Cape Horn Dam Fish Ladder is Inadequate

Cape Horn fish ladder clogged with gravel and debris after high flows.

Amidst the tumultuous relicensing, auction, bankruptcy, and withdrawal developments for the Eel River dams, attention has largely centered around the most problematic of the two – Scott Dam, which is structurally unsound and has zero fish passage. However, while there is a fish ladder at the Van Arsdale Fish Station at Cape Horn Dam, recent … Read more

FOER and Allies Submit Comments to FERC on Scoping Document 1 & Study Plan Proposals

Friends of the Eel River and our conservation group partners submitted comments to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on their Scoping Document 1 for the relicensing of Potter Valley Project. You can read our full comments or any specific section below. Conservation group partners: American Whitewater, California Sportfishing Protection Alliance, California Trout, Friends of the … Read more

Pacific Lamprey Attemping Van Arsdale Fish Ladder

Pacific lamprey attempting fish ladder on Eel River

During a site visit to the Potter Valley Project Friends of the Eel River staff observed lamprey attempting and mostly failing to climb the fish ladder at the Van Arsdale fish counting station. Pacific Lamprey, the fish for which the Eel River was “mis-named” are anadromous just like salmon, meaning they migrate between freshwater and … Read more

Close to Home: Potter Valley relicensing presents opportunity for more creative thinking

In the Mendocino National Forest, the Potter Valley Project is an audacious example of creative engineering. The project, which is owned by PG&E, stores winter runoff from the upper reaches of the Eel River and diverts the water into the Russian River, where it is used to support people, farming and wineries in Mendocino and … Read more

Learning from Yesterdays Mistakes to Avoid Tomorrows Tragedies

Though humans have lived along the bountiful shores and rivers of the far North Coast for tens of thousands of years, the span of our now-dominant civilization’s history here has only begun to exceed a century and a half. Looking particularly at the environmental history of the Eel River, it’s striking that some of the … Read more