Standing on the levee overlooking the Sacramento River as it flowed through the aptly named River Garden Farms, CalTrout Lead Scientist Jacob Katz gave the group a glimpse into the River’s life history.
This place is on the ancestral lands of the Patwin Tribe, and prior to European settlement, the salmon ran in the hundreds of thousands, the banks blurring into marshland. To early settlers, the system was messy, unstable and unpredictable, alternating between drought and strong, destructive pulses of water. Fast forward hundreds of years to dams, developments, farms, levees, and canals —the river we saw flowed placidly by on a too sunny February afternoon.
The Sacramento – sacred river – was indeed controlled, but at what cost? Does the loss of wild fish signal a larger collapse? How do we undo the harm this engineering caused while retaining the benefits it provided?
To answer those questions, Jacob is working with a consortium of scientists, farmers, policy-makers, and water districts to re-create the function of the historical floodplain while retaining the productive potential of thousands of acres. Please read more about the rigorous studies, groundbreaking partnerships, steady growth, and independent verification of these methods.
We’re grateful to the group that joined us on the tour, and to all of you. None of this patient work could happen without supporters in the Golden Trout, Steelhead and Stronghold Circles providing significant, unrestricted gifts that enable us to explore and test ideas and partnerships to correct the dwindling trajectory of wild fish in California. Thank you.
In January, Jacob was also appointed Director of our initiative to Integrate Wild Fish and Working Landscapes throughout the state. We invite members of our giving circles to Cardoza Ranch in the breathtaking Shasta Valley in November to see another example of that cooperative work as part of our Live Stream Outings. Join us!
Interested in joining one of our Live Stream Outings? These outings are available to members of our giving circles. Become a member of our Golden Trout, Steelhead, or Stronghold Circle today and come see the work that you helped set in motion.