Fish Count

Eel River Fish Count Station at Van Arsdale Reservoir

Cape Horn dam, downstream from Scott dam, is the smaller of the two dams and has a fish ladder.

February 12, 2019

No Chinook ascended the ladder this past week. The Chinook run is, for all intents and purposes, done. The count stands at 95 (Male 30, Female 23, Jack 40, Unk. 2). A total of 20 steelhead ascended the ladder this past week. The count stands at 97 (Male 29, Female 37, Unk. 31).

Scott L Harris

Associate Biologist (Marine/Fish)
Northern Region
PO Box 1690, Willits CA 95490
707-459-2238

 


Van Arsdale is the bay for the water diversion tunnel at Cape Horn Dam, the PG&E Potter Valley Hydropower Project, and the site of the oldest fish counting station in California. Built in 1922 as part of the licensing for the second dam to be built on this system, Scott Dam. By this time three generations of fish were lost because Cape Horn Dam did not have a fish ladder, between 1907 and 1922. It is said that only 40% to 45% of the fish that arrive at this site actually are able to make it up this fish ladder, demonstrating that fish ladders really do not solve the problem of getting salmon to where there is adequate and safe spawning and rearing habitat.

The next generation is then severely interfered with by dams. These dams block at least 125 miles of prime spawning and rearing habitat, but recent GIS maps indicate that there could be more than 1,000 miles available for this purpose. Loss of this fishery has impacted the north coast from Eureka to Bodega Bay fishing industry with the loss in the billions of dollars.

Read Dr. Yoshiyama & Moyle’s Historical Review of Eel River Anadromous Salmonids, 2010


Past Weeks

Historic Fish Count Data 1933-2017 

February 5, 2019
No Chinook ascended the ladder this past week. The Chinook run is, for all intents and purposes, done. The count stands at 95 (Male 30, Female 23, Jack 40, Unk. 2). A total of 39 steelhead ascended the ladder this past week. The count stands at 77 (Male 23, Female 29, Unk. 25).

January 22, 2019
No Chinook ascended the ladder this past week. The count stands at 95 (Male 30, Female 23, Jack 40, Unk. 2). Two steelhead ascended the ladder this past week. The count stands at 22 (Male 7, Female 6, Unk. 9).

January 14, 2019
One Chinook ascended the ladder this past period. The count stands at 95 (Male 30, Female 23, Jack 40, Unk. 2). Eight steelhead ascended the ladder this past period. The count stands at 20 (Male 7, Female 4, Unk. 9).

January 1, 2019
No Chinook ascended the ladder this past week. The count stands at 94 (Male 29, Female 23, Jack 40, Unk. 2). Five steelhead ascended the ladder this past week. The count stands at 12 (Male 4, Female 2, Unk. 6).

December 24, 2018
Eight Chinook ascended the ladder this past week for a total of 94 (Male 29, Female 23, Jack 40, Unk. 2). The first steelhead (seven) ascended the ladder this past week (Male 2, Female 1, Unk. 4).

December 17, 2018
During my first round of QA/QC of the video data, I found some data not reflected in the recent counts. Below is an updated table. Seven Chinook ascended the ladder this past week for a total of 86. No steelhead this past week.

Week endingMaleFemaleJackUnkTotal
12/2211525162
12/9638017
12/1602507

December 10, 2018
A total of 16 Chinook ascended the ladder this past week. The Chinook count stands at 67 (Male 23, Female 14, Jack 29, Unk 1). No steelhead this past week.

December 4, 2018
The first Chinook arrived on Nov 18. The Chinook count stands at 51 (Male 17, Female 11, Jack 22, Unk 1). No steelhead

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2017 – 2018

April 16, 2018
This is the final weekly summary for the 2017-18 season. No fish were counted at Van Arsdale Fish Station this past week. The Chinook count stands at 232 (Male 87, Female 114, Jack 27, Unk 4). The steelhead count stands at 169 (Male 74, Female 85, Unk 10).

April 9, 2018
The Chinook count stands at 232 (Male 87, Female 114, Jack 27, Unk 4). Similar to last week, seven steelhead ascended the ladder this past week. The steelhead count stands at 169 (Male 74, Female 85, Unk 10). The ladder was shut down Friday evening in anticipation of Scott Dam spilling.

April 3, 2018
The Chinook count stands at 232 (Male 87, Female 114, Jack 27, Unk 4). Seven steelhead ascended the ladder this past week. The steelhead count stands at 162 (Male 72, Female 81, Unk 9).

