Conservation News

Lahontan Project 2015

Lahontan Cutthroat Trout Recovery
Volunteers needed for Summer 2015

Southwest Council of International Federation of Fly Fishers, Cal Trout, Trout Unlimited, California Department of Fish and Wildlife

In the summer of 2015, a consortium of the region’s fly fishing and conservation groups will come together to improve and extend the habitat of the endangered Lahontan cutthroat trout. The bulk of the improvements will come from removal of invasive brook trout. Please join us in this daunting yet rewarding undertaking, and in the process learn more about this coveted habitat and species.

The project will focus on two upper Walker tributaries in the Eastern Serries---Silver Creek and Slinkard Creek. A maximum of three volunteers will work on either creek at any one time. Volunteers will assist in electro-fishing to remove brook trout from both water systems.

Volunteers will work in conjunction with paid interns, who will work in blocks of eight days followed by six days off. Volunteers will begin work on the Thursday of each block and will typically contribute as possible through Sunday.

Slinkard Creek

Slinkard Creek is a tiny creek which holds great potential for the Lahontan cutthroat. It is heavily overgrown with willows and brush and thus presents major difficulties for access. Even highly experienced small-stream anglers find this riparian corridor impassible. As such, volunteers will be primarily tasked with brush clearance and path creation for the team of electro-shockers. Volunteer experience with hand and power tools will be particularly valuable.

More information will be available for participants shortly, including a contact number. Expect to arrive on a Thursday (or Friday, if necessary) and depart Sunday afternoon, though volunteers will be permitted to stay on throughout the week. The Slinkard Creek site is 50 minutes north of Bridgeport, CA, on highway 89, followed by a drive along a rough road for two to three miles. Access to the creek is generally less than a mile but over challenging terrain. Expect to camp near the work site, though each person is free to do otherwise.

If you wish to volunteer for the Slinkard Creek Project, pdf download (27 KB) this document and fill it out.  You will have to turn it in when you arrive.

Click the links below to volunteer for Slinkard Creek

June 25 through June 28

 July 9 through july 12

July 23 through July 26

August 6 through August 9

August 20 through August 23

September 3 through September 6

Silver Creek

Silver Creek is a mid-sized stream that meanders through a glade-like forest. Brush and access do not provide major hindrances. The goal at Silver Creek to both remove the brook trout and relocate resident Lahontans to sections of the creek that are free of brookies. Volunteers will participate in all roles except operating the electro-shocker. Volunteers who feel uneasy about killing the invasive brook trout may prefer to assist on Slinkard Creek, where volunteers will primarily assist in brush removal.

More information will be available for participants shortly, including a contact number. Expect to arrive on a Thursday (or Friday, if necessary) and depart Sunday afternoon, though volunteers will be permitted to stay on throughout the week. The Silver Creek site is located 23 minutes north of Bridgeport, CA, on highway 108, followed by a ride along dirt roads for two to three miles and a two-mile hike. Volunteers camp near the work site or trail head.

If you wish to volunteer for Silver Creek  pdf download (55 KB) this document and fill it out.  You will have to turn it in when you arrive.

Click the links below to volunteer for Silver Creek

July 9 through july 12

July 23 through July 26

August 6 through August 9

August 20 through August 23

September 3 through September 6

Conservation Projects

As part of the Southern California Steelhead Recovery Project, we are teaming with GSF and San Diego Coast Keepers to monitor water quality in the San Luis Rey River.  Coast Keepers was surveying the River every other month through the rainy season and this Cal Trout grant allows us to do the intervening months.  San Luis Rey is one of three streams in San Diego County that DF&W believes are potentially viable steelhead streams: San Mateo and Santa Margarita are the other two, but they have invasive and access issues.  The project requires 6 to 9 volunteers for one Saturday morning every other month and will sample four sites if possible.  Some readings are taken on site, plus samples are carefully preserved and returned to the Coast Keepers laboratory for detailed analysis.  The results are available to the public via the State's "CEDEN" database.
 
