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Two Conservation Organizations Helping California Rivers

by Bob Garbarino

This month we’ll look at two conservation organizations SCFF supports and current projects they are working on to improve habitat for fish in California

Western Rivers Conservancy “buys land along the West’s finest rivers and streams to conserve habitat for fish and wildlife, protect key sources of cold water and provide public access for all to enjoy”. Their motto is: “Sometimes to save a river, you have to buy it”. They look for opportunities to purchase key sections of rivers and convey them to partners with the goal of protecting fish and wildlife while providing public access permanently. One of their projects is to conserve the 4,344 acre Silva Ranch which includes a stretch of the Wheatfield Fork and a series of headwater creeks—all feeding the Gualala River in Sonoma County, California. The cold water in the river and creeks is healthy habitat for winter steelhead and Coho salmon. For more information, go to

Cal Trout engages in numerous projects with the goal of “Ensuring healthy waters and resilient wild fish for a better California”. One of their projects took place in northern Mendocino County last summer. A concrete dam was built on Cedar Creek, a tributary of the South Fork Eel River. The dam was part of an experimental fish hatchery that was decommissioned in 1964. Unfortunately, this eight foot dam impeded migration of native juvenile fish, including steelhead, Chinook and steelhead salmon. The cold water in the upper reaches of Cedar Creek is now available to these fish. Check out the details: