Shrinking Lake County Reservoir Prompts North Bay Supply Concerns

Water supplies for Sonoma, Mendocino and Marin counties this summer could hinge partly on the dwindling storage in a remote, drought-starved reservoir on the Eel River that serves as a cornerstone to the region’s water system. Water managers, fisheries biologists, environmentalists and PG&E have their eyes on Lake Pillsbury, a diminishing Lake County reservoir where … 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

Comments to FERC re: Temporary Variance and “Make up Flows”

PG&E requested a temporary variance to reduce flows into the East Branch Russian River as they performed work on the Potter Valley Project. Sonoma County Water Agency requested, among other things, compensatory flows to “make up” for lost flows during this variance. Friends of the Eel River submitted comments that we agree with the need … Read more

Drying Times are Trying Times for Eel River Fish

By: Scott Greacen Originally published by Econews, June 2014 Serial Variance Requests Reveal Vulnerability of Eel River Fisheries to Demands from Russian River Irrigators The Eel River’s surviving salmonids—chinook, coho, and steelhead—are struggling to come back from near-extinction. Good returns from 2010 to 13, particularly for chinook, felt like recovery might be getting underway. Unfortunately, … Read more

Beautiful River, Growing Thirst, Looming Battle Over the Eel River

In the third-largest watershed in California, the Eel River rambles through some of the state’s most stunning landscape. Nothing about the river, with its clusters of redwoods along its sandy banks, hints at the looming battle over its blue-green water. In about three years, though, a federal commission will begin reviewing an application by Pacific Gas … Read more

The Potter Valley Project Variance Dance: Drought and the Russian River Diversion

By: Scott Greacen April 18, 2014 New Rules for Drying Times? Serial Variance Requests Reveal Vulnerability of Eel River Fisheries to Demands from Russian River Irrigators The Eel River’s surviving salmonids—­chinook, coho, and steelhead—are struggling to come back from near-extinction. Good returns from 2010 to 13, particularly for chinook, felt like recovery might be getting … Read more

Comments to FERC re: Temporary Variance Request

Sunday, February 2, 2014 Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary Federal Energy Regulatory Commission 888 First Street, N.E. Washington, DC 20426 Re: Potter Valley Project (FERC No. 77) Temporary Urgent Request for Flow Variance Due to Limited Water Availability Dear Secretary Bose: Under the present extreme and extraordinary circumstances, Friends of the Eel River concurs that FERC … Read more

Reduced Flows Approved for Eel and Russian Rivers

Pacific Gas and Electric Company, owners of the Pottery Valley Project have requested and been granted permission from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to reduce flows to the main stem Eel River at Cape Horn Dam, from Lake Pillsbury at Scott Dam, and into the East Branch of the Russian River. This is a … Read more