[Ed’s Note: This originally appeared in the Fall print version of CalTrout Streamkeeper’s Log newsletter]
Over the last few weeks, I’ve had opportunities to meet with a number of folks with a keen interest in CalTrout, our mission and our work: fly fishing guides, fly shop staff, fly club leaders, UC Davis science partners, California state senators, CalTrout donors, and one of our founders (Richard May). I enjoy the feedback, appreciate the dialogue, and find it all incredibly informative.
Two of the topics frequently discussed were: “What did CalTrout accomplish this year?” and “How do you know whether it was a good year for the organization?”
Starting with the former — and despite working on many long-term horizon projects (i.e., 2020 Klamath dam removal) — we’ve made progress on a number of critical initiatives:
These are but a few of the 30 some odd conservation programs CalTrout has in place around the state, in addition to our ongoing advocacy and policy work in Sacramento.
Regarding whether “it was a good year for the organization,” I simply answer the question this way; we are doing more work and more impactful work on a statewide scale than ever in CalTrout’s 40-year history.
Our membership base is 7,500 strong and growing. At a time when many conservation focused non-profits have been struggling financially, CalTrout’s financial health and balance sheet have never been stronger.
We appreciate your support and we continue to spend your contributions wisely on behalf of California’s wild trout, steelhead, salmon and their waters.
Tight lines (and an early Happy Holidays)
Jeff Thompson, CalTrout Executive Director
As a former resident born and raised on trout lakes and streams in California, thank you for all your hard work. I was raised in Central California most of my life, and I remember listening to the stories of people fishing my home waters shoulder to shoulder for steelhead. Now they are lucky to maybe see 3-4 a season, much less land any. I currently live in Bend, Oregon – work a regular full time job and find time to volunteer for our local Chapter of Trout Unlimited. I am currently on the board for the Deschutes Chapter, and I can appreciate how difficult it can be to explain the values of our watersheds in such small scales as singular years. I usually just tell people, “Well it took us 50-100 years to do the damage, so it could take that long to fix it.” I think I have heard that from Sierra Club or Nature Conservancy, I forget which. Keep up the good work!