Soon, we are expecting the opening of another national comment period related to the Pebble mine proposal. This will be unlike any public process Alaska has seen before: it will be a rushed attempt to fast track what has become one of the most controversial projects in our state’s history. Before this begins, we wanted to update you on recent news related to Bristol Bay.Soon. This will be unlike any public process Alaska has seen before: it will be a rushed attempt to fast track what has become one of the most controversial projects in our state’s history. In December, we finally got a look at one of Pebble's major permit applications. The mine plan laid out in the documents filed by Northern Dynasty Minerals with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers makes two things abundantly clear: 1. Pebble cannot protect clean water and salmon in Bristol Bay while operating their mine. And worse...2. The current plan filed by the company is only phase one.
See the Pebble Fact Sheet to understand the plan content.
The California Natural Resources Agency (CNRA) has released a draft Mokelumne River Wild and Scenic River Study Report. The draft study finds 37 miles of the Mokelumne River from Salt Springs Dam to Pardee Reservoir to be eligible for state protection as a Wild and Scenic River, protecting it from new dams and major diversions.
But local development interests who still dream of building large dams on the Mokelumne or its major tributaries may dispute the CNRA’s eligibility recommendation and oppose any future legislation to protect the river.
We need YOU to speak out TODAY in support of protecting the river. Friends of the River can describe the challenge and prescribe your way to assist.
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.
Salmonid Restoration Federation (SRF) is excited to host the 36th Annual Salmonid Restoration Conference on April 11-14, 2018 at the Fortuna River LodgeNorth Coast where participants will have the opportunity to explore innovative restoration projects and participate in technical workshops. The theme of this year’s conference is “The Art and Science of Salmonid Restoration.”
See the SRF Newsletter for complete description and registration means.
The conference agenda will explore a range of issues including aging infrastructure, effectiveness monitoring, temperature impairments, biological responses, salmon reintroduction to historic habitats post-Klamath dam removal, streamflow enhancement and streamlined permitting, and ecological and policy issues that affect recovery.
How many steelhead can you fit into a given watershed? Put another way, what is the carrying capacity of a given watershed for steelhead? This question, and its answer, are important for steelhead fishery managers, and anglers, as we collectively try to rebuild wild fish runs up and down the West Coast.
Nothing in steelheading is constant. The intricacies of rivers change daily along with the chosen lies of steelhead. While this can drive anglers mad it is also part of what keeps us coming back. But changes in steelhead angling over the past few decades have contributed to declines in the quality of many of our steelhead fisheries. The popularity of steelhead fishing has increased concurrent with a reduction both in wild steelhead populations and places to fish for them. Simply put, there are now more people crowded into fewer places and fewer fish to go around. See Wild Steelheader
Pebble mine threatens one of the world's last great salmon fisheries. North America's salmon powerhouse, Bristol Bay, Alaska, is threatened by the massive proposed gold and copper mine. Working closely with commercial fishermen, tribes, sportsmen and women, local businesses and many others across the country Trout Unlimited works to protect these iconic and productive rivers and the people they support.
Progress has been made in prior years but the Pebble Mine is filing for permits. Review the current activity and take action now.
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
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.