I read recently that the Millennial generation cares more about experiences than possessions. This was gratifying to me, as I have hewn to that credo myself since I was old enough to understand the choice—and my two children are the tail end of the Millennials.
It got me thinking about the kinds of experience that deliver greater value than “stuff.” For me, it has everything to do with place. Some places whisper to us, shape and define us, their handiwork glacial or catalytic as lightning. Eventually our returns to them coalesce into habit, thence to tradition.
Without having to think hard about it, I can tell you the places which have exerted such influence on me that an annual visit became a “necessary embrace...beautiful as fire,” as put forth by Robinson Jeffers in the poem The Excesses of God.
Read More on the TU blog.
In 2017, the California State Water Resources Control Board will make a decision that will fundamentally affect rivers and streams that California anglers know and love. This decision could make or break California’s salmon fisheries and the multi-billion dollar commercial and recreational angling economy they support.
The water board’s decision pertains to streamflow and water quality objectives under Phase I of the Bay-Delta Plan. At issue is new proposed flow standards which would double, on average, the amount of water reserved for the environment in the lower San Joaquin River and its primary tributaries.
Even under the proposed new standards, two-thirds of the natural flow of the Merced, Tuolumne, and Stanislaus Rivers would still be diverted, mainly for agriculture.
Trout Unlimited has been working for the past ten years to help improve habitat and flow conditions for Central Valley salmon and steelhead through the long process of developing the Bay-Delta Plan. The proposed new flow standards reflect our science-based position that Central Valley salmon and steelhead need more cold, clean water at critical times of the year than they have been receiving from federal and state water managers.
Read more on the TU Blog.
It’s been a busy and amazingly productive year for Trout Unlimited in California. With the help of our 10,000 California members and our dozens of agency and project partners, we reached major milestones on many of our highest priority initiatives. All of these highlight TU’s successful formula for protecting and restoring trout and salmon: a reliance on science, partnerships, and pragmatic solutions that benefit both people and the environment.
In 2016 we took a “big step forward on the road to redemption for the Klamath River.” We kept or returned more than 100 million gallons of water in rivers and streams through partnerships with ranchers, farmers, and landowners. We restored habitat in dozens of miles of steelhead and salmon streams. We kept some 8,000 cubic yards of sediment from old roads out of prime coho and steelhead habitat. We removed multiple barriers to fish passage from San Luis Obispo to Arcata, including the highest priority dam in the Russian River watershed.
Read more in the TU Blog.
Pescadero Creek is one of the last, best wild steelhead strongholds on California’s Central Coast and is likely the best chance for recovering coho south of San Francisco. TU and conservation partners have worked for years to improve streamflows and habitat conditions in this watershed. TU’s work has focused on collaborative projects with willing agricultural landowners in the lower watershed that will improve water security for farming and boost streamflows in the dry season when steelhead need it most. The BJ Burns/Bianchi Flowers farm project illustrated here is a fine example of how this kind of partnership can benefit both fish and people.
Founded over 50 years ago on the banks of the Au Sable River near Grayling, Michigan, the 16 fishermen who gathered at the home of George Griffith were united by their love of trout fishing, and by their growing disgust with the state’s practice of stocking its waters with “cookie cutter trout”—catchable-sized hatchery fish. Convinced that Michigan’s trout streams could turn out a far superior fish if left to their own devices, the anglers formed a new organization: Trout, Unlimited (the comma was dropped a few years later).
From the beginning, TU was guided by the principle that if we “take care of the fish, then the fishing will take care of itself.” And that principle was grounded in science. “One of our most important objectives is to develop programs and recommendations based on the very best information and thinking available,” said TU’s first president, Dr. Casey E. Westell Jr., “In all matters of trout management, we want to know that we are substantially correct, both morally and biologically.”
Trout Unlimited Teens are a group of teens working to learn more about conservation, volunteer for TU, and bring other teens into trout unlimited and conservation. Join us! Go to www.tu.org/teensjoin to get a membership or www.tu.org/kidsjoin if you are 12 or under.
Chris Wood, the President and CEO of Trout Unlimited, gives his annual State of Trout Unlimited speech at the Trout Unlimited annual meeting in Bozeman, MT.
In Idaho’s Upper Salmon River Basin, the Yankee Fork has long-suffered as a river which is unable to recover from dredge-mining and timber harvest that occurred during the area’s gold-rush, around the turn of the 20th century. Join in watching this chronicle of how a large collaborative group, including TU, has been working since 2009 to restore the habitat that the Yankee Fork’s declining salmon, steelhead, and native fish populations need for survival.