoration Federation (SRF) has hosted the state’s largest salmon restoration conference in different regions of California. The four-day annual conference highlights regional and topical issues that affect salmonids and their diverse habitats through field tours, technical workshops, panel discussions, and a plenary session on the state of salmonid recovery in California.
The day before the conference, Candice Meneghin, CalTrout’s Conservation Program Manager, attended Watershed Day at the state capitol, coordinated by the California Watershed Network. Advocating to add dam removal language in the SB 5 and AB 18 Park Bond measures, she met with Senators Henry Stern, Ben Allen, and Hannah Beth-Jackson’s offices.
Our Executive Director, Curtis Knight, along with Dr. Rob Lusardi from UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences moderated a session on reintroducing salmon to historical habitats. Climate change, aging water infrastructure, successive years of drought, and increasing demand for water resources has precipitated strong declines in salmonids throughout California. Dam removal, trap and haul above high head dams, reintroduction of captive bred animals, and improving lateral connectivity to historical floodplain habitat are proposed methods to improve salmonid life history diversity, abundance, population redundancy and, ultimately, resilience to change. Presenters in this workshop included Sandy Jacobsen, CalTrout’s Coalition Coordinator, from our San Diego office who presented on coalition-based efforts to restore the Southern California endangered steelhead population.
More of our staff held informative and engaging presentations, including:
Patrick Samuel, Conservation Program Coordinator, presented “State of the Salmonids – Fish in Hot Water”. Patrick also discussed the soon-to-be-released SOS report of the same title. Our original landmark report was released nearly a decade ago and discussed the state of California’s trout, salmon & steelhead populations. We’re excited to release an updated report and calls to action, expected this May. (Click here to read our 2008 report, SOS: California’s Native Fish Crisis, written by Dr. Peter Moyle, commissioned by CalTrout.)
Jacob Katz, Senior Scientist, was quite busy throughout the conference weekend. He held 3 presentations and led 2 sessions on Central Valley floodplains and visioning salmon recovery, and presented on the Central Valley Salmon Habitat Partnership with Chris Unkel from American Rivers.
Jacob also facilitated a floodplain workshop for restoration practitioners and agency scientists from around the state and led an all-day field trip of Sacramento Valley water infrastructure. The tour was led through the Yolo and Sutter bypass areas and Knaggs ranch floodplain project area. Attendees got to see some of the weirs and bypass system that relieves high flows from the Sacramento River to protect the city from flooding. Many of these systems were constructed over a century ago with little consideration for fish and fish migration. Data gathered from Jacob’s Knaggs ranch experiment, the Nigiri Project, demonstrates rice farms can be used to mimic floodplain habitat for juvenile salmon, which helps strengthen an argument for updating our infrastructure to meet the current needs of endangered salmon in ways that can also benefit farmers, birds and flood control.
California Trout would like to thank the Salmonid Restoration Federation for another fun and informative annual conference. For an overview of the conference’s other great speakers, presentations, and workshops, visit: www.calsalmon.org.
- Thanks to grants from @CaliforniaDFW, we're moving forward w/ 3 fish passage improvement projects across #California https://t.co/n8Xo6RWD0K ->
- RT @USFWSSac: MT @RiceNews: Our #carice fields in the #sacvalley provide food & habitat for #birds, food for people & now food for #fish! @… ->
- March Streamkeeper's blog, "A call from across the pond" https://t.co/EmAjazXICu ->
- Thanks for coming to the show – https://t.co/y1gBM0KRBz ->
- We need your voice to restore #SoCal #steelhead habitat. Submit comments on removal of #RindgeDam on #MalibuCreek https://t.co/wuGfHpHb50 ->
- We're changing the conversation from fish or farms to #fishANDfarms. #CAwater https://t.co/HzdN0IsKjT ->
- These fish are thankful for the rain! Spawning coho salmon on the North Coast, photo by Mike Wier #mindfishmondays… https://t.co/BsLHi96Y5P ->
- Stop by CalTrout's booth at the Banff Mountain Film Fest this weekend in Bishop https://t.co/LIyniclCol #BanffWorldTour ->
- Hey #Sacramento we're bringing the Int'l Fly Fishing Film Fest to you this Thurs Mar 30! 7 pm Tower Theater. Buy ti… https://t.co/QyoMBHjFYp ->
- Speak up! If you want clean water & healthy ecosystems, call your legislators today. Script & phone numbers here… https://t.co/R5It3jG88U ->
CalTrout is excited to announce that we are the recipient of three grants totaling over $5 million to fund large-scale fish passage improvement projects at Little Shasta River in the Shasta River Watershed, Mill Creek, a tributary to the Scott River in Siskiyou County, and Woodman Creek, a tributary to the Eel River in Mendocino County.
