Article in The Christian Science Monitor by Zack Colman

In an innovative agreement, farmers have joined with environmental groups and state and federal officials to both increase water availability and restore the natural landscape. Although the plan focuses on just one section of the state, it is an agriculturally significant one – the Yakima Basin. And it’s comprehensive: The plan includes voluntary conservation programs, building new water-storage reservoirs, and adding structures to dams that would help fish seek cooler waters as they migrate upstream. The framework,​ in place at the state level since 2012, has begun to show promise, even though federal approval by the US Congress is still needed for full implementation.

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The Friends of the River River Advocacy Training School (RATS) prepares advocates to be conversant about water issues, channel their motivation/expertise as change makers and help build a vibrant river protection community. The best advocates are people who are ready to learn, try new things and dive in to help turn the tide for our rivers!
How it works. The RATS program runs January-May. Applications are accepted through 12/5 and we select up to 10 advocates.

November is the month where our chapter normally conducts elections to determine officers for the following year. This years transition was made more difficult following the resignation of our president Melinda Frost-Hurzel, vice president Rick Hurzel and treasurer Bob Wilke. Bill Burden and Jann Williams volunteered to complete the terms of president and treasurer and were so designated at our November 17 meeting following their nomination by  C P Johnston. The position of vice president remains open.

Bill Provided a briefing of our chapter goals and interests prior to his election. He stressed the need for members to know their desires for chapter activities and act on them to participate in activity and leadership. Now is the time for you to step forward and participate in the operation of our chapter. Do you have specific issues or wants that you would like to see pursued? Is there a committee you have interest or talents to support? Would you be able to take on a minor operations job?

Currently we have vacant positions at vice president, and director at large. We also would like to develop an assistant and editor for the web site. See our Operations web page to view other committee and group position possibilities.

Bill has scheduled an informal organization/social meeting on December 7. All are welcome to discuss volunteer positions and future activity for the chapter. We will meet at the Farm Table in Placerville from 6-8 PM. Drop by to say hello and share a drink or snack. Nominations for officer positions and volunteers for committees will also be accepted at the January 19 Meeting. You may also express interest, volunteer or offer suggestions by e-mail to  .

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I finally made my maiden journey to Heenan Lake on Friday October 21, 2016. It was a beautiful day and informative though I still don't know the go-to fly. I arrived at the parking lot and was surprised to see two dozen trucks parked. Thinking this can't be good I took a look at the lake and found a flotilla of float tubes. More thoughtful looking determined that people were fairly well spread out including a significant number of bank fishers. The lake is much larger than I had pictured and comprised two principle zones. The first, located behind the dam and extending almost 1/4 mile. Beyond the lake opened to a broader east-west section. A southwest wind was blowing white caps across this area most of the day. Fishers were everywhere but mostly in the near section. 

El Dorado Trout Unlimited has wrapped up its monitoring program for the year and has begun the process of data analysis that will culminate in a watershed assessment. Thanks so much to our amazing monitors and volunteers!  Thanks also to Trout Unlimited for an Embrace a Stream grant that helped to fund this important work!

Meanwhile, the Chinook salmon run has begun, the earliest connection since passage barriers were removed. Keep your fingers crossed for more rain, so this large run won't be stranded due to continuing diversions & overdraft....



Cosumnes salmon

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The Wild Steelhead Coalition, Patagonia, and award-winning filmmaker Shane Anderson have teamed up to produce a new film series called Steelhead Country. The six-episode series explores the rise and fall of angling for wild steelhead in Washington State – from the heydey of steelheading on the Puyallup River to the litany of legendary rivers that are now closed throughout Puget Sound, including the mighty Skagit. Follow along as Steelhead Country explores the past, present, and hopeful future for this iconic species. If you have seen Rivers of a Lost Coast this film drives the point home.


Fall Prescribed Burning Program to Begin for Eldorado National Forest

PLACERVILLE, CA -The Forest Service will begin its fall prescribed burn program in the Eldorado National Forest as soon as weather conditions are favorable. Fire managers plan to burn approximately, 12,671 acres of National Forest land this fall, winter and spring using a combination of understory and pile burning techniques. The actual number of acres burned will depend on weather and air quality conditions which may limit the number of days that burning can take place. The ambitious 2016 burn program includes an expanded scope of work associated with the King Fire Restoration Project and the Cohesive Strategy for the South Fork American River watershed.

"Prescribed fire is an important management tool for maintaining forest health and reducing fuels that could make future wildfires difficult to control," said Fire Management Officer Jay Kurth. "There is increasing support for prescribed fire across California. The Forest Service, CAL FIRE, Sierra Nevada Conservancy, and many other organizations are all in agreement that we need more fire on the landscape under the right conditions to thin out the forest," Kurth added. "This leads to larger, healthier trees that are more able to withstand wildfire, insects and disease."

WashingtonWomenARE YOU PASSIONATE ABOUT HELPING OTHER WOMEN LEARN TO FISH? Are you a women wanting inclusion in the conservation, fishing and social aspects of Trout Unlimited? Trout Unlimited is jump starting their women's initiative across the state by identifying women volunteers for each of their many chapters.  The goal for each coordinator is to plan fun, educational events for new anglers and to connect current anglers. 

Many people would be intimidated by being the minority in a group, let alone the sole individual. I encourage you to think about what your experience was like at your first chapter interaction. Did you feel comfortable? Why did you decide to come? What keeps you coming back? Think about the answers to those questions and try to replicate the good and smooth over the gaps. Start a conversation at your chapter and maybe even consider filling the role of Women's Initiative Chair for your chapter. Take a look at other people's successes.

The Washington's Women's Initiative, led by Heather Hodson, is a great example. Heather and her collective of Women's Initiative Chapter Chairs are doing great things from women's social nights to casting clinics. Women who attend the clinics receive a free TU membership from a local TU Business and are followed-up with to invite them to upcoming chapter activities (and even step up to lead other women's events). You may check this out on their Facebook page WashingtonTroutUnlimitedWomen or Women of Trout Unlimited 

LiquidGoldLiquid Gold is a California Trout film that depicts the history of Golden Trout in California. This excellent presentation includes a two week back pack journey to discover the trout. The film captures the realities of the journey and put you on the scene. The 17 minute film is worth watching to capture the history, the habitat, the range, the geography, the journey and the experience. Watch the Film

Watching Liquid Gold puts you on "YouTube" where a series of similar films are displayed. Two of these are recommended and described here. Follow any of these links and you will be exposed to all of the series.

Enough is Enough portrays the history of the McCloud River, its historic fish, geographical protection of the site and of course the modern fishing experience.

Trout Fishing In The Sierras reports exploration of Twin Lakes near Bridgeport California. It doesn't carry the history of the prior films but presents opportunities in a familiar location.


Ralph Cutter had some time to sit down and share some tips, secrets and thoughts on the Truckee River, fishing with crayfish and women's clothing.

In this episode I get to sit down with Ralph Cutter, www.flyline.com. Who I believe is one of the true icons of fly fishing in the Sierra Nevada and the Truckee River. It has been described by many that Ralph has forgotten more about trout behavior and fly fishing then many of us will ever know.

Ralph shared with me his experiences snorkeling with trout, observing their natural behavior and how they respond to a casted fly. Some of this information will surprise you, it certainly surprised me.

We went on to discuss the suggestive versus imitative fly patterns and in his opinion what really matters and when.

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