Fish Count

Eel River Fish Count Station at Van Arsdale Reservoir

Cape Horn dam impounds the river to form Van Arsdale Reservoir. It is located downstream from Scott dam, is the smaller of the two dams, and has a fish ladder.

April 5, 2020

No Chinook ascended the ladder this past week– this run is complete. The Chinook count stands at 153 (Male 32, Female 65, Jack 41, Unk 15).

A total of 10 steelhead ascended the ladder this past week. The steelhead count stands at 237 (Male 85, Female 115, Unk 37).

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 1933-2018 

March 26, 2020
No Chinook ascended the ladder this past week– this run is complete.The Chinook countstands at 153 (Male 32, Female 65, Jack 41, Unk 15). A total of 24 steelhead ascended the ladder this past week. The steelhead count stands at 227 (Male 82, Female 109, Unk 36).

March 20, 2020
No Chinook ascended the ladder this past week– this run is complete.The Chinook countstands at 153 (Male 32, Female 65, Jack 41, Unk 15). A total of 22 steelhead ascended the ladder this past week. The steelhead count stands at 203 (Male 72, Female 99, Unk 32).

March 10, 2020
No Chinook ascended the ladder this past week– this run is complete.The Chinook countstands at 153 (Male 32, Female 65, Jack 41, Unk 15). A total of 35 steelhead ascended the ladder this past week. The steelhead count stands at 181 (Male 66, Female 88, Unk 27).

March 6, 2020
No Chinook ascended the ladder this past week– this run is complete.The Chinook countstands at 153 (Male 32, Female 65, Jack 41, Unk 15). A total of 12 steelhead ascended the ladder this past week. The steelhead count stands at 146 (Male 58, Female 71, Unk 17).

February 25, 2020
No Chinook ascended the ladder this past week– this run is complete.The Chinook countstands at 153 (Male 32, Female 65, Jack 41, Unk 15). A total of 24 steelhead ascended the ladder this past week. The steelhead count stands at 134 (Male 54, Female 66, Unk 14).

February 18, 2020
No Chinook ascended the ladder this past week– this run is complete.The Chinook countstands at 153 (Male 32, Female 65, Jack 41, Unk 15). A total of 20 steelhead ascended the ladder this past week. The steelhead count stands at 110 (Male 42, Female 58, Unk 10).

February 11, 2020
No Chinook ascended the ladder this past week– this run is complete.The Chinook countstands at 153 (Male 32, Female 65, Jack 41, Unk 15). A total of 12 steelhead ascended the ladder this past week. The steelhead count stands at 90 (Male 35, Female 47, Unk 8).

February 5, 2020
No Chinook ascended the ladder this past week.The Chinook countstands at 153 (Male 32, Female 65, Jack 41, Unk 15).A total 24 steelhead ascended the ladder this past week. The steelhead count stands at 78 (Male 30, Female 40, Unk 8).

January 29, 2020
No Chinook ascended the ladder this past week.The Chinook countstands at 153 (Male 32, Female 65, Jack 41, Unk 15).A total 24 steelhead ascended the ladder this past week. The steelhead count stands at 78 (Male 30, Female 40, Unk 8).

January 21, 2020
No Chinook ascended the ladder this past week.The Chinook countstands at 153 (Male 32, Female 65, Jack 41, Unk 15).Twelve steelhead ascended the ladder this past week. The steelhead count stands at 22 (Male 8, Female 12, Unk 2).

January 13, 2020
One female Chinook ascended the ladder this past week. The Chinook countstands at 153 (Male 32, Female 65, Jack 41, Unk 15). No steelhead ascended the ladder this past week. The steelhead count stands at 10 (Male 4, Female 5, Unk 1).

January 6, 2020
No Chinook ascended the ladder this past week. The Chinook count stands at 152 (Male 32, Female 64, Jack 41, Unk 15). Two steelhead ascended the ladder this past week. The steelhead count stands at 10 (Male 4, Female 5, Unk 1).

January 1, 2020
A single Chinook ascended the ladder this past week. The Chinook count stands at 152 (Male 32, Female 64, Jack 41, Unk 15). A single steelhead ascended the ladder this past week. The steelhead count stands at 8 (Male 3, Female 4, Unk 1).

