(April – June 2009): Collect turbidity, conductivity, pH, and temperature data points twice weekly for the USFS at two locations on Kirkwood Creek and at Oyster Creek. The work will continue through the end of Spring Run-off in June.
On Wednesday, Nov. 13th six of us gathered at the Kyburz Fire Station to caravan to a site where the USFS had done some recontouring of a tributary to the Silver Fork of the American River to improve water flow and reduce erosion. Now it was our turn to help with the hand labor of planting a variety of native plants.
The picture does not adequately represent the scope of the work; cropped off of this picture is more hillside down to the stream, and an even larger area planted on the other side of the tributary. We planted several hundred plants and trees on either side of the tributary but, because of the recently graded soil and the teamwork of the members, it only took us a little more than 2 hours. We picked up some trash in the area and ate our sack lunches sitting on logs or rocks beside the flowing water of the Silver Fork. The weather was very pleasant, and the beauty of the forest in Fall was outstanding. We had a great day!
On November 19th, five Chapter volunteers worked all day with EID, DFG and USFS personnel to survey Caples Creek, e-shocking, netting, separating, weighing, measuring and typing the trout (and other fish) before releasing them back into the stream, as well helping haul ALL the equipment down to the stream then back UP the hill to the parking lot. The volunteers included Stanley Backlund, Jim Della Santa, Dustin and Cindy Rocksvold, and John Sikora. Jann Williams, a USFS employee who participated as part of her job, is also a Chapter member.
The survey was an early step in the fisheries monitoring plan developed by EID, and required by the USFS, to monitor fish populations in the creek following the emergency repairs and fish rescue at Caples Lake (see update below). EID plans to conduct a follow-up survey next year when the survey sites can be safely accessed. It will be interesting to help with the survey in Spring to see what differences may occur.
[Added by Barbara Bania] The Chapter received the following thank you letter for our assistance with this project: "I just wanted to extend my thanks to five Trout Unlimited members for their assistance in a fish monitoring effort at Caples Creek. Members helped capture, count, and measure fish during the survey. They also helped transport equipment to and from the survey sites which involved hiking over one mile in the snow! I wanted to recognize and thank these volunteers because their participation made this monitoring effort a success. Sincerely, Brian Deason, Senior Hydroelectric Compliance Specialist, El Dorado Irrigation District"
On April 25th, volunteers from Sac-Sierra Trout Unlimited joined forces with volunteers from throughout the central valley to make Creek Week 2009 a rousing success!
Creek Week was organized by The Sacramento Area Creeks Council. Sac-Sierra volunteers, working alongside over 2000 volunteers from more than two dozen conservation-minded organizations, helped remove tons of trash and debris, and invasive plants from creeks throughout Sacramento, Folsom, Antelope, and Citrus Heights. After the cleanup work, SSTU volunteers also spoke with hundreds of kids, parents, teachers, and environmentally-minded people who attended the Creek Clean Up Celebration held at American River College. Attendees were treated to a barbecue with live music, games and contests, and everyone who participated in clean-up activities earned a Creek Week T-shirt.
The Chapter would like to thank all of our hard-working and committed volunteers.
Barbara Bania & Nancy Krueger worked with Cub Scout Pack 94 to clean up debris and take out thistle along the vernal pools in the area known as the Parkway at Folsom. As usual, the scouts were quite enthusiastic about doing their part for Creek Week, and were rewarded by an unusual find of two Razor scooters, which were quickly dubbed the "Swamp" scooters in honor of their point of rescue. Barbara and Nancy both remarked that the scouts kept everyone highly entertained, and the picnic afterwards at B.T.Collins Park was rip-roaring fun.
Kevin and Cheryl Mather, and their son Isaac, worked in Arcade Creek along Longview Drive with members of the local neighborhood association, where whimsy and humor debated the need for waders and heavy equipment at next year's event.
