Tag: Trout Unlimited

Trout Unlimited’s Bowtie workshops impact urban fishing

First-timer Michael, left, gets a lesson in the art of the improved clinch knot from TU volunteer Tom Blankenship, while attendee Erica looks on. (Jim Burns)

Over the last couple of weekends, the stalwarts of Trout Unlimited South Coast Chapter put on a series of beginning workshops at the Bowtie parcel, a 17-acre site near Fletcher Bridge that is as urban as it gets. In 2003, California State Parks purchased the narrow strip of land adjacent the Los Angeles River, once part of Southern Pacific Railroad’s maintenance and operations facilities called Taylor Yards. If nothing else, it’s a chance to squint your eyes and see what it could become.

And Los Angelinos certainly have embraced this urban outlier in any number of positive ways, including the LA River Campout that is so popular, the 75 campers are chosen through a lottery. This chance to cuddle up in a sleeping bag and see the stars is an initiative of California State Parks in partnership with Clockshop, the National Park Service and the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority.

As for fishing, TU led the way last year with “Vamos a Pescar,” during which some 120 urbanites learned to fish.

This year’s stats showed 110 attendees over the two May weekends, with a third under 18, and pretty evenly split overall between female and male.

After two Saturdays filled with the joy of passing our sport along to others — and the chance to practice patience while unspooling line from inside a reel (how does that happen?), I thought of these words from “A Place in Between”:

What is a park? Is it a place to escape the surrounding city? A place to breathe and contemplate? Or is it a gather place? A place to celebrate, laugh, play and compete? Perhaps it is a place to learn and grow? A place where our shared cultural and natural histories are celebrated? Is it a place of beauty? A place of pride designed by our finest architects? Or a place apart, left alone for nature to run its course?”

THE PREZ SEZ: Chapter President Ban Luu makes a point to the crowd about river ecology. (Jim Burns)

As you squint your eyes at the Bowtie, what is magically becomes what could be. Our collective imagination will be our compass, our guide, our pole star for the future.

See you on the river, Jim Burns

One step closer to restoring the Klamath River

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Iron Gate Dam on the Klamath River. (Courtesy of Thomas B. Dunklin)

From Trout Unlimited’s Sam Davidson:

 Thursday, May 9, delivered more good news on the Klamath River restoration front.

PacifiCorp, the utility that owns the four old hydropower dams slated for removal under the Klamath Hydroelectric Settlement Agreement (KHSA), announced it has entered into a site access agreement with Kiewit Infrastructure West Company “to allow the firm to conduct initial surveying and other work connected to planned removal of four dams on the Klamath River.”

The site access agreement follows an announcement by the Klamath River Renewal Corporation (KRRC) on April 25, 2019 that it had signed an initial contract with Kiewit to perform preliminary services that include design, planning and permitting support to carry out dam removal.

Brian J. Johnson, director of Trout Unlimited’s California Program and TU’s
representative in the settlement agreement process, said “The site access agreement and the KRRC’s contract with Kiewit represent two major steps forward for restoration of the Klamath River, and the momentum for removing the four old fish-blocking dams has never been stronger. Moving forward with the KHSA is good for fishing, tribal communities, and ratepayers.”

Johnson noted that the Klamath River, historically, has been the third most productive river for salmon and steelhead on the West Coast and that the dam removal effort is supplemented by work TU and other parties are doing in the upper Klamath Basin to restore water quality and aquatic and riparian habitat, and to improve water security.

Removal of the dams would occur as soon as 2021 upon approval of the agreement by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

PacifiCorp issued a joint press release with the Yurok and Karuk Tribes on the signing of the site access agreement. The two tribes are parties to the amended Klamath Hydroelectric Settlement Agreement and applauded the hiring of Kiewit as general contractor for dam removal and the firm’s site access agreement with PacifiCorp as key steps in fulfilling the terms of the KHSA.

“PacifiCorp remains fully committed to successful implementation of the Klamath Hydroelectric Settlement Agreement, which will result in removal of the lower four Klamath River dams coupled with customer protections,” said Scott Bolton, senior vice president for Pacific Power, a division of PacifiCorp that serves electricity customers in Oregon, California, and Washington.

Bolton added, “The agreement provides a better outcome for our customers compared to the unknown costs and risk of relicensing the dams. PacifiCorp appreciates the expertise Kiewit brings to this endeavor and the continued hard work of our settlement partners as we move to fully implement this important agreement.”

Call to Action: Make your voice heard about proposed new CDFW regs

Fishing organizations with a conservation focus, including the apolitical Pasadena Casting Club, Trout Unlimited and Cal Trout are all asking fishers to make their voices heard about the proposed California Department of Fish & Wildlife regs, which would simplify their complex system with major consequences for many of the waters we love.

