The Upper Sacramento River was again at risk of devastation after a Union Pacific train derailed recently at Cantara Loop, reminding many of the disastrous spill over 30 years ago in the same location. Luckily this time, no spills of any kind occurred, but this further strengthens the argument that this pristine stretch of river requires protection.
In July 1991, a 97-car Southern Pacific train derailed at the Cantara Loop near Mt. Shasta and dumped 19,000 gallons of herbicide metam sodium into the Sacramento River. Within two days, the spill had reached Shasta Lake, leaving in its wake hundreds of thousands of dead fish and 45 miles of river so scoured of life that not even algae remained.
Later that summer, it appeared that the California Department of Fish and Game would comply with demands from the town of Dunsmuir to open the river to anglers and plant massive amounts of hatchery fish into the river. Southern Pacific also supported this short-sighted proposal.
CalTrout’s Action Plan
In response, CalTrout vigorously opposed stocking since the planted trout would crowd out the trophy-quality fish that naturally spawn in the upper Sacramento River. We also advocated for an interim fishing closure on the tributaries that were untouched by the poison and filled with juvenile wild rainbow trout. Working with Southern Pacific, CalTrout proposed a nine-point recovery plan to restore the fishery within three years. Though the plan was met with some local opposition, it proved to be successful. Thanks to these efforts, the Upper Sacramento is now a thriving state-designated Wild Trout fishery and blue-ribbon trout stream.
Birth of Trout Camp
A couple years after the spill in 1993, CalTrout purchased a 40-acre parcel of land between Dunsmuir and Cantara Loop in an effort to protect the open space along the river corridor. In 2001, CalTrout established the Shasta Springs Trout Camp on the Upper Sacramento River for CalTrout supporters to visit and learn about our conservation activities statewide and to raise public awareness of our efforts to protect wild trout, steelhead, salmon, and their threatened habitat.
Protect the Best
One of CalTrout’s Key Initiatives is to “protect the best.” For over 50 years, we’ve been focused on keeping strongholds and wild trout waters intact and protected. There are still places in California with abundant wild fish, like the Upper Sacramento River- and we intend to keep them that way.
Learn more about our Protect the Best projects.
Top cover photo: “Cantara Loop railway bridge over Sacramento River, California, United States. Guardrail structure on left was installed after 1991 chemical spill” by user, MostlyDeserts, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Cantara_Loop_1.jpg.
Who is responsible for trash collecting along the river and access points such as Conant Road? There is more than a truck load.
How do I get a map of legal fishing access points?
There are fish survey sites at McCartle Flats and No Fishing signs posted nearby.
I remember watching a cop/lawyer drama on TV as a youngster in which the opening scene consisted of a guy walking into the beautiful,sunlit,antiseptic and spacious atrium/reception of what could’ve been a fortune 500 company,carrying a bucket or two of a foul appearing sludge that he promptly and vigorously emptied onto the gleaming waxed floor and the shrieking receptionist had the poor guy arrested,which was BS because he was simply returning the discharge effluent from one of its “superfund” sites piped into the nearest ocean bound waterway,the American way.He committed no crime,simply returning or relocating a neurotoxin- carcinogen-life snuffing back from whence it came,……and I mean from EVERYWHERE IT CAME-EVERY nook and cranny,every air conditioning unit and duct,every toilet seat and lunch break area,but strategically and intelligently placed,that those who wage this chemical warfare upon us now be equally yoked with the transgressions of murder-if you think that ANY official,of ANY railroad or gov’t. putz that is within camera range and audible,is telling you the truth about ANY OF THE OHIO of late or the upper Sacramento …….of late……….then, by all means,do send me a check for the bridge over troubled water and.oops-gosh-the NHTSA or DOT or the model train club has known of the ILLEGALITY of the Cantara Loop Bridge overcrossing for……well……since your grandpa’s time,when a gold watch was issued-to make sure the derailment was on time-[,what better way to rid yourselves of those pesky taxpayers,thinly disguised as an “OOOPS’ moment…..and don’t think they’re NOT planned]…..And what has been done since BEFORE July 14th,1991 to correct this wide gaping perch into the abyss…..?? Not a @#$%^&* thing,so,WHAT have those diligent bureaucrats done over the last 32 years to protect THE WATER SHED/SUPPLY for the state of California…??? Paralysis by analysis does’nt apply,although the first 4 letters of the word”analysis” does……and we,the people, just sigh and take it up the wazoo…..”hanging on in quiet desperation is the english way”….and who owns these railroads.?? Hanging out in ignorant medication is the American way, no wonder street toxins have been decriminalized………so we’re all so F@#$%ing stoned and high that lala land is a destination vacation in which we’ve already arrived before we even departed..all aboard!!And now this,first Kent State,now this…..Ohio’s castles burning,three headed children with all the mental agility of a soap dish and the soap scum too…..!! Or is that rainbow colored film on top of your glass of water or toilet bowl simply a new concoction to “enhance” the “taste” of water….They’re all lying to you,when they say “it’s safe”……Do you REALLY REALLY think ANY of those spokesmen will be available and within arms length in the next day or two.?? Thus,I submit,that I’ve had enough,and that CLEARLY the ONLY SOLUTION TO SALVAGE THIS NATION WILL TAKE PHYSICAL ACTION,DIRECT AND DECISIVE,and,throwing up on a corporate floor isn’t near good enough…..but lord knows buckets (and buckets.AND BUCKETS…..) of industrial pollutants are far more readily available then say-.projectiles for the deserving cast of lead and other HEAVY METALS…….they’re EVERYWHERE, the railroads/chemical/pharmaceutical bores made sure of that (Watch “Water for elephants”)KINDLY EXCUSE THE EMOTIONAL OUTRAGE I AM UNABLE TO MANAGE,having grown up in northern California but having TV that shows the world and Ohio too,and,no longer being able to not try to rally the good folk left in a systematically dismantled America.hardly a healthy society.Hope to hear feedback,gone fishing.or at least squishing toxisludge between my toe to kill a fun guy. Regards,Our Evolutionary.