From its headwaters in the high Sierra to the San Joaquin Delta, The Mokelumne River is a shining gem of nature. A National Wild and Scenic River Designation will ensure this precious resource is protected for future generations of fish, wildlife and people by preventing new dams and diversions on more than 37 miles of free-flowing river. Please get involved today. Write East Bay MUD and tell them you don't support the Pardee Dam Expansion. Also go to foothillconservancy.org and sign the petition showing your support for a Wild and Scenic Designation.
The California Legislature voted to pull the $11 billion water bond from November's ballot and delay it for two years, a move that came as backers of the proposal became increasingly concerned about its prospects at the polls.
The full Senate approved the delay of Prop. 18 by a 27-7 vote, barely reaching the necessary two-thirds majority of the 40-member Senate. The Assembly also passed it by the slimmest of margins in that 80-person house, with a 54-22 vote. Some lawmakers from both parties have called for the bond to be scrapped and rewritten.
The first Annual Wild Steelhead Festival, held in 2008, brought public awareness to this threatened species. Attendees celebrated the annual return of our wild Steelhead and learned of the benefits they bring to our community and the efforts being made to enhance their natural habitat through many fun and educational events during the three days.
The Redwood Empire Chapter of Trout Unlimited provides educational information on the status of wild fish in the Russian River Watershed and what needs to be done to help the threatened species.
Water userʼs contention hatchery fish are adequate substitute rejected
October 27, 2008
Fresno, CA -- A U.S. District Court judge has rejected an attempt by California irrigators and logging industry groups to strip protected status from five populations of wild steelhead trout. Today's ruling rejects two separate challenges to steelhead protection in California . In the first case, anti-environment group Pacific Legal Foundation, which represents loggers and water users, argued that the National Marine Fisheries Service must make Endangered Species Act (ESA) listing decisions based simply on the numbers of hatchery steelhead produced each year. PLF asked the court to remove five separate populations of steelhead from the list of endangered species based on the presence of hatchery fish. In the second case, a group of Central Valley irrigators argued that ocean-going Central Valley steelhead population should be removed from the endangered species list based on their opinion that freshwater resident rainbow trout might someday replace extinct steelhead populations.
The 3rd Annual DownStream Fly Fishing Program conducted April 24th was created with the hope that through fly fishing Down Syndrome children can improve coordination, fine tune motor skills, boost social skills and attain a sense of accomplishment while having fun. Family members were encouraged to participate as well in order to promote on-going family activities in an outdoor environment.
Nineteen students attended, and there were enough volunteers at each of the 5 learning stations (casting, fly tying, knots, entomology and fish painting) for each student to receive individual attention. The 55 volunteers included four members from our chapter as well as members of several local fly fishing clubs. In addition to volunteering, the Chapter provided $2,000 (received from one of its members specifically for this event) to help defray the cost.
The event took place on a private ranch just outside Marysville which had a pond loaded with hungry rainbow trout. Every student landed a fish; some even landed 5 or 6!
Seaching for a real fish story: UCD grad student tracks the deltas largemouth bass
By Barry Eberling
FAIRFIELD Anna Stephenson is catching largemouth bass in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, cutting a short incision on their underside, placing a black tracking device inside their peritoneal cavity and releasing them back to the water.
Then she and other researchers will know when the eight or so fish with electronic devices leave shallow water for deep water. They'll know how the fish move about during the year.
And maybe they'll discover clues to the plunge in the numbers of native fish such as the delta smelt, which largemouth bass eat.
Chapter Displays at Three Recent Events
Our participation via displays at the California Rivers Festival (Fair Oaks), Off The Hook Fly Shop 2nd Anniversary Party (Placerville), and Kiene's Fly Shop Open House appear to have been well received. It was nice to meet some members who have been unable to attend any of our prior events, and to talk with local residents about fishery conservation issues. As a result of our participation in these events several lapsed members renewed, several people joined for the first time, and we raised some funds for the chapter by conducting raffles and providing recycling buckets for collecting cans and bottles.
Through the donation of materials from the Department of Fish and Game, Pasco Scientific, and the USFS (ElDorado National Forest), our displays are really looking nice.
Our May 2nd Casting Clinic was a great success!
Open to members only, and at no cost, 10 registrants got hands-on, one-on-one instruction from Jeff Putnam, our FFF Certified Casting Instructor. Jeff tailored his teaching to each student's needs and skills, whether they were a beginning or experienced caster. Jeff demonstrated his usual great skill in diagnosing casting faults, and providing as much or as little adjustment as was needed. Remarks from all students indicated that each felt he or she was made a better casters by attending.
In the first session, although limited to students using single-handed rods, Jeff focused on introducing spey techniques based on fishing situations and terminal tackle choices. The second session was reserved for students using two-handed, or spey rods. In this class, student experience ranged from first-time spey casters just learning to employ a two-handed rods, to veteran steelhead fishermen looking to tune up their cast. In each session, Jeff showed remarkable ability to observe a student, and identify just the tip or technique that would make the student better.
Some of our students.
(Source: El Dorado Irrigation District news releases)
The emergency repairs to the 85-year old slide gates of Caples Lake dam, which necessitated the fish rescue efforts in August & September have been completed, bringing four months of intensive effort to a successful conclusion. On-the-ground actions included drawing down the lake level to create a safe working environment for the repair crews and installation of temporary "bladder" dams upstream of the main dam to store as much water as possible. While the repairs were made, EID pumped water from behind the temporary dams to provide flows for fisheries downstream.
The on-site fish rescues conducted by the California Department of Fish and Game utilized more than 90 volunteers to help capture and relocate 27,000 fish and fingerlings; the fish were released into nearby Silver and Red Lakes. The District and DFG have established a fish restocking plan to begin next spring.
[We wish to extend our appreciation to both EID and DFG for their efforts in protecting and restoring the fisheries, and for requesting our Chapter's participation in this important effort.]
Stimulated by the need to draw down Caples Lake for some dam (note the spelling) repairs, the El Dorado Irrigation District, the California Department of Fish and Game, and numerous other public agencies are working together to trap and transport as many fish as possible to Silver Lake just a few miles away.
Our Chapter and the California Sportfishing Protection Alliance (CSPA) were asked to work together to encourage 100 volunteers to assist with the effort. I'm pleased to say that, as you are receiving this newsletter, 97 volunteers are performing a great variety of tasks to relocate as many fish as possible in a 72-hour period.** Due to the emergency nature of the dam repairs, much of the preparation for this was compressed into a very short time. From what I have witnessed as an "insider" on this project, I am extremely impressed with the effort that is being made to save the fish and support the volunteers. I'm sure we will have some interesting tales to tell in the next newsletter. We appreciate all who are helping with this effort, and know that more of you would have volunteered if you had had more than 4 days turnaround time to sign up (or had e-mail so you could have been notified of this opportunity).