For example, the Golden Trout Wilderness, home to our endangered state fish, would be open to a five-fish take and no gear requirements!

Or Hot Creek? Under the proposed regulations, it would lose its “barbless artificial flies only” designation in favor of “barbless artificial lures only.” We all know the difference between a No. 16 green scud and a Rapala DT armed with two barbless treble hooks.

Can you imagine what either gemlike area would fish like after a couple of years of that kind of pressure?

Know this is one issue both fly and spin fishers are united in opposing. As Jack Lunch wrote in Mammoth’s The Sheet:

 And why do fishermen of all stripes, from fly fishermen to bait fishermen, all seem to be on the same page? 

     “I’ve never been in a room where bait and fly people are in complete agreement on something,” remarked Slee Thursday morning. 

     Slee says year-round fishing will decimate fish populations by putting them under constant stress. 

I’ve compiled information from two of the organizations below, as well as provided a link for your comments. Trout Unlimited Jessica Strickland’s side-by-side comparison of California waters with current and proposed regs is available by email only. If you’d like a copy, let her know at jessica.strickland@tu.org.

If you are free tomorrow, from noon- 2 p.m.there’s an information session at Bass Pro Shop in Rancho Cucamonga.

See you on the river, Jim Burns

 

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Call to action: Pebble Mine in Bristol Bay, Alaska

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Courtesy Earthjustice.org

From Trout Unlimited:

Despite over a decade of opposition, the agency reviewing the permit application for the massive proposed Pebble mine in Bristol Bay, Alaska recently moved the mega-project one step closer to reality.

The rivers and streams of Bristol Bay are known by anglers around the globe as some of the greatest, and among the last exceptionally productive wild salmon streams remaining on earth. The massive mine proposal slated for the heart of the spawning grounds of the Nushagak and Kvichak Rivers has been widely opposed for the past 15 years by local Alaska Native Tribes, Alaskans, commercial and sport fishermen, and concerned citizens worldwide. For anglers, the mine is a clear and direct threat to the thriving and irreplaceable salmon-based economy of the region.

The Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) released by the Army Corps of Engineers is the most important document of the permitting process. Unfortunately, the highly anticipated DEIS just released is extremely short and fails to account for all the mine’s potential impacts, leaving Bristol Bay in immediate jeopardy.  Please comment on this today.

The process and flawed assessment leaves Alaskans filled with skepticism in the wake of recent environmental disasters associated with largescale tailings pond failures and as the DEIS findings include permanent destruction of more than 80 miles of streams and 3,500 acres of wetlands. What’s more, the current permit application considers only Pebble’s phase one plan. Risks posed by the entire project have yet to be fully evaluated, though the mine is closer than ever to reality.

Now is the time for anglers to weigh in: The public comment period runs from March 1st – May 30

Decision makers in D.C. are watching. They need to see that opposition to the Pebble mine is strong and growing. Please join us in the fight to preserve world-class fishing opportunity, cultural tradition, American jobs, food, and save Bristol Bay.

Learn more about the contents of the DEIS, the latest news, and how you can support the fight to stop the proposed Pebble mine at SaveBristolBay.org/StopPebble2019.

We strongly urge you, and your fishing buddies, to review the impacts of the Pebble mine and submit a comment of your own. Opposition to the Pebble mine is strong and growing – please join us in the fight to preserve cultural tradition, existing American jobs, food, and save Bristol Bay.

It’s no time for complacency when it comes to Pebble Mine. Please tell the agency reviewing Pebble’s most important permit to follow the science and stop the mine. Please take action today.

Calendar Item: TU cleanup at Bowtie set for Sept. 15

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Greetings Fisherfolks!

I wanted to invite you all to join in cleaning up our local fishing spot, the Bowtie Parcel at the LA River State Park. We’re working in conjunction with Heal the Bay to clean up our local waterways and we need help in conserving our own local spots. We’ll be gathering at the Bowtie Parcel at 9 a.m. on Saturday, September 15th and we’ll provide the stuff necessary to get it done. Bring a friend with you, and please sign up for the cleanup on eventbrite – the same place we all signed up for our fishing days.

As an added bonus we’ll get there early on the 15th and go fishing! So if you want to sharpen your skills and enjoy a day on the water bring your fishing poles and we’ll have some fun.

See you on the river,

Bob Blankenship

See below for details and RSVP on eventbrite.com.

Register on Eventbrite.com, scroll down to LA River Bowtie State Park
What to bring to the cleanup:
Make sure you have signed a liability waiver. Without a signed liability waiver, you can not participate in the cleanup

We recommend bringing your own gloves (we will have one per person at the site)
Sunscreen
Bottle for water
Bucket for recyclable items
What is Recyclable?
YES: Glass, aluminum cans, tin cans, plastic drinking bottles.
NO: Everything else! (paper, plastic wrappers, Styrofoam, dirty items, etc.)