Stan Backlund

Stan Backlund

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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

Thursday, 07 March 2019 11:19

Save Bristol Bay

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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.

Friday, 15 February 2019 11:50

California Rivers Endangered

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

Friday, 15 February 2019 11:23

Congress Passes Natural Resource Act

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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.

Read More

Tuesday, 08 January 2019 14:50

Bristol Bay at Risk

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Pebble Mine is not dead. Pebble is running a massive and misleading PR campaign as they forge ahead in their permitting process. Their first major permit is currently under review. If it is granted, it will trigger dozens of additional permits to be issued, and Pebble could be given a green light to begin mining the headwaters of Bristol Bay.

As their permitting continues, Pebble mine backers are on a mission to gain support from Alaskans around the state. They’re doubling down on a robust PR stunt full of misrepresentations and outright lies about the benefits and impacts of their mine They want to distract you from the truth: the science remains crystal clear that Pebble mine poses immense, irreparable risk to the thriving fishery in Bristol Bay.

We’re going to need your help at every step of the way over the next 12-18 months to ensure that our decision makers say NO to Pebble’s key permits. There will soon be another, very important opportunity for us to weigh in on Pebble's permit application. We will let you know when that comment period opens. When it does, please tell your friends and neighbors to join you in submitting a comment.

To summarize, here’s what’s at play: Bristol Bay is a world class fishery, perhaps the greatest wild salmon fishery in the world. Time and time again, Americans, Alaskans, and the communities of Bristol Bay have overwhelmingly said NO to a mine in Bristol Bay. As currently designed, Pebble would exceed the levels of impacts that the United States EPA has already stated would cause significant and unacceptable impacts to the waters and fisheries of Bristol Bay. Yes, the size of the mine proposed is a mere fraction of the size of the mine potential, but the initial permit would open the region up to millions of additional acres to be mined. 

Not only has Pebble refused to provide an economic feasibility study of their mine, their permit application to the United States Army Corps of Engineers is woefully incomplete and only covers a small portion of what Pebble tells investors is possible to mine in Bristol Bay. In the end, Pebble will do and say anything to mislead Alaskans and rush through the permitting process. But after all these years, nothing about the crux of this proposal has changed. The impacts to the fisheries, economies, and communities of the region will be profound and irreversible.

Friday, 09 November 2018 13:27

New Chapter Web-Site Established

EDTUlogonooseedtu.fish is the new domain name for our chapter web-site. The new site provides information on local fishing and chapter activities. A calendar of events will be maintained to provide notice of events. The site incorporates an important e-mail function to push information to the users.

User registration is required to receive notifications. This will also provide a method to get responses for participation in events.

Attend the December 4 meeting and receive guidance on registration and assistance in registering.

Wednesday, 23 May 2018 12:16

Who Pays to Play?

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

Wednesday, 23 May 2018 11:53

Wow Moment for Lahontan Recovery

Lahontan RecoveryHelen 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.

Tuesday, 06 February 2018 15:46

Southern Steelhead Recovery

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.

YellowCreekHandpicking 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.

Sunday, 26 November 2017 11:38

BDA s in Squaw Creek

BDASquawCreekBeaver 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

Tuesday, 07 November 2017 15:48

TU Youth Members

YouthMembersAre 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.

Tuesday, 31 October 2017 11:30

Return of the Sandy River

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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.

Read the full story.

Friday, 01 September 2017 12:34

Audrain Meadow Restoration

IMG 1103 800x600Four 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.

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Sunday, 18 June 2017 11:55

The Eel River Could Save Wild Salmon

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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.

 More

Sunday, 18 June 2017 11:42

State Can Act to Preserve Salmon

salmonA 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.

More

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.

 

Monday, 14 November 2016 12:22

How the Western Water Wars May End

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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.

Read The Full Story

Tuesday, 25 October 2016 14:15

Heenan Lake

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I finally made my maiden journey to Heenan Lake on Friday October 21, 2016. It was a beautiful day and informative though I still don't know the go-to fly. I arrived at the parking lot and was surprised to see two dozen trucks parked. Thinking this can't be good I took a look at the lake and found a flotilla of float tubes. More thoughtful looking determined that people were fairly well spread out including a significant number of bank fishers. The lake is much larger than I had pictured and comprised two principle zones. The first, located behind the dam and extending almost 1/4 mile. Beyond the lake opened to a broader east-west section. A southwest wind was blowing white caps across this area most of the day. Fishers were everywhere but mostly in the near section. 

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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."

Wednesday, 05 October 2016 14:28

Women in Trout Unlimited

WashingtonWomenARE 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 

Thursday, 08 September 2016 12:02

Hike, Climb, Fish, Repeat

LiquidGoldLiquid 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.

