Monitoring in 2022 occurred in the first two weeks of September and Steve Schwartzbach participated as a volunteer from trout unlimited in the first day’s monitoring on the south Fork of the American River at 30 Milestone road. If you will recall, the first week of September was a week when a vast dome of high pressure settled over California producing record high daily temperatures. It seemed like a good day to be on a river, however ankle deep was not the best depth for working in hip waders
Fish species recovered during our first pass it seemed to me included primarily Rainbow trout, and Sacramento Suckers. While the complete results of the 2022 survey are not yet available we have the 2017 report results to compare. That report showed that the South Fork American below the project 184 diversion was the richest site in rainbow trout with 3,589 trout per mile estimated and 33.9 pounds of rainbow trout per surface acre. Data for other sites are as follows: Alder Creek (1,810 trout/mile and 74.6 lbs/SA), Silver Fork (1207,and 19.7) Pyramid Creek (1,479 and 6.5), Echo Creek (354 and 11.8) and last was Caples creek which had zero Rainbow Trout.
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.
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.
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