An investment analysis that looked at how much it would cost water users to build and operate the proposed Temperance Flat Dam northeast of Fresno without government funding was
finished earlier this year and quietly passed among water districts, which just as quietly asked the federal government to shelve work on the project. Read More
A range-wide genetic analysis of Lahontan cutthroat populations in Nevada, California and Oregon done by Helen Neville, Trout Unlimited’s senior scientist and UC-Davis in 2018 turned up hybrids — a mix Lahontan cutthroat and rainbow trout — in Independence Lake samples. As one of only two lakes in the world to support a relict self-sustaining and naturally reproducing population of Lahontan cutthroat trout, a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act, Independence Lake is irreplaceable.
A century of fire exclusion from Caples Creek drainage has led to higher fuel loading and tree density, which has increased the risk of high intensity wildfire. An important community water supply serving 110,000 people in the El Dorado Irrigation District is threatened, and the condition of meadows, streamside corridors, and aspen stands has declined. This project will complete 25 miles of prescribed fire containment line in preparation for 8,800 acres of burning. The project includes 4,400 acres of lower elevation understory burning, 4,400 acres of burning in vegetative islands mixed with rock at higher elevation, 25 acres of aspen restoration activities, and 25 acres of meadow restoration activities.
Caples Fire First Order Fire Effects. Preliminary Estimate of Burn Severity, Tree Mortality, and Fuel Consumption. Scott Dailey, USFS Enterprise Program
The Caples fire occurred in 2019 as part of the Caples Watershed Restoration project. A controlled burn was initiated at the end of September and classified as a wildfire in early October. The Fire Behavior Assessment Team (FBAT) has been in operation since 2003 and is a Multi-agency group of Fire/fuels managers, and fire scientists. Their task is to collect fire behavior and fire effects data for various objectives and agencies.
by Chris Wood June 24, 2020
Our iconic Snake River chinook salmon are down to less than 1 percent of their historic numbers.
With a few real exceptions, juvenile smolts in Idaho rear in some of the West’s best habitat, but on their way to the Pacific Ocean they must traverse eight dams, including four on the lower Snake River.
How do those dams impact their survival? A recent study used various approaches to estimate Snake River dam-related mortality and averaged their estimates with other comparable studies. The study confirms what scientists have been saying for decades. Read More
All Trout Unlimited El Dorado activities have been cancelled pending the relaxation of Corona Virus Guidance.
All of our Spring activity is curtailed. Our next chapter meeting will probably be in September. Occasional project work may arise during the summer. Specific notice will be made as opportunities arise and conditions are safe for participation.
Wash your hands, stay home and stay safe.
Our March meeting has been postponed and we plan to hold it on April 21. The El Dorado Chapter of Trout Unlimited will conduct its member meeting at the VFW Memorial Building, 130 Placerville Dr, Placerville. At 5 pm sharp, a fly tying class for all levels will be held until 6 pm. Materials will be provided but bring your own vises if you have one.
The regular member meeting will begin at 6pm and run until 8. Our guest speaker has not been selected. John Baiocchi, scheduled for March, is not available.
We will also have our usual fantastic raffle of great prizes and pizza for a mere $5 donation/slice. President Justin Milani will provide updates on the new CDFW Trout Regulations (as best as we know), upcoming volunteer work projects, especially in the post-fire Caples Creek area and revised Chapter Fish-outs. We’ll see you there.
Wild summer-run steelhead in the Elwha were extinct before the dams came out. That’s right, extinct. Now – just six years after the dams were removed – hundreds of wild summer-runs have emerged, in all likelihood from the rainbow trout population that persisted above the dams, like a phoenix rising from the ashes.
No hatchery was used to produce summer-run steelhead. All it took was unimpeded access to the ocean for these amazing fish to reappear. And, let’s remember, this resurgence happened during a period of poor ocean conditions that have depressed other salmon and steelhead runs up and down the West Coast.
Don Krueger and Stan Backlund completed the installation of informational signs for Caples Creek and Silver Fork. The illustrated sign is at the Kirkwood Creek trailhead to Caples Creek. The signs notify the public that Caples Creek is a designated wild trout water. They suggest release of your catch and emphasize clean angling practices. This sign set was installed at five approaches to Caples Creek. A similar set was installed at four sites along Silver Fork. They replace the wild trout sign with the general regulations for the American River and tributaries.
A limited set of angler surveys have been performed to determine angler success and fish density on Caples Creek. Surveys have not been beneficial as few anglers have been encountered at the trailheads. Readers are encouraged to fish Caples Creek and report their success on the Contact Us page. Favorite spots will not be revealed.
Nearly everyone agrees that Western rangelands will produce even larger and more frequent wildfires in the future. But are engineered fuel breaks the best answer?
Jack Williams, a scientist who worked for multiple federal agencies and Trout Unlimited says, “The primary culprit for larger fires in the Great Basin is cheatgrass, but warming temps compound the problem. Creating periodic firebreaks would help by breaking up and slowing down the flames. We can do that in a way that benefits the natural systems by expanding riparian and wet meadows along our small streams.”
The answer may be a small dose of much less expensive firebreaks and, surprisingly, strategies involving cows and beavers. Ranchers who fence streamside areas and/or rotate cows to rest pastures occasionally and allow streamside vegetation to grow back help re-establish natural firebreaks of lush green vegetation.