Monitoring Studies

Friends of the Eel River presents these studies and final report as an answer to our continuing question about the health of the watershed. Pat’s enthusiasm to the task is why we engaged him.  His voice is heard throughout his writing and his own opinions come to light in the conclusion. FOER sees this as a start of a discussion rather that a confirmed solution.   The health and efficient management of this impaired watershed will see a constant need for studies like this in order to inform decisions made.
Fisheries biologist Patrick Higgins (at left) conducted an Eel River fall Chinook salmon survey for Friends of the Eel River from September through the end of December 2010. His field reports and final report are linked from this page. Instead of finding just a few hundred fish and very low flows, as anticipated, the run was one of the largest Chinook salmon returns in recent time and the flows were unusually high due to early rains. An estimated 10,000 to 30,000 Chinook salmon spawned in the Eel River basin in 2010 and the report recommends speedy action to help sustain this level of return and maybe increases it to 100,000 fish.

Final 2010 Report

Fernbridge to Alderpoint Reconnaissance: Plenty of Water for Chinook Eel River Dos Rios to Above Hearst: Chinook Salmon Spawning Everywhere Estimated 2000 Early Fall Chinook in Lower River!
11/16/2010 | PDF | Video 11/5 & 11/7/2010 | PDF | Video 10/22/2010 | PDF | Video
Eel River Estuary: Lots of Salmon! Upper Eel at Hearst and Emandal: Pikeminnow but also Steelhead Juveniles
10/20/2010 | PDF | Video 10/10/2010 | PDF | Video 10/8/2010 | PDF | Video
Salmon Confirmed Upstream as Far as Van Duzen River Lower Eel River Chinook Salmon Dive Survey Report Reconnaissance of Mainstem Eel at Alderpoint and Lower Steelhead Creek
10/7/2010 | PDF | Video 10/1/2010 | PDF | Video 9/21/2010 | PDF | Video
Hundreds of Chinook in Lower River! Early Chinook Salmon Run Confirmed Just Above the Eel River Estuary Shively-Holmes Reconnaissance: Otters, Pikeminnow and Juvenile Steelhead
9/20/2010 | PDF | Video 9/17/2010 | PDF | Video 9/14/2010 | PDF | Video
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