All Trout Unlimited El Dorado activities have been cancelled pending the relaxation of Corona Virus Guidance.

All of our Spring activity is curtailed. Our next chapter meeting will probably be in September. Occasional project work may arise during the summer. Specific notice will be made as opportunities arise and conditions are safe for participation.

Wash your hands, stay home and stay safe.

Our March meeting has been postponed and we plan to hold it on April 21. The El Dorado Chapter of Trout Unlimited will conduct its member meeting at the VFW Memorial Building, 130 Placerville Dr, Placerville. At 5 pm sharp, a fly tying class for all levels will be held until 6 pm. Materials will be provided but bring your own vises if you have one.

The regular member meeting will begin at 6pm and run until 8. Our guest speaker has not been selected. John Baiocchi, scheduled for March, is not available.

We will also have our usual fantastic raffle of great prizes and pizza for a mere $5 donation/slice. President Justin Milani will provide updates on the new CDFW Trout Regulations (as best as we know), upcoming volunteer work projects, especially in the post-fire Caples Creek area and revised Chapter Fish-outs. We’ll see you there.

SnorkelElwhaRiver3 1024x568Wild 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.

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CaplesSignDon 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.

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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.

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The Pebble mine would be one of the largest open pit gold and copper mines in the world and multiple times larger than every hard rock mine in Alaska combined. This would be an open-pit mine, recovering low-grade copper, gold and molybdenum. It would create a mountain of overburden containing the exact ingredients to produce sulfuric acid and result in a massive toxic tailings pond that will require intense water treatment and maintenance forever.

Pebble Mine would not simply be an open-pit mine. More accurately, the Pebble Mine would be a twisted serpent of ecological and irreparable impact culminating at the head with one the largest mines in the world and fangs full of toxic tailings and sulphuric acid for venom. Help stop the snake before it bites us. Please comment today.

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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

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A new study commissioned by a Bristol Bay seafood marketing group paints a doomsday scenario if the bulk tailings dam at the proposed Pebble mine ever suffered a catastrophic breach, an outcome the U.S Army Corps of Engineers has called very remote and one the mine developer has taken steps to avoid.

Billions of gallons of mud would smother valley bottoms, covering vast stretches of salmon habitat, according to an executive summary released Friday. Finely ground-up waste material from mining would travel downstream and spill into Bristol Bay more than 200 river miles from the mine site, threatening the valuable salmon fishery.

“Given the fine-grained nature of the material, it is extremely likely that these tailings would continue to Bristol Bay, where they would eventually settle out in the Nushagak River estuary,” the summary says.

The impact could last decades. Read the Summation of Findings. Comment to the Corps of Engineers.

Friends of the River Director Ron Stork identifies many current actions by the government which endanger our California Rivers. Read his February "River Currents" .

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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.

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