December 23, 2019
A single Chinook salmon entered the station this past week. The Chinook count stands at 151 (Male 32, Female 63, Jack 41, Unk 15). A total of seven steelhead ascended the ladder this past week. The steelhead count stands at 7 (Male 3, Female 3, Unk 1).

December 18, 2019
A total of 26 Chinook salmon entered the station this past week. The Chinook count stands at 150 (Male 32, Female 63, Jack 40, Unk 15). No steelhead yet.

December 10, 2019
A total of 111 Chinook salmon entered the station this past week. The Chinook count stands at 124 (Male 35, Female 40, Jack 35, Unk 14). No steelhead yet.

December 3, 2019
The first Chinook arrived on December 1st. The Chinook count stands at 13 (Male 1, Female 0, Jack 11, Unk 1). No steelhead.


May 2, 2019
The Chinook run is complete and the count stands at 95 (Male 30, Female 23, Jack 40, Unk. 2). One steelhead ascended the ladder this past week. The steelhead count stands at 309 (Male 87, Female 122, Unk. 100).

April 24, 2019
The Chinook run is complete and the count stands at 95 (Male 30, Female 23, Jack 40, Unk. 2). A total of eleven steelhead ascended the ladder this past week. The steelhead count stands at 308 (Male 87, Female 122, Unk. 99).

April 19, 2019
The Chinook run is complete and the count stands at 95 (Male 30, Female 23, Jack 40, Unk. 2). A total of nine steelhead ascended the ladder this past week. The steelhead count stands at 297 (Male 82, Female 120, Unk. 95).

April 10, 2019
The Chinook run has been done for quite some time. The count stands at 95 (Male 30, Female 23, Jack 40, Unk. 2). A total of 11 steelhead ascended the ladder this past week. The steelhead count stands at 288 (Male 78, Female 116, Unk. 94).

April 1, 2019
The Chinook run has been done for quite some time. The count stands at 95 (Male 30, Female 23, Jack 40, Unk. 2). A total of 19 steelhead ascended the ladder this past week. The steelhead count stands at 277 (Male 76, Female 110, Unk. 91).

March 25, 2019
The Chinook run has been done for quite some time. The count stands at 95 (Male 30, Female 23, Jack 40, Unk. 2). A total of 99 steelhead ascended the ladder this past week. The steelhead count stands at 258 (Male 73, Female 102, Unk. 83).

March 18, 2019
The ladder was back online Saturday morning. The Chinook count stands at 95 (Male 30, Female 23, Jack 40, Unk. 2). A total of 47 steelhead ascended the ladder on Saturday and Sunday. The steelhead count stands at 159 (Male 46, Female 67, Unk. 46). I’m guessing 47 steelhead in two days brings a smile to a few faces…mine included.

March 11, 2019
The ladder was, once again, down all last week. Today, crews will begin removing the gravel from the ladder system. Hopefully, the ladder will be in operation by next weekend. The Chinook count stands at 95 (Male 30, Female 23, Jack 40, Unk. 2). The steelhead count stands at 112 (Male 33, Female 42, Unk. 37).

March 5, 2019
Due to high flow (30K cfs) and debris, the ladder has been down since March 24. The ladder will remain closed until crews can remove sediment from the ladder and “Fish Hotel”. It will most likely be several weeks before the ladder is reopened as it is unsafe to work in the Fish Hotel over 3,000 cfs. The Chinook count stands at 95 (Male 30, Female 23, Jack 40, Unk. 2). The steelhead count stands at 112 (Male 33, Female 42, Unk. 37).

February 25, 2019
The Chinook count stands at 95 (Male 30, Female 23, Jack 40, Unk. 2). A total of seven steelhead ascended the ladder this past week. The count stands at 112 (Male 33, Female 42, Unk. 37). The ladder was opened on the 20th. The ladder was, once again, closed yesterday in anticipation of high flow and probable debris issues. Apparently, it’s winter…<

February 20, 2019

Cape Horn Dam at high flows requiring closure of the fish ladder.
Cape Horn Dam at high flows requiring closure of the fish ladder. | Scott Harris, Department of Fish and Wildlife

The Chinook count stands at 95 (Male 30, Female 23, Jack 40, Unk. 2). A total of eight steelhead ascended the ladder this past week. The count stands at 105 (Male 32, Female 39, Unk. 34). The ladder was shut down the night of the 13th due to high flow and debris. The ladder should be up and running by the end of today.

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).

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).

2018

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.

Click here for historical fish count data.