Another conservation project we continue to work on is the San Diego River Watershed Monitoring Program sponsored by the Regional Water Quality Control Board (RWQCB).  We helped raise fast money to purchase 14 acres of critical habitat adjacent to Boulder Creek, just below Lake Cuyamacha and are currently working to restore the site and develop a small research area to be used by DF&W, the RWQCB and regional universities in monitoring water quality and fish and wildlife populations.  We purchased "state of the art" temperature and disolved oxygen loggers to be used in that effort.  In the lower watershed, we are working with the DF&W and RWQCB biologists to do creel surveys, fish population counts and fish toxicity analysis in selected ponds from Lakeside to the estuary near Mission Bay.

Out third and favorite conservation project is maintaining the cattle exclusion fence in Casa Meadow at the south end of the Golden Trout Wilderness.  2014 will be our ninth year of hard work, helping USFS sustain the Golden Trout spawning streams in this beautiful meadow.

SWC-IFFF CONSERVATION

 

Debbie Sharpton, Conservation Director
(805) 338-8278; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

HELP OUR NATIVE FISH
Volunteers and funding are needed to sustain a Lahontan cutthroat trout (LCT) recovery project in the Western Lahontan Basin (Truckee, Carson and Walker River watersheds). With seed funding provided by Sierra Pacific Flyfishers, interns and volunteers will be on Silver Creek (headwater tributary of the West Walker River, Pickel Meadow area) late July to late September 2013 removing non-native predatory brook trout from a LCT recovery area.

THE SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA FLY FISHING CLUBS ARE WORKING TOGETHER TO SAVE THE LAHONTAN CUTTHROAT TROUT


Please consider volunteering this summer. A base camp will be set up along Silver Creek and a team of 4-5 people will assist CDFW with electrofishing. The goal of this multi-year activity is to eradicate non-native brook trout so the stream can sustain a currently imperiled population of LCT. CDFW will open the stream to angling when the brook trout have been removed.

Please consider making a donation to sustain the interns when volunteers are not available. SWC-IFFF has set up a special account for the LCT Recovery Project.

Lahontan Cutthroat Trout
(Oncorhynchus clarkii ssp. henshawi)

Photo credit — Michael Graybrook

 LCT, a federally-listed Threatened species, evolved in the absence of other trout, and they are highly susceptible to hybridization and competition from introduced trout species. Nonnative trout has caused the majority of LCT population extirpations since the mid 1990’s. Prior to then, dams that blocked access to spawning habitat, water diversions, and non native trout all contributed to the decline of LCT within the Lahontan Basin.

 LCT historically occupied large freshwater and alkaline lakes, small mountain streams and lakes below waterfalls, small tributary streams, and major rivers of the Lahontan Basin of northern Nevada, eastern
California, and southern Oregon, including the Truckee, Carson, Walker, Susan, Humboldt,
Quinn, Summit Lake/Black Rock Desert, and Coyote Lake watersheds.

map1

Probable historical (blue) and currently occupied (yellow) Lahontan cutthroat trout habitat separated into the Eastern, Northwest, and Western Lahontan Basins. Out-of-Basin populations are not depicted on this map. (Excerpt from the USFWS LCT 5-Year Review, 2009)

Volunteer Registration

default 1995 USFWS Lahontan Cutthroat Recovery Plan (6.48 MB)

default 2003 USFWS Action Plan (2.11 MB)

Tenth Annual Rush Creek Cleanup


rush creek

 The Tenth annual Rush Creek clean-up will take place on Saturday June 11 2016 and will focus efforts on an eight mile stretch of Rush Creek from the Southern California Edison power plant upstream of Silver lake down the canyon to US 395.

Volunteers should meet at the Silver lake boat ramp at 8:00am and bring gloves, a hat, sunscreen, repellent, boots and waders if you have them.Trash bags will be provided by Silver Lake resort.

This section of Rush Creek is especially popular with anglers and each year up to 50 bags of material are collected. of particular importance is collecting stray fishing line caught in the bushes and trees as this is a huge threat to birds and other wildlife.After the clean-up, Silver lake Resort will treat the volunteers to a free barbeque lunch.

If you are interested in keeping this pristine stretch of water clean come up and meet members of the Streamborn Fly Fishing Club who are the primary organizers of the event.Any questions on the clean-up you can contact Joe Lemire to confirm your attendance (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) at (909)609-1101