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.
Sac-Sierra Chapter Trout Unlimited members Barbara Bania and Don and Nancy Krueger participated in the kick-off event held at the Folsom Hills Elementary school. The kick-off recognized and thanked current organizations and clubs that have adopted a section of a creek or trail to be monitored and maintained in Folsom. Each participating volunteer group was asked to give a short speech about the section of creek and/or trail. Nancy Krueger spoke for SSTU. New volunteers were also recognized and welcomed.
Our chapter presented a display board show casing our section of Willow Creek with pictures of the creek and surrounding area. We also had giveaways from the Department of Fish and Game provided by Jeff Weaver, information about our Chapter with new member applications and brochures, a Klean Kanteen (they are popular)! A sample of Himalaya blackberry and Yellow Star Thistle was on display along with informational sheets for the public to take.
Stream Assessment Training will be held Saturday, October 3. Meet at 10 AM at Capp's Crossing Bridge near the campground. We can accept a maximum of 12 volunteers, including project leader, or about 2 - 3 people per stream. Youths (Boy Scouts) may be involved, if paired with an adult volunteer.
USFS will supply survey forms and PVC measuring rods, and will train the project leader and volunteers on 1 or 2 streams. The project team will assess the other streams later in October. All forms will be returned to USFS for assessment, with TU's recommendations as to which streams to improve. Installation of LWD will be in summer 2010. Funds may be provided through an EAS grant. USFS Maintenance crews may be used, or the work could be contracted out.
Volunteers will need the following equipment:
- Long Pants
- Hiking boots that you don't mind getting wet.
- Clipboard or tablet
- Lunch and plenty of water
- Change of clothes
To register as a volunteer, contact Gary Slade at , or 209-295-4667.
There were five of us including Don and myself. Ian and Niel Moyer joined us, as did Wendy Lloyd . We met Wendy and her husband when we went to Sugar Pine Reservoir with Bill Templin for the clean up on the 15th. She and her husband live here in Folsom; he's a member of Granite Bay Flycasters and she's not a member. She enjoys doing the type of work we have at Willow Creek, so I invited her to join us.
We bagged 16 and ½ bags of Himalaya blackberry cuttings. This is from all along the gravel path by the storm drain on Prewett, plus we've now cleaned all the invasive plants from the storm drain area. We still need to go into the creek and cut back water primrose and H. blackberry, plus reeds that the otter digs up and it floats all over.
In partnership with the Upper American River Foundation, Granite Bay Flycasters, the US Forest Service and North Area Sportsmen's Association, the chapter will develop and implement cleanup and sediment reduction projects in the North Fork American River drainage. Project planning will begin in July 2009.
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.
Restoration work in the Big Silver Creek and Bassi Fork Silver Creek areas near Union Valley Reservoir in partnership with the US Forest Service. The project will involve hand work and planting plants to restore an area being degraded by dispersed camping. The USFS is also doing some heavy equipment work on some of the roads to block off access and get stream channels back into their natural course. The project will be accomplished in September and October 2009.
(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.