":170–171, The Eel River was named in 1850 during the California Gold Rush by an exploring party led by Josiah Gregg. This proposal would re-open the main stem of the Eel River to spawning runs of salmon and steelhead by removing Scott Dam, while maintaining electric generation and water deliveries to … This proposal would re-open the main stem of the Eel River to spawning runs of salmon and steelhead by removing Scott Dam, while maintaining electric generation and water deliveries to Mendocino and Sonoma counties. Historical reviews analyzing trends in population status of upper Eel River Chinook salmon … A report issued last year by UC Davis and CalTrout estimated that nearly 75 percent of the state’s 31 salmon … The estuary consists of some 8,700 acres (3,500 ha) of tidal flats, perennial and seasonal wetlands, connected by 75 miles (121 km) of river channels and tidal sloughs. In late 2012, high water in the Eel River attracted a run of over 30,000 fish, the largest on record since 1958. Conservationists saw this as a backdoor attempt to resurrect Dos Rios Dam and endorsed the Behr bill. :272 Major dams proposed in the watershed included ones at English Ridge, Bell Springs and Sequoia (Alderpoint) on the main stem, and the infamous Dos Rios on the Middle Fork. The Eel River basin has been inhabited by humans for thousands of years; some of the oldest concrete evidence of human habitation is at a petroglyph site near the upper Eel River discovered in 1913, which may be as old as 2500 years. In 1981 – well before Behr's moratorium expired – Secretary of the Interior Cecil Andrus granted federal protection to the Eel River system and 1,235 miles (1,988 km) of streams along the North Coast, succeeding state legislation and placing the river permanently off limits to new dams. Most plentiful of the remaining salmonid species in the Eel River; 3 – 5 year life cycle; Listed as Threatened under Federal ESA; Southern Oregon/Northern California Coho (SONCC) Coho in South …  There is good fishing for Chinook salmon and steelhead in the lower river, and rainbow trout are found above Lake Pillsbury. There is a Class III run in the reach between Hulls Creek and Mina Road. In contrast, during the dry months of July through September, the river achieves nearly zero flow. Terraces were formed due to a combination of the high sediment load of the river system, and the rapid regional rate of geologic uplift (up to 13 feet (4.0 m) per 1000 years, as measured at Scotia Bluffs). Water would have been diverted from English Ridge north to Dos Rios and through a 40-mile (64 km) tunnel to the offstream Glenn-Colusa reservoir in the Sacramento Valley, from which the water would travel by canal to the Sacramento River. Located on the North Coast allows fishing to take place on whatever river is fishing best. Can alternative recreational uses such as fishing and mountain biking be developed? :315, Over the next several years, Reagan continued lobbying for increased protection of the Eel River system. Because the Eel River's twists and turns made it difficult to float the large redwood logs, the timber was cut into smaller rectangular "cants" to make them more manageable. Below Eel Rock the ocean winds make boating difficult starting in the early afternoon. As with all other substantial hydroelectric generating systems, the Potter Valley Project requires periodic license renewal from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. However, both the Mississippi and Colorado have lesser sediment yields relative to their drainage areas. The Colorado, Sacramento, and Klamath River systems are larger, but their drainage areas extend into neighboring states as well. Major species include Pacific lamprey, Entosphenus tridentatus, formerly One ship sailed up the Eel River and could not get out. Are mitigations to Lake County sufficient and reasonable?  The watershed also contains many stands of Redwood that are among the largest such trees in California. The deepest flood waters were nearly 70 feet (21 m) above the normal river level. Although the effect on the total annual flow is negligible (only about 3 percent of the total flow of the Eel River) the impact is much larger during the dry season, when the Eel's already low natural flows are further reduced by diversions. The South Fork Eel River is the largest tributary of the Eel River in north-central California in the United States. The Eel River Recovery Project won a Proposition 1 grant in August 2018 through the California Coastal Conservancy to assist Tenmile Creek land owners with riparian restoration, gully erosion control and … The river valley was a major rail transport corridor (Northwestern Pacific Railroad) throughout the 20th century and also forms part of the route of Redwood Highway (US Highway 101). The river was named after they traded a frying pan to a group of Wiyot fishermen in exchange for a large number of Pacific lampreys, which the explorers thought were eels. Since the deadline for any licensing application has passed, the only options FERC has are licensing to the Two-Basin Solution Partnership or decommissioning the facility altogether. A second chance for Eel River salmon and…, Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window), Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window). , The Eel River supports runs of multiple anadromous fishes – Chinook, coho salmon, steelhead (rainbow trout) and coastal cutthroat trout among the major species. The Project plan would result in unimpeded migratory access for salmon and steelhead into the upper Eel River, along with continued diversion of Eel River water to the Russian River. However, redwood groves are still most common in the drainage area of the South Fork Eel River, which lies closest to the Pacific.  About 1,100 acres (450 ha) of the estuary are protected as the Eel River Estuary Preserve.  The heavy damage was due not only to the water, but to the huge amount of sediment and debris swept down the river, including millions of board feet of timber.  Much of the anadromous fish spawning habitat in the river system was covered by sediment or blocked by debris jams. A second chance for Eel River salmon and steelhead?  At least 16 species of non-native fish have been introduced to the river system. Recreational Dos Rios, located at the confluence of the Middle Fork of the Eel River and the mainstem, is the put-in for a popular four-day trip through the Eel River … For many years Pacific Gas & Electric Co. has operated the “Potter Valley Project,” a hydroelectric facility on the main stem of the Eel River consisting of Scott and Cape Horn dams and a tunnel diverting water into the Russian River … At Cape Horn Dam, the majority of the water is diverted through a tunnel and hydroelectric plant, and then to the headwaters of the Russian River in Potter Valley and is known as the Potter Valley Project. Humboldt Redwoods State Park leads paddle trips along that stretch of the river. After this confluence the Eel flows briefly through southwestern Trinity County, past Island Mountain, before entering Humboldt County near Alderpoint.  After the Christmas flood of 1964, chinook salmon populations plunged to less than 10,000 per year.  The Franciscan is part of a terrane, or crustal fragment, that originated at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean. ", "California Water: Will There Be Enough? Wilson calculated that Dos Rios would have reduced the 35-foot (11 m) flood crest of the 1964 flood at Fort Seward by less than a foot (0.3 m). Eel River Research Examines Dams’ Effect on Salmon. The river and its tributaries form the third largest watershed entirely in California, draining a rugged area of 3,684 square miles (9,540 km2) in five counties. This sediment scoured away or buried spawning grounds for salmon and steelhead trout, causing the populations of these fish to drop to dangerous levels by the mid-1970s. The river basin was lightly populated by Native Americans before, and for decades after the European settlement of California. Every year that a solution is postponed increases the likelihood of extinction.  In the western and northern portions of the Eel River watershed, soils eroded from the Franciscan assemblage are often sticky, clayey and highly unstable, creating a high risk of landslides. In 1914, after seven years of construction, the Northwestern Pacific Railroad completed a rail line running along much of the Eel River as an important transportation link connecting Eureka and the many small towns along the Eel River valley to the national rail network. A popular run is from Dos Rios to Alderpoint with Class II–III rapids, taking three to four days to run, depending on how many side tributaries are explored. While improved from the low point of 3,500 at the beginning of the decade, the runs have yet to again reach the high mark of over 30,000.  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