We will build a library of stream data reports for member easy access.
National Water Dashboard, California-Provides current data for many streams in California. Data is readily selectable from a map.
Current Conditions for California: Streamflow -- 515 site(s)- Tabular presentation of data on map above.
American River-Data for five locations
Upper American and Tributaries-El Dorado Irrigation District project 184 stream data
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 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
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.
The objective of many BLM management efforts is to shift streams that have been degraded by stressors such as drought, wildfire, and historical grazing practices from a non-functioning designation to a proper functioning designation, and then make sure they stay that way. But how exactly do you do that, especially for such a massive landscape?
Land managers are increasingly turning to two natural approaches to restore degraded riparian areas and improve stream habitats, a one-two punch involving grazing management and beaver. New research led by TU scientists and BLM biologists shows just how effective these can be. Read More
Friends of the River Director Ron Stork identifies many current actions by the government which endanger our California Rivers. Read his February "River Currents" .
Thanks to the bipartisan work of Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Maria Cantwell (D-WA), and other senators, the Natural Resources Management Act passed the Senate Tuesday evening (Feb. 12). The bill bundles together over 100 pieces of legislation that in many cases have languished for years.
Among other things, the bill permanently authorizes the Land and Water Conservation Fund, a popular program for acquiring new public lands and access for hunting and fishing, without costing taxpayers a dime. The bill also protects iconic rivers such as the North Umpqua, Rogue, Chetco and Elk in Oregon, and headwater streams to the Yellowstone River in Montana.
Sportsmen and women pay the bulk of the money to fund state wildlife agencies. Is it time for other outdoor users to pony up, too? Randy Scholfield, TU’s director of communications for the Southwest, has some thoughts for change. A Colorado fishing license is his Golden Ticket, after all—the Keys to the Kingdom—bestowing on me rights to fish our state’s world-class public waters. It’s an incredible bargain, even with the fee increase, and a smart investment in the future health of these irreplaceable resources. But one thought kind of nags at me: Why should anglers and hunters bear so much of the financial burden of supporting our state’s fish and wildlife habitat? Read More
Helen Neville has rarely been inspired performing grant reporting. But in a recent effort to compile progress toward metrics for the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s Lahontan Cutthroat Trout Keystone Initiative, which funds much of TU’s work on LCT, she had one of those wonderful “Wow!” moments in seeing—distilled into just a few numbers—what TU has been able to bring to the table for LCT conservation since the Initiative’s inception in 2010. Read the Full Story.
Historic records reveal abundant numbers of steelhead once migrated from the Pacific Ocean to Southern California's coastal waterways in search of spawning grounds. The presence of steelhead in southern California is memorialized in places like Steelhead Park, which sits along the the Los Angeles River near Dodger Stadium. In the early 1900s, anglers visited this park in hopes of filling their creel with the formidable fish.
Images from the early twentieth century also portray successful steelhead fishing in Orange County at San Juan Creek, and in San Diego County in lower San Mateo Creek and lower Santa Margarita River.
Today, steelhead are nearly non-existent in Southern California - a strikingly different picture than the one painted by historic accounts. See The Story of Recovery.
Handpicking places for protection is becoming the conservation norm. As mass extinctions and climate flux confront ecosystems with the most unpredictable challenges the natural world has seen in millennia, scientists and land managers are discarding their efforts to resist all change. Cindy Noble, chair of Trout Unlimited’s Feather River Chapter reports “We don’t want to dump a bunch of time and money into a problem we can never fix, We are not going to do this the stupid way.”
Assessing where fish seem to be thriving, and where threats are most prevalent, will allow scientists to prioritize their efforts to protect and restore aquatic habitat in the upper Feather River region. The project is part of Trout Unlimited’s mission to sustain California’s cold-water fisheries. Read the full story to understand the work.
Beaver Dam Analogs, BDAs, have become popular in meadow restoration. Our chapter has worked with them in Audrain Meadow. Simultaneously they have contributed to a significant restoration in Squaw Valley.
Trout Unlimited believes that conservation work begins with people. This belief was affirmed again when over 75 volunteers gathered recently to renew one of the Lake Tahoe region’s most popular places—Squaw Valley—and begin the process of restoring its namesake stream to a more natural state. Squaw Creek is that stream. Once home to native Lahontan cutthroat trout, it is now the focus of a partnership-driven restoration project with TU at its heart. Read full story
Are you already aware of the special Stream Explorer and TU Teen memberships available for young folks? Do you have a youngster that would benefit from joining TU? Chapters can purchase youth memberships at a bulk rate for just $8 apiece. Regular memberships are $12 for Stream Explorer (under age 12) and $14 for TU Teens. Any time your chapter wants to sign up six or more youth, you qualify for the bulk rate. This is a great way to get youth on your roster and begin including them in your events.