Our Shasta office will be implementing the Hart Ranch Instream Flow Enhancement Project thanks to a $2.2 million grant from the Wildlife Conservation Board using Proposition 1 funds. In cooperation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), Natural Resources Conservation Service, The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences, the project involves dedicating 1.5 cubic feet per second (cfs) of cold water to the Little Shasta River on a privately owned land six miles east of Montague. This will be accomplished through a combination of on-farm efficiency savings and voluntary flow contributions from existing priority water rights. This water will enhance year round flows starting in the foothills and specifically target the out-migration of juvenile Coho salmon from April 1 through June 30.
The Shasta River was historically one of the most productive salmon streams in California. However, after more than a century of aquatic and riparian habitat degradation, dramatic declines in wild salmon populations have been observed, particularly with the federally threatened coho salmon. The observed decline of coho coincided with the development of both surface and groundwater sources in support of irrigated agricultural activities throughout the Shasta Basin including the Little Shasta River. The Little Shasta River is over-appropriated for agricultural use. During the recent drought, this led to “zero-flow” conditions throughout most of the lower valley reach. These conditions contribute to passage limitations for adult and juvenile salmonids, reductions in structurally complex aquatic habitat, and degraded water temperature conditions during juvenile coho over-summering. While a 1.5 cfs enhancement will not completely re-water the Little Shasta River year-around, it will significantly improve out-migration conditions and provide additional summer base flow, maintaining a wetted channel for a significantly longer a period of time.
The Shasta will also be working on fish passage on Mill Creek (Shackleford Creek) with a $604,408 awarded from California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Fisheries Restoration Grant Program. Mill Creek is an important tributary to Scott River –one of four major tributaries of the Klamath River and an important native coho salmon river in the Interior Klamath River diversity stratum.
This project replaces a heavily used, unimproved ford/low water crossing structure on Mill Creek that creates a partial barrier for juvenile coho salmon in search of rearing habitat – with a steel bridge. The unimproved ford, used year round by local residents accessing private property, also contributes to excessive sedimentation and degraded floodplain interactions with the natural stream channel.
CalTrout’s North Coast office will be continuing on with their Woodman Creek Fish Passage Project thanks to $2.2 million in funding from California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Fisheries Restoration Grant Program. Working in collaboration with Michael Love & Associates and Pacific Watershed Associates, the project involves removing the Northwest Pacific Railroad crossing at the mouth of Woodman Creek, a tributary to the Eel River. The railroad crossing is a complete barrier to upstream migration. Woodman Creek is listed in the National Marine Fisheries Service Recovery Plan with high Intrinsic Potential. This project is the single largest barrier removal project in the Eel River, and will restore the historic channel-mouth configuration to allow unimpeded Coho, Chinook, and steelhead access to approximately 14 miles of habitat that are currently unavailable. Fish passage assessment, design, and remediation has been a critically important restoration activity in salmonid-bearing streams throughout the North Coast Region, as a means to restore salmonids and ultimately the river ecosystems and the commercial and recreational salmon fisheries they support.
To learn more about this project, we encourage you to check out our short film Return to Abundance: Barrier Removal about our work on the Eel River.
Water is variable and limited in California, often times pitting agriculture against the environment, particularly fish. CalTrout has shown that, with smart water management and infrastructure, we can balance the needs of wild fish and people — it doesn’t need to be fish OR farms.
Check out this video by The Economist featuring executive director Curtis Knight to get both sides of the water story.
California’s five-year drought is a divisive issue. We spoke to a fisherman and a farmer to see both sides
Posted by The Economist on Wednesday, March 22, 2017
For more on this topic, check out our film No Going Back to see how we’ve found solutions that work for fish AND farms: www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mmo5eHbQ-fk