California Trout, Inc.
Solving complex resource issues while balancing the needs of wild fish and people.
David Brower, heroic environmental visionary
California Trout’s monthly givers are the bedrock of our supporter “Stronghold”. Stronghold Circle donors understand that the work protecting wild fish, implementing large-scale restoration, and promoting reconciliation ecology is critical and it is ongoing.
September 20, 2018
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© 2018 California Trout Inc. All Rights Reserved. Photos and graphics © CalTrout or used with permission.
360 Pine Street, 4th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94104, (415) 392-8887.
Fish photo, Jim Inman. Water photo,Wyatt Horsley. People photo, Jacob Katz.
Problem: Two dams completely block access to over 100 miles of quality spawning and rearing habitat.
Goal: Conduct surveys above Lake Pillsbury to quantify the amount of habitat historically available to salmon and steelhead pre-dams and use the findings to guide the relicensing process and options.
Result: A solution to the dams that balances the needs of wild fish and people.
Problem: Hundreds of miles of tributaries are impassable– key salmon spawning grounds cut off by a myriad of barriers.
Goal: Remove the barriers! Two down, over a dozen to go.
Result: Salmon and steelhead have access to hundreds of miles of natal spawning habitat.
Problem: Consistent flows of cold water are diverted to an exploding legal and illegal cannabis industry. Compounded by four years of drought, some headwater streams now run dry.
Goal: Quantify flows required for fish survival. Use data to influence state policy to better regulate and guarantee streamflows for wild fish.
Result: Salmon and steelhead have enough water in the South Fork Eel to rear in summer and thrive.
Problem: Years of degradation have compromised the estuary.
Goal: Restore tidal marsh lands and passage into tidal slough channels.
Result: Salmon and steelhead rear in high quality habitat growing big and strong before entering ocean.
Conservationists can now point to the largest dam removal project in the U.S. as a success story. The ecosystem of Washington’s Elwha River has been thriving since the removal of its hydroelectric dam system. Recent surveys show dramatic recovery, especially in the near shore at the river’s mouth, where the flow of sediment has created favorable habitat for the salmon population. A new generation of salmon species, some of which are endangered, are now present in the river. Some hope that the restoration of the Elwha River will become a shining example for the removal of dams across the U.S.
PG&E’s Potter Valley Project consists of two dams on the upper mainstem of the Eel River that block access to important high elevation habitat. These dams are coming up for re-licensing next year—a once in 50 years opportunity. CalTrout is working with Humboldt State University to assess habitat conditions above the dams—specifically how many miles of spawning and rearing habitat there is, and how many fish can be produced. Established science will legitimize and empower our demand for improved fish passage as a condition of re-licensing this dam.
Visit the Eel River Recovery Keystone Initiative page to learn more about our work headwaters-to-sea approach to bringing the Eel’s salmon and steelhead back to historic abundance.