Support Wild and Scenic River Protection for the Mokelumne!
By Steve Evans, Wild and Scenic Program Consultant
The California Natural Resources Agency (CNRA) has released for public review and comment a draft Mokelumne River Wild and Scenic River Study Report. The release of the report kicks off a 30-day public comment period that ends February 28.
The draft study report finds 37 miles of the North Fork and main stem of Mokelumne River from Salt Springs Dam to Pardee Reservoir to be eligible for state protection as a Wild and Scenic River.
A final CNRA eligibility determination and recommendation will likely lead to the introduction of legislation to protect the Mokelumne in the state system. But local development interests who still dream of building a large dam on the Mokelumne or its major tributaries may dispute the CNRA's eligibility finding and recommendation and oppose any future legislation to protect the river. Which is why the public needs to speak out today in support of protecting the river. Public comments must be received by Thursday, February 28, 2018, by 5:00 PM.
E-mail your comment by the 5:00 PM deadline to Joseph.Wall@resources.ca.gov. If you have visited and enjoyed the Mokelumne River be sure to personalize your comments.
Mojave River Hatchery in San Bernardino County Reopens after Major Renovation
Posted: 01 Feb 2018 01:42 PM PST
The Mojave River Hatchery in Victorville, northern San Bernardino County, has reopened after an extensive and much needed overhaul to promote more efficient trout production for anglers in Southern California.
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) invested several hundred thousand dollars on the project, including pressure washing and disinfecting 6,000 linear feet of fish rearing ponds and associated plumbing, coating all fish rearing surfaces with Food and Drug Administration-approved epoxy coating to improve fish culture conditions and installing new manifolds for the water recirculation loop to improve efficiency.
The modernization of the Mojave Hatchery will greatly benefit Southern California trout anglers. Fish production at Mojave River Hatchery has already resumed and healthy juvenile fish have been brought in from other CDFW hatcheries for additional growth at the renovated facility. The first batch of catchable-sized fish from Mojave Hatchery are anticipated in late February, with others to follow.
Millions of fertile trout eggs are also being shipped to Mojave for incubation and rearing into catchable fish for stocking later in 2018, and CDFW is continuing to stock catchable fish in Southern California from sister hatcheries farther north.
The last major renovations to Mojave River Hatchery took place more than 45 years ago.
In addition to the raceway renovation and improvements, contractors upgraded the plumbing from the hatchery building, refurbished the well pump motors, and excavated the two settling ponds and installed new, UV-resistant rubber lining.
Mojave River Hatchery is one of 13 state-run inland trout hatcheries that provide millions of additional trout fishing opportunities each year for California's angling public.
Dr. Mark Clifford, CDFW Trout and Salmon Hatcheries Program, (916) 764-2526
Andrew Hughan, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8944
CDFW to Release a Half-Million Steelhead into Feather River
Posted: 12 Feb 2018 03:05 PM PST
Hatchery trucks from the Califonia Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) today began the weeklong process of stocking a half million young steelhead smolts on the Feather River near Yuba City. The 125,000 fish released Monday were the first of the fish reared from eggs rescued from the Feather River Fish Hatchery during last year's Feather River spillway failure. Plants will continue through Thursday near Yuba City.
More than a million steelhead eggs were endangered in February 2017 when silt and debris overwhelmed the hatchery water system following the spillway failure. With less than 72 hours to complete fixes on aeration and filtration systems CDFW engineers went to work to save the steelhead eggs stacked in hundreds of trays at the hatchery.
Feather River steelhead are on the state and federal list of species of concern, and the hatchery is key to maintaining the viable run in the Central Valley. The eggs in the hatchery during the Feather River spillway event represented a year-age class of steelhead.
Engineers redesigned the water in-flow system using city water for the incubating steelhead. They also brought in massive six-foot-tall charcoal filters to purify the city water and reconfigured the aeration system. These alterations made this week's release of more than 500,000 steelhead possible.
"CDFW engineers did something that had never been done successfully before on a massive scale," said Feather River Fish Hatchery Manager Anna Kastner. "The eggs were in a fragile state of incubation and could not be moved, so innovation was the only option. The use of city water for incubation paid off."
CDFW Engineers George Heise and Beth Lawson, working with hatchery personnel, pathologists and biologists, conferred on the requirements of redesigning the system. Once agreed upon they went to work.
"Our options were limited and something had to be implemented immediately. The team told us what they needed and we went to work making it happen," Heise said.
Thousands of anglers fish these waters annually, significantly boosting the local economy. Finding an emergency fix for the potential catastrophic loss of a year of hatchery production of steelhead was critical recreationally, economically and biologically.
John Church, a local fisherman from Yuba City, is one of the many anglers who value and rely on steelhead fishing opportunities on the Feather River.
"It's really important to me and family. I take my daughters to the Feather River for the chance to catch a steelhead each year", he said. "It is what we go there for."
Harry Morse, CDFW Communications, (916) 323-1478
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