Linda and BreAnna Johnson, although not members of the Chapter, came out to contribute at the urging of Don Krueger, and worked along Cripple Creek in Citrus Heights.
Dick Howard worked with the Granite Bay Flycasters on their activites in the North Fork American River Watershed. Although they missed the Celebration, they got in some good fishing for the rest of the day.
Don Krueger, Dan Waligora, Bill Templin, and Dan Brosier staffed the Chapter's booth at the Clean Up Celebration at American River College. They spoke with hundreds of lively and interested kids and adults about watershed issues and restoration projects, and raffled off 12 kids Stream Explorers memberships and two adult memberships.
On April 4th, volunteers from Sac-Sierra Trout Unlimited assisted the Forest Service with a road obliteration and revegetation project on Plum Creek in the El Dorado National Forest. Obliteration of the road was required in the new license conditions of the El Dorado Hydroelectric Project. Twelve TU members, led by our very own Forest Service liaison, Jann Williams, planted more than 1000 trees and shrubs along a half-mile section of obliterated roadbed leading to a stream-side campground on Plum Creek. Among the species we planted were big-leaf maple, incense cedar, buckbrush, mountain dogwood, western hazelnut, douglas fir, California black oak and thimbleberry. The Forest Service is hoping to prevent drive-in use of the campground, and thereby reduce the potential for soil erosion and refuse deposition.
This restoration project is another step in Sac-Sierra Chapter's ongoing push to schedule more conservation projects. If you would like to help us on future projects, or have a project of your own in mind, please contact our Conservation Chair, Gary Slade, or any board member. The chapter needs your ideas and your participation if our coldwater fisheries are going to survive and thrive.
Plum Creek from our work area
On September 12th, Eagle Scout candidate Ian Moyer and members of Boy Scout Troop 645 completed the installation of three angler survey boxes on the Electra Road portion of the Mokelumne River. With supervision and assistance from parents, and members of Sac-Sierra Trout Unlimited and Amador Flyfishers, Ian and the scouts installed their first survey box a little over two miles up Electra Road from Highway 49, a second at Box Beach, and a third at the Electra Powerhouse parking area.
The three survey boxes were welded to posts of existing gate structures, which were also filled with concrete to add stability and durability. Signage was installed on each box, instructing anglers how to complete the survey form, and the boxes were then stocked with forms and pencils. The forms will be collected and restocked by members of Amador Flyfishers, who will ultimately forward the forms to the Department of Fish and Game.
After work was complete, many of the scouts and work crew stayed for swimming and fishing, and a barbecue lunch provided by Ian's mother, Terrie. Sac-Sierra Trout Unlimited also contributed some supplemental nourishment.
Hardhead Research Study
April 16, 2010
First Middle Fork American River
Sample Collection "Fish Out"
Researchers at U.C. Davis received a grant from the California Energy Commission (CEC) to reinforce existing knowledge of temperature preferences of the California native Hardhead in local Sierra Nevada rivers. The main purpose of this "fish out" was to start helping to collect native Hardhead (Photo 1) known to occupy the Middle Fork of the American River at Ralston Afterbay (a.k.a. Oxbow) Reservoir (Photo 2) on the M.F. American River south east of Foresthill, CA.
This activity was made possible because the Upper American River Foundation (UARF), Granite Bay Flycasters (GBF) and the Sac-Sierra Chapter of Trout Unlimited (SSTU) have been working with U.C. Davis (UCD) researchers for years, contributing to grants to help learn more about the fish in the Upper American River Watershed. So, due to prior planning and cooperation, we were expecting to be called on this year to help collect Hardhead for this study. This specific trip was organized very quickly (within a week) after a request from Lisa Thompson (Ph.D., & researchers at U.C. Davis) to Bill Templin (Member of: UARF, GBF as soon as I re-up, & SSTU") . Quick volunteer response was made possible by the "GBF President's Email Blasts" with help from GBF VP Conservation, Robin Egan.
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