On Wednesday, September 7, 2022, members of the El Dorado Chapter of Trout Unlimited (EDTU) met with Eldorado National Forest (ENF) biologists and their interns at a restoration project in Calf Pasture Meadow. Our goal was to relocate trout from an unnamed tributary downstream to Bassi Creek. The stream was to be impacted by the meadow restoration.
ENF fish biologist, Maura Santora, handled the electro-shocker for the first segment of the project, followed by ENF fish biologist Jeff Mabe, swapping places with her. Soon the interns had an opportunity to handle the electro-shocker.
As you can see, the narrow tributary was clogged with willows which inhibited the use of nets to capture the stunned trout. The path to the trout had to be cleared by the interns using loppers to open the waterway. Later, a sawyer was called in to expedite the clearing. The team developed a bucket brigade to carry the fish downstream to the main part of the Bassi Creek and refill the homer buckets with fresh water. The team worked for roughly 6 hours to relocate these brook trout.
There was still approximately 100 yards of the tributary to shock which was left for the next day. The interns did a great job of handling all aspects of this fish rescue. The team had relocated roughly 60 small brook trout.
Work on the Calf Pasture Meadow Restoration Project began on Wednesday, August 31st and will continue for 4 to 5 weeks to restore approximately 30 acres of degraded meadow habitat. Calf Pasture is located in the Van Vleck and Tells Creek area on the Pacific Ranger District and was acquired by the Eldorado National Forest in 1984. The meadow is highly degraded due to the effects of intensive logging and grazing dating back to the 1800s and from trail incision along the Red Peak Trail.
"Partnerships with American Rivers, and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, along with help from a number of volunteer organizations are making it possible to get this important restoration work done," said Forest Supervisor Jeff Marsolais.
The project goals include:
-Restoring approximately 30 acres of degraded meadow habitat to benefit aquatic- and meadow-dependent species.
-Increasing water storage capacity and restoring meadow-floodplain connectivity.
-Reducing stream water temperature and increasing stream base flows and moderating peak flows.
-Reducing conifer encroachment in the meadow.
The Lahontan National Fish Hatchery Complex in Gardnerville, Nev., began stocking 100,000 catchable, Lahontan cutthroat trout into Lake Tahoe June 1 and will continue stocking throughout the summer as conditions allow.
The stocking is part of a multiagency and tribal cooperative effort to reintroduce the Tahoe Basin’s native trout species and expand recreational fishing opportunities to anglers. The partners involved are the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW), USDA Forest Service Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit (USDA LTBMU), Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA) and the Washoe Tribe of Nevada and California.
The Truckee River, altered and damaged by well-meaning people decades ago, is being restored to something more closely mirroring nature’s intent. Conservationists have spent millions restoring miles of the lower river downstream of Reno. They have cut new meanders into the river channel, allowing nourishing floodwaters to spill naturally over the land. Wetlands and riverside forests are being cultivated and fish and wildlife flourish once again.
Another success story lies with Nevada’s state fish, the Lahontan cutthroat trout. Decades of work by biologists are paying off in a promising way, with the fish now spawning naturally up the river from Pyramid Lake for the first time in nearly 80 years.
Many of our members do not have current contact data in their TU profile. Some state they will accept e-mails but do not provide and address. As a result you may not be receiving our notifications of events and activities.
Members can call TU at 1-800-834-2419 and update their data. You can probably review your profile at the same number. Alternately you can e-mail your complete contact listing to trout @tu.org. You can also give your data to one of our officers and they will edit your file.
California anglers looking to target the native but elusive Lahontan cutthroat trout may want to put Echo Lake in El Dorado County on their summer itinerary.
For the past several years, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has managed the deep blue waters of Echo Lake exclusively as a Lahontan cutthroat trout sport fishery.
The greater Sierra Nevada region is the source of more than 60 percent of California's developed water supply. It also encompasses a rich variety of natural areas, supporting 50 percent of California’s plant species and 60 percent of the state’s animal species. Sierra meadows cover less than 2 percent of the overall Sierra-Cascade landscape, but they are biological hotspots that sustain the headwaters of several major California water sources.
Trout Unlimited is partnered with California Trout and others in the Sierra Meadows partnership. In 2016— in the Sierra Meadows Partnership—The Sierra Meadows Strategy for restoring and protecting our state’s Sierra Nevada meadows was officially released in 2016 after two years of rigorous scientific study by the partners. A key piece of CalTrout's source-waters-to-sea approach to combatting the effects of drought and climate change, this strategy developed among a broad coalition of conservation partners aims to restore and conserve meadows throughout the Sierra Nevada, protecting a major source of our state’s water supply and critical habitats to fish and other species. Read More
Photo by Mike Wier
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 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
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