Send an e-mail to , or complete the contact us form in the About Us page. if you have a candidate. We will collect the names and information and process the memberships. The board may choose to cover the cost of membership. A one-year membership includes a quarterly magazine, calendar, and membership card.
When you purchase a youth membership, a portion of your dollars go to support the Headwaters Youth Program. That's right, every youth membership purchased is a donation to supporting programs like Trout in the Classroom, STREAM Girls, TU Teen Summit, Summer Fly Fishing & Conservation Camps, and more.
Ten years ago, on a river revered for its huge wild steelhead, more than a ton of dynamite reduced a 47-foot high dam to rubble. At the time, it was the largest dam ever removed in the United States. It was also the first dam to be removed without first removing entrained silt. The operation was a success in removing the silt within a few days and long term return of steelhead.
As with subsequent dam removal projects on rivers such as the Penobscot, Elwha and Carmel, it didn’t take long for migratory fishes such as salmon and steelhead to begin moving into the upper reaches of the Sandy River, habitat they hadn’t reached for more than a century.
But would taking out the dam lead to a real boost in anadromous fish numbers in the system? This October, in a 10-year retrospective, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife looked at the numbers and offered the answer: an “unqualified yes.” The action was also revealing in that all of the silt was removed in days with the river returning to normalcy.
Four members of Trout Unlimited El Dorado joined with other groups to assist in restoration work on the Audrain Meadow. The work was done on August 29 and 30 in support of owner Dale Pierce. Beaver dam analogs, bda, created last year were repaired and extended to further water retention in the meadow.
Dams installed last year survived the severe winter and seasonal runoff with minimum damage. Dams were reported to be over topped with water during the spring. They were effective in retaining water in the meadow and sustained minimal damage.
The meadow appears very healthful after this winter. Grass has grown taller and more dense and filled many of the open channels seen last year. Vegetative growth and downfall is plentiful this year.
The project will continue to retain water in the meadow and correct the down cutting experienced in the last 60 years. Replacement of a culvert under the access road is a major item of future work.
Jann Williams, John Sikora, Bill Burden, Pat Barron and Stan Backlund participated in the work.
The Eel River is on the brink of disaster, its ocean-going fish species threatened with extinction, its nurturing estuary diked, drained and diminishing.
At the same time, this massive watershed in California’s northwest corner offers the state’s best hope of ensuring a future abundance of wild anadromous fish.
This paradox of the Eel, California’s third largest river system, is driving an urgency to save it while there’s still time. For the Eel’s diverse and often adversarial stakeholders, this is a rare and fleeting opportunity to set aside differences out of a common commitment to what they share.
A University of California and CaliforniaTrout study last month indicated that some species of salmon are in danger of going extinct by the end of this century. Their persistence in modern California is practically miraculous, given the profound alteration of rivers and streams.
To ensure these fish endure, with the added dimension of a changing climate, we must take strong steps. Salmon need help in the stream gravel where they hatch, the pools and floodplains where they grow, the Delta channels that carry them to the ocean, and the rivers they power up in order to spawn and die in the same gravel from which they emerged.
The American Sportfishing Association and Southwick Associates created a new series of one-page infographics for all 435 Congressional districts in all 50 states. The 2017 infographics provide fishing participation and economic data at the Congressional district level.
See California-District-4-2.pdf for data on our chapters district under Representative Tom McClintock.
The information in the report and infographics use data from the most recent U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services’ National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife-Associated Recreation, conducted in conjunction with the U.S. Census Bureau, as presented in ASA’s Sportfishing in America report. The study used mapping and population software to hone in on smaller geographic areas in a way that is particularly relevant to members of the U.S. House of Representatives.
See Economic Contributions for the whole report.
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.
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."
ARE 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
Liquid 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.
In 2006, the Pajaro River on California’s central coast came out of obscurity to make national headlines—for the wrong reason: it was named the most endangered river in America.
Historically, the Pajaro was one of the most productive steelhead streams in this region. Old-timers in Watsonville and other local communities recall chromers stacked like cordwood in the holding water as they came in after winter storms blew open the sandbars at the river mouths.
But water diversions, widespread habitat loss and degradation, and drought reduced this river’s once robust run of wild steelhead to a shadow of its former self.