Tuesday, 23 August 2016 15:16

August Fish-Out McCall and Stanley Idaho

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Eight of our Chapter members rendezvoused in McCall Idaho at the end of July for 5 days of fishing in the area. A dedicated foursome then went on to Stanley to fish the Salmon River while two others went on to Oregon and Washington. 

Contact had been made with guide Ron Howell for two days of fishing. Weather was warm and streams were low in the McCall region and fishing ended up being directed to lakes. Four members in two boats went to Brundage Lake the first day. Fishing comprised casting large flies, mostly Chernoble Ants, to fishy locations. Strikes were numerous and quick and the catch ratio was fairly low. I believe that members caught 3-10 Rainbows, Cutthroats and hybrids during the day. Two more persons went back the second day fishing similarly and caught 3 and 8 fish. Fish were mostly 10-14 inches in length with largest a beautiful 15 inch cutthroat. One angler tried using a smaller Ant and increased his catch ratio. Two anglers fished the Payette River and a small creek the first day with no success. Trout were rising just out of reach in one pool and otherwise was to low and warm. Others sampled float tubing with limited success. On the third day four tried shore fishing at Goose Lake with modest success. The others went exploring to Riggins, the Little Salmon and Rapid River. We all returned the next day to sample Rapid River(small and fast) and the Little Salmon. Rapid River was a modest climb into a steep canyon. Some caught 1-3 fish and some went fish-less. The Little Salmon was an attractive stream in a dry region. It was worked pretty hard with one 15 inch chrome beauty landed. An interesting day in new territory but a loss at fishing.

DSCN0402 640x480Another day of Lake fishing was attempted at Granite Lake. It sounded like a classic sierra lake but turned out to be flat and shallow located at the top of a ridge. One nice fish was caught on a first cast with no more to be found. We then returned to Brundage lake for fishing near the launch site where we caught 3-5 fish apiece. Strikes were numerous. One member had tried float tubing which was difficult in the wind. The final day we drove around the mountains to the upper reaches of the South Fork of the Salmon. The area was replete with old wildfires. The road followed the river but was far above it at many locations. We found it to be small at the southern end and growing to the north. We sampled several locations extending up to the road closure. About half the people caught 1-3 fish. Again, it was an interesting experience with limited fishing success. 

We pushed on to Stanley for the second week. Navigation proved difficult due to the Pioneer Fire north east of Boise. Our best day of fishing occurred the following day when we tried the Salmon River at the mile 199 Bridge. The best water was taken by others while we rigged up. None the less we caught fish nearby. About 11 AM the others left and we proceeded to catch fish downstream from the bridge. We ended the day with people catching 6-21 fish. Again typically 12-15 inches in size. It was an extraordinary day as we found a couple of days later when we were unable to duplicate it. We fished the region for two more days mostly exploring for better spots. We caught a few fish here and there but nothing appropriate to the fishy water we selected. On the second day we had to go through a road block to return to camp due to another fire a couple of miles down the road.

All in all it was a successful journey with lots of new country to be seen and a few things learned about fishing the region. We usually caught a few fish every day with one outstanding day. Now we have a year to plan next years journey.

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Friday, 12 August 2016 14:43

Trout Behavior, Snorkel With the Trout

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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.

See the Full Text and Hear the Podcast

Friday, 12 August 2016 14:36

Thinking Big, Starting Small

PajaroFishRescue

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

Friday, 12 August 2016 14:28

The Kamchatka Steelhead Project

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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

Friday, 12 August 2016 14:18

Why Public Lands Matter

FloatingOn 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.

Friday, 12 August 2016 13:57

Californias Volcanic Aquafers

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.

Read the full article from California Trout Current.

Friday, 12 August 2016 13:34

Heenan Lake Lahonton Cutthroat Management

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 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

Friday, 12 August 2016 13:31

Fly Fishing Camp Inspires Young Anglers

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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

Thursday, 14 July 2016 12:48

Habitat Recovery on the Pajaro River

CHEER fish rescue courtesy Milbrand Cinema 2014 0In 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.

See the full story.

Tuesday, 17 May 2016 13:12

Living With Beavers

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 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.

Read More

Friday, 04 March 2016 10:13

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Tuesday, 23 February 2016 11:59

Remember Clean Angling

MudSnailNew 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.

Friday, 05 February 2016 10:51

Women in Fly Fishing

WomenInFlyFishingTU 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.

  Watch the Video  

Thursday, 04 February 2016 11:09

THE KENAI... WITH KIDS

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

KenaiWChildren
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.