March 20, 2018
The Chinook count stands at 232 (Male 87, Female 114, Jack 27, Unk 4). Eleven steelhead ascended the ladder this past week. The steelhead count stands at 152 (Male 67, Female 77, Unk 8).

March 14, 2018
The Chinook count stands at 232 (Male 87, Female 114, Jack 27, Unk 4). Forty steelhead ascended the ladder this past week. The steelhead count stands at 141 (Male 65, Female 70, Unk 6).

March 6, 2018
The Chinook count stands at 232 (Male 87, Female 114, Jack 27, Unk 4). Seven steelhead ascended the ladder this past week. The steelhead count stands at 101 (Male 47, Female 49, Unk 5).

February 26, 2018
The Chinook count stands at 232 (Male 87, Female 114, Jack 27, Unk 4). One steelhead ascended the ladder this past week. The steelhead count stands at 94 (Male 44, Female 45, Unk 5).

February 20, 2018
The Chinook count stands at 232 (Male 87, Female 114, Jack 27, Unk 4). A total of five steelhead ascended the ladder this past week. The steelhead count stands at 93 (Male 45, Female 45, Unk 3).

February 14, 2018
The Chinook count stands at 232 (Male 87, Female 114, Jack 27, Unk 4). A total of 11 steelhead ascended the ladder this past week. The steelhead count stands at 88 (Male 42, Female 43, Unk 3).

February 6, 2018
The Chinook count stands at 232 (Male 87, Female 114, Jack 27, Unk 4). A total of nine steelhead ascended the ladder this past week. The steelhead count stands at 77 (Male 39, Female 35, Unk 3).

January 30, 2018
The Chinook count stands at 232 (Male 87, Female 114, Jack 27, Unk 4). A total of 33 steelhead ascended the ladder this past week. The steelhead count stands at 68 (Male 35, Female 31, Unk 2).

January 23, 2018
The Chinook count stands at 232 (Male 87, Female 114, Jack 27, Unk 4). A total of 29 steelhead ascended the ladder this past week. The steelhead count stands at 35 (Male 15, Female 20).

January 18, 2018
The Chinook run appears to have come to an end. The Chinook count stands at 232 (Male 87, Female 114, Jack 27, Unk 4). A total of six steelhead ascended the ladder this past week. The steelhead count stands at 6 (Male 3, Female 3).

January 9, 2018
No Chinook ascended the ladder this past week. The Chinook count stands at 231 (Male 86, Female 114, Jack 27, Unk 4). No steelhead this past week.

January 4, 2018
During my last count, I missed one day’s video and missed two Chinook. One Chinook ascended the ladder this past week. The Chinook count stands at 231 (Male 86, Female 114, Jack 27, Unk 4). No steelhead this past week.

December 27, 2017
One Chinook ascended the ladder this past week. The Chinook count stands at 228 (Male 86, Female 112, Jack 26, Unk 4). No steelhead this past week.

December 19, 2017
No Chinook ascended the ladder this past week. The Chinook count stands at 227 (Male 86, Female 111, Jack 26, Unk 4). No steelhead this past week.

December 12, 2017
A total of 3 Chinook ascended the ladder this past week. The Chinook count stands at 227 (Male 86, Female 111, Jack 26, Unk 4). No steelhead this past week.

December 4, 2017
A total of 28 Chinook ascended the ladder this past week. The Chinook count stands at 224 (Male 86, Female 109, Jack 26, Unk 3). No steelhead this past week.

November 27, 2017
On November 21, I switched the operations from trapping and handling, to video counts. Although the set up works very well, a few fish may be unidentifiable to sex. Hence, I have added a category to the counts listed as “Unk” (Unknown). I will continue to work with the set up to rectify this. A total of 91 Chinook ascended the ladder this past week. The Chinook count stands at 196 (Male 76, Female 96, Jack 22, Unk 2). At least 75% of this week’s fish were fresh. No steelhead yet, but this is typical for Van Arsdale, located high in the Eel River Watershed.

November 21, 2017
The first of the 17-18 season Chinook salmon were trapped this past week at the Van Arsdale Fisheries Station. As usual, they moved up via a recent storm event. The Chinook count stands at 105 (Male 41, Female 53, Jack 11) through November 19. All Chinook appeared as though they had spent quite some time in the lower river and this was reflected in darker coloration and some abrasions. No steelhead yet but this is typical for Van Arsdale, located high in the Eel River Watershed.

Click here for historical fish count data.