Local fish advocates, led by the indefatigable Herman Garcia and his group Coastal Habitat Education and Environmental Restoration (CHEER), sprang into action. By 2006, Garcia and CHEER already had been working for a decade to keep the Pajaro’s dwindling steelhead run alive, through fish rescues and work with landowners to restore aquatic and riparian habitat. Read the Full Story
Yeti Presents: Kamchatka Steelhead Project is a film from Felt Soul Media and Yeti Coolers about what happens when you enlist fly-fishermen to help on a scientific quest to study and preserve one of the world's last great steelhead populations. As Grayson Schaffer reported in the August Issue of Outside, the Kamchatka Steelhead Project is a U.S.-Russia partnership that monitors the steelhead population through catch and release fishing, and over its lifetime has produced an incredible body of research on the fish in their native habitat. Watch to get a sense of why the area and the fish are so special, and worth saving. View the Film
On July 15, the U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources passed a bill, H.R. 3650 that would allow the disposal of 2 million acres of Forest Service land per state. This is an area larger than the Gallatin National Forest in Montana. More than all National Forest lands in Wisconsin. Greater than the National Forests of Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, New York and Pennsylvania combined. This is twice the size of California's Six Rivers National Forest.
Two million acres of your National Forests per state – gone.
Certain lands, such as Congressionally designated Wilderness Areas, would be excluded, but the majority of America's public lands managed by the Forest Service would be eligible for liquidation.
And what would happen to these lands? They would go to individual states to be managed primarily for timber production without any consideration given to the 320 million Americans who currently own a stake in them. That is, if the lands aren't sold to private interests, like what is happening right now with the Elliot State Forest in Oregon.
The abundant Cold-water springs of the Shasta Region are vital to California's water supply but they remain poorly understood and unprotected.
As snow and rain fall on the slopes of Mt. Shasta, Mt. Lassen and the other peaks of the southern Cascades, this precipitation eventually seeps through the surface and enters a vast network of aquifers that represents one of the most important sources of fresh water in California. The abundant source of cold water rises continuously and insistently to the surface in numerous springs throughout the area contributing large volumes of water to the rivers that flow into the Shasta and Almanor reservoirs.
On average the total discharge from the area's springs flows at 3000 cubic feet per second and contributes nearly 700 billion gallons annually to Shasta Reservoir. The water contributes about 20% of the summertime flow of the lower Sacramento River.
Heenan Lake contains a fish population of a federally listed threatened trout species, the Lahontan cutthroat trout (CT-L). Heenan Lake provides an important brood stock source of CT-L used in many waters throughout the State of California for the California Department of Fish and Game (Department) hatchery system. Heenan Lake is a California Fish and Game Commission designated wild trout (1983) and heritage trout (1999) water, and provides an important sport fishery for anglers from throughout
the western United States.
Our El Dorado Chapter is planning a fishing outing in September or October. Heenan is only open for fishing on Friday Saturday and Sunday in September and October. The Wild Trout personnel have prepared a management plan for Heenan which explains the use of Heenan and indicates propagation process for the Lahonton Cutthroat. See the Management Plan
After 15 years of operation, a youth fly fishing camp called Rivercourse, held annually in the heart of North Carolina’s mountains, continues to inspire 13- to 15-year olds to pick up a fly rod, and explore the natural world around them.
The camp itself is a four-day event organized by North Carolina’s Trout Unlimited, where instructors stress the concepts of conservation and resource stewardship, as much as they do fly fishing techniques.
“The objective of the camp is not to make fly fishermen,” 75-year old founder Bob Doubert said. “The objective of the camp is to help kids appreciate cold mountain streams and hopefully in the future they’ll work to protect them.” Read the Full Article
In 2006, the Pajaro River on California’s central coast came out of obscurity to make national headlines—for the wrong reason: it was named the most endangered river in America.
A new video from Trout Unlimited shows that, despite the river’s many challenges, the potential for successful habitat restoration in the Pajaro is strong. That’s because in 2009 TU, CHEER, and the Center for Ecosystem Management and Restoration (CEMAR) teamed up to “think big and start small” in restoring steelhead habitat in the Pajaro.
The California Division of Fish and Wildlife has recognized the benefits of Beaver in the waters of California. Beaver dams create habitat for many other animals and plants of California. Deer and elk frequent beaver ponds to forage on shrubby plants that grow where beavers cut down trees. Weasels, raccoons, and herons hunt frogs and other prey along the marshy edges of beaver ponds. Sensitive species such as red-legged, yellow-legged and Cascade frogs all benefit from habitat created by beaver wetlands. In coastal rivers and streams, young coho salmon and steelhead may use beaver ponds to find food and protection from high flows and predators while waiting to grow big enough to go out to sea.
