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).


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.

[Read more…]

The Week’s Newsbytes

Baby Salmon Growing Big and Strong

CalTrout’s Nigiri Project is in full swing and the baby salmon are growing big and strong.

Covering our open house at Knagg’s Ranch last week, The Davis Enterprise reports,

The project looks at how the Yolo Basin historically existed, and implementing these ideas into the current infrastructure to bring back a balanced ecosystem.

When the levees were first built at the turn of the 20th century, water infrastructure was designed for drainage and flood protection.

Very little has changed since then, and now there are visible effects on the ecosystem as populations of Chinook salmon and delta smelt are declining. Researchers with the Nigiri Project say they are here to “bring this industrial era mentality into the future.”

Click here to read the front page article.

The Week’s Newsbytes

Nigiri Project Expands to Six Locations

Baby Salmon went in last week at Knagg’s Ranch and 5 other locations in the Yolo and Sutter Bypasses. CalTrout’s Nigiri Project has expanded to 6 floodplain locations in the Central Valley where we are demonstrating that slowing flood waters down and spreading them out over the floodplain creates incredibly productive habitat for young salmon on their way downstream to the ocean.

As reported in the Chico Enterprise-Record,

“We built a system that is starving the fish,” Katz added. “By spreading everything out, allowing more sunlight, salmon are able to get enough food.”

It was this simple concept that ignited the project back in 2011, and it has been growing ever since.

“We are spreading water out, slowing it down to mimic how the river used to be,” Katz said. “This allows fish to be self-sufficient.”

To read the full story, click here.

CalTrout's Jacob Katz pulls a pair of four-day-old salmon out of a fallow rice field at Knaggs Ranch in the Yolo Bypass.  Sarah Dowling — Daily Democrat

CalTrout’s Jacob Katz pulls a pair of four-day-old salmon out of a fallow rice field at Knaggs Ranch in the Yolo Bypass. Sarah Dowling — Daily Democrat

The Week’s Newsbytes

Stanford University Ordered to Remove Dam

In a recent development, Stanford University has been ordered to remove their abandoned and environmentally harmful Lagunita Diversion Dam from the mainstem of San Francisquito Creek.

Environmental groups, including Beyond Searsville Dam, San Francisquito Watershed Council, American Rivers and CalTrout, have been urging Stanford for decades to remove Lagunita and Searsville Dams. These dams block over 10 miles of steelhead habitat, impeding the recovery of the threatened fish. We’ll continue working to ensure the removal of Searsville Dam isn’t far behind.

While legal wrangling over the fate of Searsville Dam continues, Stanford University is preparing to remove the smaller, defunct Lagunita Diversion Dam.

Both dams have been damned by environmental groups such as National Marine Fisheries Service, San Francisquito Watershed Council and Beyond Searsville Dam for allegedly threatening the endangered steelhead trout population.

Read the full article in the Times Herald News here.


The Week’s Newsbytes

The Week’s Newsbytes

Plan to Raise Shasta Dam Takes Hit

It looks like the plan to raise the 521-foot-high Shasta Dam by 18.5 feet has encountered a hurdle that even the strongest salmon couldn’t clear.

As reported in the San Jose Mercury News,

Biologists at the main federal agency that oversees the Endangered Species Act have concluded they cannot endorse a $1.1 billion plan to raise the height of the dam at California’s largest reservoir, Shasta Lake, because of its impact on endangered salmon.

CalTrout published a op-ed on the issue back in September of 2013 and are delighted with the findings by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services.  In that op-ed, Curtis Knight, Executive Director of CalTrout, stated,

Shasta Dam is clearly an engineering marvel. It’s our mission to see that it doesn’t become a larger environmental disaster.

Its impacts on California’s fisheries have already been sizable. But we believe proper management and a little vision — like the very promising restoration of wetlands and floodplain rearing habitat — mean future generations of Californians won’t view Shasta Dam as the engineering marvel that killed California’s once-abundant salmon and steelhead fisheries.

To read the full story in the Mercury News, click here.  For the op-ed piece, click here.