Eel River Forum

Eel River Forum

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Project Goal:

Achieve consensus among a coalition of agency, tribal, and conservation partners regarding priority recovery actions and policy reform needed to recover salmonid populations in the Eel River basin, California’s third largest watershed.

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Project Stages

Relationship Building


Estimated Completion Date:


Fish Affected:

Project Description

The mission of the Eel River Forum is to coordinate and integrate conservation and recovery efforts in the Eel River watershed to conserve its ecological resilience, restore its native fish populations, and protect other watershed beneficial uses. These actions are also intended to enhance the economic vitality and sustainability of human communities in the Eel River basin. The Eel River Forum, led by CalTrout and comprised of 22 public agencies, tribes, non-profit conservation organizations and other stakeholders, released the Eel River Action Plan. CalTrout and partners are now taking action on the priorities outlined in the plan to recover the Eel River watershed and its native fish.

In June of 2016, the Eel River Forum, led by CalTrout and comprised of 22 public agencies, tribes, non-profit conservation organizations and other stakeholders, released the Eel River Action Plan. The plan identifies priority actions needed to recover the Eel River watershed and its native fish. It aims to achieve these goals while maintaining multiple land uses and recreation in the watershed. Priority actions in the plan address water diversions, water quality issues, habitat restoration, community engagement and protecting the Eel River Delta.

This plan is the culmination of years of hard work and collaboration among a broad group of stakeholders. The Eel River has seen decades of resource extraction and land use changes. The Forum has identified numerous high priority actions that will allow the river to recover and native fish to thrive while we maintain many of its economic benefits to the region.”

Learn more about CalTrout’s headwaters-to-sea approach for restoring the Eel River through our short videos. — Darren Mierau, North Coast Director for California Trout.

Click to read more about the Plan.

Meeting Calendar

For a calendar of past and upcoming meetings and related documents, click here.


Eel River Action Plan 2016

Who We Are

The Eel River Forum is a coalition of public agencies, Indian tribes, conservation partners, and other stakeholders with interest in or responsibility for the environmental stewardship of the Eel River. The ERF works collaboratively to:

  • Understand the status of Eel River salmonid populations and other native fisheries resources.
  • Identify and prioritize recovery issues and challenges.
  • Promote specific research, restoration, and monitoring efforts in the Eel River basin
  • Develop and recommend plans and policies that will promote the recovery of the Eel River ecosystem and its native fish populations.

Considerable efforts have been made in recent years by resource agencies, private industries, conservation organizations, and other stakeholders to promote watershed restoration and protect the Eel River’s fisheries resources.

There have been some encouraging signs of recovery, especially with several strong year-classes of salmon returning to the river. Chinook salmon adult returns at Van Arsdale Fish Station have exceeded historical returns in each of the past three years (2010-2012); coho salmon counts at monitoring stations in the SF Eel River have remained steady.

Looking forward, the Eel River offers a unique opportunity for recovery; with concerted effort and continued restoration work, we have the opportunity to take significant steps toward salmonid recovery and ecosystem protection.

Project Partners:

California Trout
CA Department of Fish and Wildlife
CA State Parks
Coastal Conservancy
Eel River Recovery Project
Eel River Watershed Improvement Group
Environmental Protection Information Center
Friends of the Eel River
Friends of the Van Duzen River
Humboldt County Resource Conservation District
Mendocino County Resource Conservation District
National Marine Fisheries Service
North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board
Pacific Gas and Electric Company
Potter Valley Irrigation District
Round Valley Indian Tribe
Salmonid Restoration Federation
Sonoma County Water Agency
US Bureau of Land Management
US Fish and Wildlife Service
US Forest Service

Wiyot Tribe

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