Will Wet Winter Change Russian River’s Summer Flows?

May 13, 2017

In recent years, lower summertime flows in the Russian River have been necessary for water conservation as well as the benefit of young salmon preparing to head out to sea. But this year, with ample water available, the calculus may be different.

The county water agency will hold its annual community meeting on the condition and management of Russian River estuary Monday night in Monte Rio.  You can find details about that here.

Salmon Release Planned for Bodega Bay

Feb 8, 2017

Bodega Bay’s beleaguered salmon fishery will get a boost from the release of thousands of smolts there this spring. But the fishermen will have to wait another two years for the fish to grow, mature and return before they can be caught.

The Russian River is Different in Mendocino County

Aug 25, 2016
Russian Riverkeeper

  Most of the public access to the Russian River lies along its lower section. But this week, a group of river stakeholders, are kayaking through that upper reach, an outing instigated by Sonoma County Supervisor James Gore. Craig Anderson, Executive Director of LandPaths is a co-leader of the current four-day trip, and he gave us this summary of the high points from their second day on the water.

Gary Helfrich, CMRPD

The drought is taking a toll on local wildlife, as well as people. On today’s North Bay Report we hear of a surprising project to save local salmon.

  In the future, will there be enough water go around for humans and the environment? This week, salmon ecologists and restoration planners try to make it all work at the 33rd Annual Salmonid Restoration Conference.  

One of the conference highlights will be the screening of DamNation, an award-winning documentary covering the impact of dams on wildlife and the movement to remove them.  Watch the DamNation official trailer:

Rescuing Coho Salmon from Redwood Creek

Dec 12, 2014
courtesy Manfred Kittel, CDFW

This summer fisheries biologists took drastic steps: rescuing the remaining juvenile Coho salmon from Redwood Creek in Muir Woods. These roughly 100 fish are now being raised at Warm Springs Dam fish hatchery, at Lake Sonoma, waiting to grow and, one day, return to the wild. 

Filmmaker Plunges into Russian River's Health

Oct 24, 2014

  From gravel to grapes, dredging to drought, the many forces that shape the health of the Russian River are examined in a new documentary by a local filmmaker.

“Russian River: All Rivers” will get a special screening at the Rialto Cinemas in Sebastopol on Monday, Oct. 27 at 7 pm. It will also be shown at the Rio Theater in Monte on Saturday, November 7th at 3 pm. See the trailer for the film below:

Marin Municipal Water District

Can the drought be good for fish? Maybe now, but not for long. This year's lack of winter rain has wreaked havoc on many corners of the state: from fruit orchards to feed lots. On today's North Bay Report we examine a rare instance where dry conditions seem to have helped endangered Coho salmon. But the good news is unlikely to last.

Federal Water Bill Benefits Sonoma County

Jun 2, 2014
Bruce Robinson, KRCB

  Two incumbent congressmen--both up for re-election this week--held a joint press conference in Santa Rosa Monday. But the topic was water, not politics. 

The last big Federal water projects bill was passed in 2007. The new measure is smaller, and went through a more rigorous vetting process, but Congressman Mike Thompson says it still proved to be an effective vehicle for necessary local projects.

Among those local efforts, noted Santa Rosa City Council member Erin Carlstrom, was expansion of the city’s water recycling program.

Remembering Bill Schaadt

May 2, 2014
Ben Taylor

  It’s been 20 years since legendary fisherman Bill Schaadt  cast a line into a north coast river. But some of his friends and fellow anglers are trying to make sure he isn’t forgotten.

   Ben Taylor’s other favorite Bill Schaadt story involves an evening when they were out on the Gualala River well past sundown.

Schaadt was in his 20s when he came to the Russian River just after World War II, where he found and bought the small riverside cabin that became his home in Monte Rio. And as Taylor recounts, Bill never really left after that.

Fish Are Focus of Legislative Forum

Apr 23, 2014

  The health and well-being of the fish in California’s waterway and oceans is a perennial concern for the state legislature, something they will take up in their annual Fisheries Forum in Sacramento tomorrow.  North Coast Assemblyman Wes Chesbro chairs the joint Committee that is hosting the forum, and offers a preview today.

Buried Jetty at Goat Rock Beach to be Studied

Mar 6, 2014

  The flat rocky connection between Goat Rock and the adjacent State Beach is NOT the Goat Rock Jetty. That’s a parking lot, but the jetty is rock wall now buried beneath the sand at the mouth of the Russian River. It’s also the subject of a new study that gets underway today, and here’s what that’s all about.

While the study of the Goat Rock State Beach Jetty is underway, the beach will remain open to the public as usual and every effort will be made to avoid disturbing the seals and sea lions that congregate on the sand nearby.

A Scaled Back Salmon Season in 2014?

Feb 26, 2014

  Last summer, North Coast salmon fishermen enjoyed their best year since the catch began to decline in 2005. The coming season, however, is projected to be somewhat smaller again.

Chinook numbers down from last year in Russian River

Jan 29, 2014

Each fall and winter the Sonoma County Water Agency tracks chinook salmon returning to the Russian River watershed. Water Agency spokeswoman Ann DuBay says the 2013-14 season is poorer than last year, owing, in part, to a lack of rain. The agency is requesting residents near the Russian River's headwaters conserve water to aid the returning fish.

Commercial Fishing Fears the Drought

Jan 28, 2014

While farmers and residential water users watch reservoirs drop lower and lower, commercial fishermen are already bracing for poor catches in the coming years, as low river flows and dry streambeds devastate spawning runs. 

   Agriculture is not the only competitor for the water that salmon need for spawning, notes Chuck Cappotto, President of the Bodega Bay Fishermen’s Marketing Association. He fears another, potentially more voracious water use.

Fracas in Lagunitas Creek

Jun 17, 2013

Homeowners and environmentalists in Marin are at odds over measures to protect endangered coho salmon. KRCB reports residents are worried about losing property rights, while some environmentalists say the proposed measures don't go far enough.  

The proposed stream conservation ordinance will be considered at the Marin County Supervisors meeting Tuesday, June 18. Access audio and video from supervisors meetings through the County of Marin's website.

Training Veterans to Aid Salmon

May 23, 2013
California Dept. of Fish and Wildlife

On remote tributaries of the Eel River , unemployed army veterans are learning new skills to benefit the local environment, and boost their standing in the job market.

The NOAA-CCC Veterans Corps pilot program is explained in fuller detail in this video produced by San Francisco filmmaker Kevin White.