Eel River Forum

Eel River Forum brings stakeholders to the table

Project Update – Eel River Action Plan Finalized

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.”

— Darren Mierau, North Coast Director for California Trout.

Click to read more about the Plan.


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.

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.

Recent Accomplishments

  • Coordinated quarterly meetings with 22 stakeholder organizations, with focused presentations and discussions on key priority issues;
  • Finalized the Eel River Action Plan and moving forward with implementation of key Priority Actions.

What we will achieve 2016-17

  • Continue expanding the role of the Eel River Forum and stakeholders in driving recovery efforts in the Eel River basin;
  • Implement key priority actions related to the PG&E Potter Valley FERC relicensing.


Learn more about CalTrout’s headwaters-to-sea approach for restoring the Eel River through our short videos:

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.

North Coast News

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California Trout, Inc.

California Trout, Inc.