This Year’s Floods May Be Good for California’s Salmon

In the mid-1990s, a scientist named Ted Sommer commuted routinely by bicycle between Davis and Sacramento, on the causeway that passes over the vast floodplain called the Yolo Bypass. At the time, state biologists had observed that numbers of Sacramento River fish increased almost every year following a wet winter. “We wondered what it was … Read more

Court Supports Order to Divert Water to Support Salmon

The federal government can redirect water from a Northern California dam to prevent mass die-offs of salmon in drought years, water that otherwise would be shipped to Central Valley farmers, a federal appeals court ruled Tuesday. The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation had authority under a 1955 federal law to release Trinity River water from the … Read more

Eel River Salmon go Blind Awaiting Rain

By Will Houston Recent high tides and brief mid-September rains gave some Eel River salmon a fleeting chance to move closer to their spawning grounds. But a lack of adequate flows on the river is causing many fish to fall ill as they crowd within small pools for weeks at a time, according to a … Read more

'Fish, Flows and Marijuana Grows': Live-Blogging Senator McGuire's Hearing Examining Impacts of Marijuana Grows on State's Fisheries

“In our fourth year of this historic drought, we have to find ways to protect our fisheries from the impacts of the driest years on record, and the devastating impacts of rogue marijuana grows. The combination of the drought and rogue grows have resulted in unprecedented damage to our state’s watersheds, they have put endangered … 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

Here's How Hundreds of People Are Working to Fix the Eel River Delta

The Eel was once one of the largest salmon-producing rivers in the state, and much of the delta’s river system was deep enough to host hundred-ton shipping vessels carrying goods from San Francisco and beyond. A hundred and fifty years ago, the delta’s river system would drain naturally with the rains and tides. But in … Read more

Why the Eel River Disappeared and What It Means for Fish

A YouTube video posted yesterday to SFGate.com claimed that the Eel has stopped flowing altogether, which is not strictly accurate. The video above, which was shot this morning, shows that the Eel simply goes underground for a stretch, running beneath the surface of the gravel riverbed before reemerging about 100-200 yards north. Regardless, this is … Read more