The Trout Unlimited El Dorado Chapter has adopted the Upper Cosumnes River Watershed as a restoration project. The long term goal is to return salmon and steelhead to the river above Latrobe Falls. Folklore and native peoples report the presence of these fish in the past. There is some acceptance of salmon being above the falls. Early work is directed to assessing the true past presence of these salmonids and monitoring the water quality in the watershed. The Cosumnes is the last undammed river in the state and comprises the North, Middle and South Forks and their tributaries.
Water quality in terms of quantity and temperature are paramount to the long term success. A monitoring program has begun and an initial snapshot of water quality taken in May and June of 2015. Quantity of water and stream-bank vegetation contribute to water temperature. In this drought year the river is stressed for water. There are numerous draws of the water that occur along its length. At present the river goes dry during the summer in the lower reaches. Even so, salmon have been observed at the diversion dams in the lower river.
This years work has been termed the "summer of discovery" in terms of gathering data to establish a baseline of river status. Melinda Frost-Hurzel is leading this project with assistance from the El Dorado Chapter, the American River Conservancy, the Native American group and numerous others she networks with.
Work accomplished to date include a broad survey, tree bore samples to determine the past presence of ocean dwelling fish, temperature measurements across the watershed and dissolved oxygen measurements.
Temperature and flow measurements made during June- See Maps.
Fire can become a useful tool in protecting the National Forests from major fires.
The U.S. Forest Service has been suppressing fire since 1911, even adopting a policy calling for quelling all flames by 10 a.m. the day following the initial report. Ironically, a century of suppression has left forests overcrowded with dense stands of flammable conifers. The number of wildfires is increasing by 7 percent annually, scorching forests earlier in the season and burning with twice the intensity of the previous 100 years, studies have found.
Scientists and forest managers alike know fire belongs on the landscape, but they are flummoxed by how to reintroduce it under today’s tinderbox conditions. A controversy now playing out in California’s northwest corner is a typical result, but this one hints at how we might resolve this dilemma. Read More.
WASHINGTON, D.C.—The nation’s anglers stand firmly behind a new clean water rule that will protect America’s headwater streams from unchecked development while still allowing reasonable leeway when it comes to water use by agriculture and industry all across the country.
“The waters this rule protects are the sources of our nation’s coldest, cleanest water,” said Trout Unlimited President and CEO Chris Wood. “Not only do these waters provide the needed spawning and rearing waters for our trout and salmon, they are the sources of our iconic rivers and streams—they provide the water we all use downstream. The EPA and the Corps were right to craft this thoughtful rule in a way that protects our headwaters and our fish, but also protects the downstream uses of our nation’s water.”
The winter of 2015 was the driest winter in California’s recorded history. But despite the great drought—and perhaps the worst arid spell for California in 1,200 years—spring-fed water flows steadily in Northern California.
You read that correctly. Even with a fourth consecutive summer of record setting drought, water from the depths of Mt. Shasta, Mt. Lassen, and the Medicine Lake Volcano rises insistently to the surface providing life for people, fish and wildlife, agriculture, and hydropower.
As the drought reduces rain water and snow melt, spring water acts as an emergency reserve, currently pumping 1.7 billion gallons a day into Shasta Reservoir. Read More
With a fourth year of extreme drought conditions reducing the cold water supply available, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is moving fish out of the American River and Nimbus hatcheries for the second year in a row.
Bureau of Reclamation models suggest water temperatures at the hatcheries could be at lethal levels for cold water fish by August. CDFW has already begun to stock American River Hatchery rainbow and brown trout into state waters earlier than normal. These fish range from small fingerlings to the larger catchable size. The accelerated planting schedule will continue through mid-July when all the fish in the raceways are expected to be evacuated. Read More
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