Read More

Thursday, 04 February 2016 10:53

Historic Dry Creek Salmon Counts

      Live Fish   Carcasses   Redds
Tributary/ ID  Description  2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010
Secret Ravine                                     
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                                    
    24 286 15 168 12 25 3 50 8 46 2 13 45 197 5 90 21 30
Miners Ravine                                     
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    
      15 0 4 0 0   8 0 1 0 2   10 0 1 0 3
Antelope                                       
AC1 Confluence to culverts    5 0 0 0     0 2 1 2     0 0 1 15  
AC2 Culverts to Rsvl Pkwy      0                       0      
      5 0 0 0 0   0 2 1 2 0   0 0 1 15 0
Linda/ Cirby                                     
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                                    
        0 0 0 0     0 0 0 0     0 7 0 0
Dry Creek                                        
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
    5 48 38 55 101 24 1 11 6 0 11 6 2 13 42 16 8 7
                                     
Dry Creek Watershed Annual Totals (1) 29 196 38 227 113 49 4 69 16 48 15 21 47 220 47 115 44 40
Thursday, 04 February 2016 10:48

Dry Creek Salmon Surveys

2015 was a unique year in the lateness of the run. Notes below show that a sighting on Secret Ravine on December 17th signaled the apparent start of the run. Mike Healy of CDFW speculated that water temperature caused the delay and noted that runs were late in other watersheds also.

Because it was hard to know when fish would be present we weren’t able to recruit enough volunteers to cover many reaches, but we greatly appreciate those who did turn out and there were many others checking in by email. We focused on Secret Ravine and upper Dry Creek which are usually most productive.

In trying to compare this year to other recent years it looks like the total would have at least doubled if we had been able to cover more reaches.

Saturday, 30 January 2016 11:53

Eternally Wild-Smith River

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?

Read More and see the film.

Tuesday, 26 January 2016 11:40

Upper Owens River

Place: Upper Owens River, 05/15/2015, 05/17/2015, Rainbow trout, Brown trout, Cutthroat

Spring time in the Sierra brings the migration of the big REDS. Cutthroat trout migrate from Crowley Lake up the Upper Owens River to spawn. These fish are abundant in the river and very aggressive to swat a loud streamer or indicator pattern. Timing is key when fishing for these trophy fish. We landed nearly 40 fish between 3 anglers over two days. Releasing all of them. They are in there

Tuesday, 26 January 2016 11:35

West Fork Trinity River

Place: West Fork Trinity River, California, 01/24/2016, Rainbow trout

We have finally been getting a decent amount of rain and snow this winter, over the past five years California has seen almost every watershed turn bone dry. Topographic maps show blue lines where nothing is left but dust and rocks. Fish retreat to the depths of the lakes and wait it out. Year after year, I have hiked my way around every tributary and runoff point pouring fresh water into these reservoirs, ponds, creeks and lakes. Waterfalls come to life, plants grow, insects hatch and the world is beautiful. I have always made it a point to go out after rain and snow to check my holes and sure enough, like clockwork, these trout run up the waters and make their way into pools to spawn every winter and spring. It took me many years to figure this out. The Cycle.

 

Tuesday, 22 December 2015 11:47

CA DFW Recognizes Benefits of Beavers

BeaverCFG Journal Cover 346x519

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

Friday, 18 December 2015 12:33

Communities Make Room for Natural Engineers

BeaverDC

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.

 

Friday, 18 December 2015 12:20

New Rules Aid Olympic Salmon and Steelhead

hoh park line reducedThe 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."

beaver relocation

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.

Monday, 26 October 2015 16:30

Spotlight on Portland Beavers

There is a growing acceptance of the beneficial results provided by beavers in restoring wetlands, raising water tables and storing water. The Oregon Field Guide provides a look at the presence of Beavers in Portland and the steps governments are taking to tolerate their activities. The Guide also contains stories on sand castles, dam removal and the Oregon Craters. A 30 minute film provides an informative look at beavers and Oregon. Oregon Field Guide.

Truckee River Trout Unlimited has participated in some great events, celebrated some accomplishments and are excited for future opportunities to conserve, protect, and restore our waters. Among other things, our cleanup efforts on Donner Creek and the Truckee River were effective and we had large volunteer turnouts to help augment spawning gravels for our wild trout. We are celebrating the completion of the Little Truckee River Fish Habitat Improvement Project, a major milestone for our watershed. Additionally, we have some new projects that we are excited to share with you in the near future. John Jewett, Truckee River Chapter President.

John wrote these words as his message in the current Truckee River Chapter Newsletter. The newsletter is artfully done to describe their recent activities on the Little Truckee and elsewhere. It provides insight into the dynamics of a successful chapter and provides some hints of places to fish. Truckee River has been very successful in defining objectives and gathering funding to conduct projects.

Read their newsletter for a full description of their activities.

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

Lahontan cutthroat trout are successfully reproducing in the lower Truckee River in what experts are calling a major milestone in efforts to restore the population once on the brink of extinction.

Last year, cutthroats raised from a strain of a remnant population in the mountains near the Nevada-Utah line spawned upstream from Pyramid Lake for the first time in nearly 80 years.

Now, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials have documented about 1,000 newly hatched baby cutthroats swimming in the river after a second spawn this spring. They suspect as many as 45,000 may have hatched in recent weeks.

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