A Formula for Success


By Megan Nguyen
Communications Associate


CalTrout is experiencing exponential growth.

In the past year alone, we have leveraged our member’s support into a record $22 million in public and private grants to fund large-scale projects across the state and build a better future for California. That’s over 200% growth from the year before!

Typically, the grant awards span one to three years of project work covering everything from stakeholder engagement and data collection, through planning and design, to implementation and monitoring. The most recent awards are added to an existing grant balance of $9 million - positioning CalTrout to undertake a significant scope of work over the next few years.
With the threat of drought and the uncertainty surrounding the current economic disruption of COVID-19, these secured grants give CalTrout the ability to drive our mission forward and restore our native fish to resilience over the coming years.


A before and after aerial comparison of the Woodman Creek Fish Barrier Removal Project. Photo: Mike Wier


Cover Photo: "Woodman Creek" by Mike Wier. This project restored fish passage to Woodman Creek, a tributary to the Eel River where salmon have not found their way into its watershed for over a century. This was a $2+ million project funded by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife Fisheries Restoration Grant Program.



3. Building Trust and Relationships

Trust and experience, built over 50 years, with grant agencies and partners allows us to work at an efficient pace and create a model and flow that works time and again.

Agency Relationships. The relationships between CalTrout and the state and federal conservation grant agencies has grown. The range of agencies we work with is vast as reflected in the chart to the right.

Landowners Relationships. By being embedded in the local community, CalTrout has built trust with landowners including rice farmers, cattle ranchers, local tribes, and landowners throughout the state.

Collaboration with other Non-profits. We can't do it alone. As such we partner with other non-profit organizations across the state such as Trout Unlimited, The Nature Conservancy, American Rivers, Sustainable Conservation, and more. Together we team up for greater impact. 


Funding Agencies


Photo: Iron Gate Dam by Mike Wier. CalTrout works with the Klamath River Renewal Committee to coordinate the removal of the Klamath Dams.


4. Providing Expertise on Advisory Committees

Our Regional Directors and Senior Scientists are appointed to and actively participate in the technical advisory committees of resource agencies and major environmental initiatives. This offers an opportunity to frame landscape scale change. Committees we participate in include:

  • California Advisory Committee on Salmon and Steelhead - Darren Mierau, North Coast Regional Director
  • Peer Review Committee with the Fisheries Restoration Grant Program - Sandra Jacobson, Ph.D., South Coast Regional Director
  • Voluntary Agreements Committee with the Department of Water Resources - Jacob Katz, Ph.D., Central Valley Regional Director
  • Klamath River Renewal Committee - Curtis Knight, Executive Director, KRRC Alternate Board Member


5. Leading Coalitions

In addition to being involved with agencies, CalTrout leads broad coalitions to coordinate stakeholder priorities on the ground including:

  • Eel River Forum - Darren Mierau, North Coast Regional Director
  • South Coast Steelhead Coalition - Sandra Jacobson, Ph.D., South Coast Regional Director
  • Santa Clara River Steelhead Coalition - Russell Marlow, South Coast Project Manager
  • Shasta Safe Harbor Agreements - Drew Braugh, Mt. Shasta/Klamath Regional Director
  • Two-Basin Partnership (Potter Valley) - Curtis Knight, Executive Director; Darren Mierau, North Coast Regional Director; Redgie Collins, Esq., Staff Attorney
  • Central Valley Salmon Habitat Partnership - Jacob Katz, Ph.D, Central Valley Regional Director
  • Sierra Meadows Partnership - Sandra Jacobson, Ph.D., Sierra Headwaters Interim-Regional Director
  • California Salmon and Steelhead Coalition - Curtis Knight, Executive Director; Darren Mierau, North Coast Regional Director; Redgie Collins, Esq., Staff Attorney

With experience and the knowledge to deliver, we continue to work hard to solve complex resource problems.


Eel River Forum members gather to discuss.

Read Previous Article
The Fish Food Story
Read Next Article
Reflections: Photo Caption Mini Contest
Back to The Current Summer 2020