Last week, CalTrout hosted the Eel River kickoff party for Humboldt Steelhead Days (HSD), a three-month-long celebration designed to bring awareness to the iconic steelhead thriving in the wild waters of Humboldt County. CalTrout is one of three founding non-profits of HSD, along with Mad River Alliance and Mountain Community & Culture. All proceeds from HSD go towards protection, recovery, and restoration in three key Humboldt watersheds: The Eel, Mad and Trinity Rivers.
The kickoff event first featured a North Coast Water Conservation Workshop, hosted in partnership with Salmonid Restoration Federation (SRF), where participants learned about building community water programs and water rights. Dana Stolzman, SRF’s Executive Director, commented: “Salmonid Restoration Federation was thrilled to partner with CalTrout and other restoration partners to produce a North Coast Water Conservation Workshop that brought together scientists, restoration planners, engineers, landowners, regulators, and consultants engaged in water conservation and species recovery in the Eel River basin and other critical watersheds on the North Coast.”
Following the workshop, CalTrout held a fun and informative reception featuring the premiere showing of CalTrout’s new film about the Eel River, “Return to Abundance”. CalTrout’s North Coast office, represented by Regional Director Darren Mierau and Project Coordinator Mary Burke, led a presentation and talked with attendees about our keystone restoration projects in the watershed. Mike Wier, CalTrout’s Field Reporter, who was also in attendance, summed it up well: “No better way to celebrate wild steelhead than right on the banks of the Eel River.”
The following day, CalTrout joined a tour of the Humboldt Bay Tributaries, where participants were led to three restoration and spawning sites. Humboldt Bay tributaries boast a rich assortment of salmonid habitat restoration projects from tidal wetland restoration to fish passage barrier removal sites. The tour was held in partnership with Northcoast Regional Land Trust, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, and salmonid restoration professionals.
CalTrout also hosted a tour of the Eel River and Van Duzen watershed, and it was covered in the Times Standard, Humboldt Steelhead Days host fish spawning tours. Mary Burke, co-director for Humboldt Steelhead Days and CalTrout’s North Coast Program Coordinator, is quoted in the article and discussed how they plan to offer more tours in the future given their popularity this year.
Many thanks to our partner with the kickoff event, Salmonid Restoration Federation, and to Fortuna River Lodge for allowing us to hold the event there. Mad River Alliance and Mountain Community & Culture, representing the Mad River and Trinity River, respectively, are hosting their separate HSD kickoff events this Friday, January 20th. All HSD event details for the next 3 months can be found here.
Check out more pics of the Eel River and spawning coho salmon. All photos are from Mike Wier.