This year, we’re celebrating 50 years of taking action for California’s fish, water, and people – a milestone success made possible by partners and members like you. We invite you to check out our 50th Anniversary film, created by Mike Wier, that tells the story of CalTrout.
About the making of the film, from filmmaker and CalTrout’s field reporter, Mike Wier:
“50 years! What an achievement for any environmental non-profit in California or anywhere for that matter. It’s really incredible the achievements that CalTrout has made in the past half a century. I’m truly honored to be a part of this organization and all the growth we have gone through in the past decade, plus the legacy they created before that.
Making this movie was a fun one for me. The process started over two years ago with finding all these historical photo slides in the old CalTrout office before our move to the new building on Pine St. I had the slides scanned and organized and spent many hours plying over them figuring out some of the early days and players within CalTrout. While going through the photos I kept seeing an old Ford van with curtains and a camping set-up and a license plate that said “Trout”. It showed up at many of the early project sites including Hat Creek, Fall River, Yellow Creek, and Martis Lake. It turned out to be Richard May, one of CalTrout’s most prominent founding members. He was the original trout bum activist. Made me proud to keep the tradition alive with the van life and visiting all of CalTrout’s recent projects.
Along with the slides, I also uncovered a roll of old 8mm film titled “Opening Day Hat Creek 1969-Joe Paul.” It was a treasure of old clips from the opening of fishing season on Hat Creek in 1969 and also the Hat Creek wild trout project inauguration ceremony. What a treat to uncover that little gem after so any years. And now share it with the world again.
From there it was hours of looking through all of the old Streamkeeper’s logs, newsletters, and other early promotional material to unpack those early days. There were lots of interviews with the early founding members and partners, stitching together this truly profound and impactful story. So many great projects and achievements… it was impossible to cover them all. Then I completed interviews with staff and current project partners to give a snapshot of the organization now, and our future vision.
The video is tied together by the multi-generational family fishing outing with former CalTrout staff member, Nick Vidinski with his father and former board member, Allen Vidinski, along with the whole family. I think it really exemplifies the multi-generational aspect of the work we do and why we do what we do. I’m happy with how the video came out and excited to share it with all of you.
I’d also like to say thanks to our friends at Pusher Studios in Dunsmuir for their help with the post production process including the sweet photo effects and final editing polish. And a huge thanks to all of you who have supported this organization and the work we do to protect and enhance California’s cold water ecosystems. Cheers to the next 50 years! Can’t wait to see what’s next on the horizon and to keep up the fight for California’s native fish, water and people!”