Beaver activities can cause problems, but before beginning a beaver control action, assess the problem and match the most appropriate and cost-effective controls to the situation. There are two basic control methods used in California: prevention and lethal control. It is almost impossible as well as cost prohibitive to exclude beavers from ponds, lakes, or impoundments.
See the CA DFW WebSite.
The U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Department of Commerce, PacificCorp, and the states of Oregon and California today signed an agreement that, following a process administered by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), is expected to remove four dams on the Klamath River by 2020, amounting to one of the largest river restoration efforts in the nation.
State and federal officials also signed a new, separate agreement with irrigation interests and other parties known as the 2016 Klamath Power and Facilities Agreement (KPFA). This agreement will help Klamath Basin irrigators avoid potentially adverse financial and regulatory impacts associated with the return of fish runs to the Upper Klamath Basin, which are anticipated after dams are removed.
New Zealand mudsnails have taken up residence in the Yuba River — and the invasive species could pose a threat to the river’s native fish populations. This news should be a clarion call for us all to practice clean angling. Clean angling means we should clean and dry our equipment after use especially when moving to a new water. It is a modest task to clean and dry your equipment after use and it can pay big dividends.
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife has detected the presence of the aquatic creatures both at the Sycamore Ranch park and campground in Yuba County, and at locations on the lower Yuba River above and below the Highway 20 bridge crossing in Nevada County.
A release from the agency said it’s possible the species originated from a population of mudsnails discovered recently in the lower Feather River; the snails have been known to hitch a ride between bodies of water on the gear of unsuspecting boaters or fishermen. Read More. For more background Read Background.
TU is conducting its women's initiative to increase participation by women in fishing and the TU mission. A video by Todd Moen provides an incentive for their participation. It is also a challenge and a promise to enjoy the beauty of the sport.
Filmed on a little known mountain stream deep within Montana's back-country, this video portrays a fisher-womens solo adventure and the freedom of that particular day on the river. Reflect in the classic experience that most anglers have when they get out on the water alone with a fly rod, fish and nature in its solitude. A magic window of time and space opens up for pure reflection.
Don’t leave your pals behind. Alaska is a grand playground, especially when you share your fishing with kids.
By: Greg Thomas, Photography by: Greg Thomas, Fly Rod and Reel
Many of us travel far to tackle the great flyrod species, such as tarpon, permit, steelhead, Atlantic salmon and big brook trout, but fewer take on the true test of our angling resources, that being how to travel, fish and remain sane with young kids in tow.
I faced that challenge last June when I packed up my girls and headed to Alaska for 14 days on the Kenai Peninsula, following a road system that visits the quaint towns of Nikiski, Kenai, Clam Gulch, Homer and Seward.
The Kenai is a kids’ wonderland, with wildlife viewing available around almost every turn, including glimpses of humpback and orca whales, grizzly and black bears, long-legged moose, sea lions, bald eagles and, for the observant and slightly lucky ones, wolves. But I wasn’t on the Kenai just to see wildlife—I wanted to catch king salmon on my Spey rod and to get the girls hooked into some red salmon.
|SR1||Confluence to E. Rsvl Pkwy||3||24||0||21||0||0||0||10||0||5||0||2||3||11||2||21||0||0|
|SR2||E. Rsvl Pkwy to China Garden||20||220||15||120||12||25||3||34||7||40||2||11||42||168||3||68||20||30|
|SR3||China Garden to Rocklin Rd.||42||0||20||6||1||1||18||0||1|
|SR4||Rocklin Rd to Sierra College Blvd||1||7||0||0||0||0|
|SR41||Sierra College Blvd to Brace Rd||0||0||0||0||0||1|
|SR4b||Brace Rd to Loomis Basin Pk|
|SR5||Loomis Basin Park|
|MR1||Confluence to E. Rsvl Pkwy Bridge.||15||0||0||0||0||8||0||1||0||2||10||0||1||0||3|
|MR2||E. Rsvl Pkwy to Sierra College Blvd||0||4||0||0||0|
|AC1||Confluence to culverts||5||0||0||0||0||2||1||2||0||0||1||15|
|AC2||Culverts to Rsvl Pkwy||0||0|
|LC1||Confluence to Sunrise||0||0||0||0||0||0||7|
|LC2||Sunrise to Rocky Ridge|
|LC3||Rocky Ridge to Old Auburn|
|LC4||Old Auburn to Hazel|
|MS1||Atkinson to Vernon||5||0||1|
|MS2||Vernon to Riverside||0|
|MS3||Riverside to Douglas||7||14||101||4||2||0||0||2||17||3||1|
|MS4||Douglas to Folsom||0||20||0||0||0||6||0||7||5||3||0|
|MS5||Folsom to Harding||6||14||17||0||0||0||5||1||5||8||3||2|
|MS6||Harding to SR/MR confluence||5||42||17||16||0||3||1||11||4||0||0||3||2||8||10||7||2||4|
|Dry Creek Watershed Annual Totals (1)||29||196||38||227||113||49||4||69||16||48||15||21||47||220||47||115||44||40|
Eternally Wild, the CalTrout and Keith Brauneis Productions film, recently premiered as one of the official selections of the 2016 Wild & Scenic Film Festival. Eternally Wild, the story of the iconic Smith River, a salmon and steelhead stronghold, its history and its current plight. Here there are no dams, no wretched clear-cut blocks, no mitigating hatcheries. Instead… ancient forest, iconic redwoods and a powerful symbol of freedom.
