Rewinding Through CalTrout's History
Wild fish. Healthy waters. To the benefit of all Californians. This was the vision shared by a group of passionate anglers who loved the magnificent wild trout and native steelhead waters of California. Who even in the late 1960s feared their demise.
50 years ago, the founders of CalTrout put their passion to action, setting up to reshape the management and protection of wild fish and their sustaining habitat. Thus, began California Trout.
Today, CalTrout has become established as a scientific leader on fish and water issues in the state using the core tenants of advocacy to guide freshwater conservation efforts in California.
Like a fine wine, CalTrout has aged well and has grown into the organization it is today, remaining resolutely committed to protecting wild fish thriving in healthy waters for a better California. Our organization has grown to 32 staff members across 6 regions and operates under a $15.7 million budget, a big step reflecting the large, landscape-level projects underway across the state.
The work that began with our founders continue to influence our approach and strategies today and for future generations.
To prepare for this year, we’ve dug deep into archives to bring you our Moments That Write History, which will be released over the next few months.
In our search, we found old videos that we filmed throughout the years that capture our progress and history at that moment. It's interesting to see how our logo, staff, and video production has changed, but our story remains the same.
Enjoy this short video journey through the past.
Curtis Knight, Conservation Director (2010, 39 years)
Before Curtis was CalTrout's Executive Director, he was CalTrout's Conservation Director and Mt. Shasta/Klamath Regional Manager. He first joined CalTrout in 2000, when CalTrout was entering its 29th year. His title may be different but the work remains the same. Curtis has been working on the Klamath Dam Removal Project for over 20 years.
Photo: Shasta River by Val Atkinson
California Trout: 40 years of protecting California's Trout, Salmon and Steelhead (2011)
This short documentary was created for our 40th anniversary. Narrated by Peter Coyote, this 12-minute piece sheds light on the impressive work the organization completed and the tough road they face in the future. Directed by Justin Coupe in 2011.
California Trout 2015 (44 years)
This video is a snapshot of the projects and initiatives we were pursuing in 2015. Can you spot the vintage logo?
Photo: Volcano Meadow Golden Trout Wilderness by Devin Hiber
CalTrout 45 years of Heritage. (2016)
To celebrate the 45th anniversary, we created a video that traces our heritage. From the Wild Trout management program, to Catch and Release, Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, Protecting Mono Lake, Securing flows in the Owens, Pit, Tuolumne, Rush Creek and Trinity Rivers to Stopping Nestle from taking Shasta Spring water and many more notable victories over the years.
California Trout 2020 (49 years)
In one of our most recent videos, we define our key initiatives to return our native fish to resilience. Our SOS II: Fish in Hot Water scientific report sounded the alarm bells regarding California's native salmonids. The study showed that 45% of our native trout, salmon, and steelhead will be extinct in the next 50 years and 75% in the next 100 if present trends continue.
Photo: Emerald Bay, Lake Tahoe by Patrick Sheehan