But 4,000 acres of the pristine North Fork are threatened by a giant toxic nickel mine operation. The Red Flat Nickel Corporation has applied to sink 59 drill holes that would pave the way for one of the largest nickel mines in the Western United States. The film examines current conditions, discusses future threats and asks just how much protection is enough?
Jeff Baldwin of Sonoma State University has explored climate modeling and reports potential benefits of beavers in increasing water storage while benefiting headwater meadow habitat.
Climate models forecast significant changes in California’s temperature and precipitation patterns. Those changes are likely to affect fluvial and riparian habitat. Across the American West several researchers and civil society groups promote increased beaver (Castor canadensis) presence as a means to moderate such changes. This study reviews three literatures in an effort to evaluate the potential for beaver to adapt to and to mitigate anticipated changes in California’s higher elevation land- and waterscapes.
First, he provides a synopsis of modeled changes in temperatures and precipitation.
Second, researchers anticipate climate-driven changes in stream and riparian areas and project that snow packs and summer flows will continue to decline, winter and spring flood magnitudes will increase, spring stream recession will likely continue to occur earlier
and more quickly, and highland fires will be more extensive.
A third focus reviews beaver natural histories and finds that where beaver dams are persistent, they may sequester sediment and create wet meadows that can moderate floods, augment early summer base flows, sequester carbon in soils and standing biomass, decrease ecological problems posed by earlier spring stream recession, and potentially help cool early summer and post-wildfire stream temperatures. However, due in part to currently limited habitat suitability and to conflicts with other human interests, mitigation would likely be most meaningful on local rather than statewide scales. Read More
Once valued as little more than pelts, beavers are back in vogue and rebuilding their reputation as habitat engineers.
It helps their cause that the dams they build as homes also create water quality-boosting wetlands and habitat for other species. In the process, the structures slow the flow of water and filter out sediment that would otherwise be on its way to the Chesapeake Bay.
And a new study out of the Northeast suggests the dams, which can alter the course of entire river systems, can also substantially reduce the amount of nitrogen in them. Read More
Beavers and their dams also bring new habitats to urban and suburban environments, creating the wetlands known to be key to several species’ survival. Griffin said more people are warming to the idea that a beaver can bring benefits to the neighborhood. Urban parks can be a great place for beavers to redefine the landscape, as they have at Bladensburg Waterfront Park along the District of Columbia’s stretch of the Anacostia River. Jorge Bogantes Montero, stewardship program specialist in natural resources for the Anacostia Watershed Society, said three beaver dams constructed in one stretch of the park demonstrate their ability to attract wildlife and clean the water even in the middle of the city.
The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission voted unanimously to approve recommended sport-fishing rules for the Olympic Peninsula. These rules were brought forth by the ad hoc North Coast Steelhead Advisory Group, a group of Olympic Peninsula guides, steelheaders, scientists and conservationists.
Wild Steelheaders United and Trout Unlimited played a strong roll in getting these approved, so thank you. Hundreds of you sent in comments, four local chapters and more than 20 members of WSU came to the November commission meetings.
To quote Commissioner Miranda Wecker, "The North Olympic Rivers represent our last remaining stable stocks of wild steelhead....I, for one, do not want to be part of running these stocks into the ground."
The Methow Beaver Project is a collaborative project focused on re-introducing beavers into strategic locations of the Methow Sub-basin for the benefit of wildlife, fisheries, and local water users.
A coalition of partners is implementing this project, including: Pacific Biodiversity Institute, the Methow Conservancy, the US Forest Service (Okanogan National Forest), the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Ecotrust, Washington Audubon, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, and the US Fish and Wildlife Service Winthrop National Fish Hatchery.