Cal Trout, Trout Unlimited and Federation of Fly Fishers need angler support to protect the McCloud River

[flickr album=72157612016638275 num=5 size=Thumbnail]Cal Trout, Trout Unlimited & FFF released the following alert today:

The McCloud River is an historic fishery, a world-class angling locale and one of California’s natural treasures. But the McCloud is approaching a critical crossroads and needs your support.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is evaluating whether and how to grant Pacific Gas & Electric a new license for hydropower operations on the McCloud. This license will determine streamflows on the Lower McCloud River for the next several decades.

CalTrout (along with Trout Unlimited and Northern California Council of the Federation of Fly Fishers) is supporting a flow regime that will preserve the river, its fish and an unmatched angling experience.  Now we need you to visit the FERC website and voice your support of this plan.

Our recommendation calls for increased flows in the late winter and early spring during the critical time that rainbow trout are spawning and fry are rearing.  Our proposal provides a more gradual down ramping of flows compared to current flow management.  This will reduce fish morality and the risk of stranding rainbow trout fry.

We also believe that by releasing more water in the winter and early spring months we can minimize the amount of uncontrolled spills from the dam that create unexpected blow out conditions.  These rapid increases and decreases in flow are detrimental to both fish and anglers.

While today some think the McCloud is as good as it can be we believe that it can be even better. By addressing some detrimental flow issues we can protect and improve the health of the McCloud for years to come while maintaining the wading access and fishability that anglers have come to expect of the river.

To understand the impact on anglers we reviewed over 30 years of McCloud River flow data.  Our proposal would have impacted wadability in only the early weeks of the season in only five of those years.  Because protecting the fish will ultimately enhance the overall fishing experience, we believe this is a reasonable compromise. We have consulted with dozens of anglers and guides who agree our proposal is the best for the fish and anglers.

Craig Nielsen, owner of Shasta Trout and a guide on the McCloud since 1992, has this to say:  “CalTrout, TU and FFF have worked tirelessly to support angler’s interests during the McCloud relicensing process.  Their flow recommendations are well reasoned, science based and deserve the support of all fly fishers interested in preserving and protecting the angling experience on the magical McCloud.”

The bottom line is that our flow proposal will:

1.    Maintain world class angling conditions in the Lower McCloud River.

2.    Improve rainbow trout spawning conditions during early winter and spring.

3.    Minimize flow fluctuations that can strand fry.

Yes, we need your support.  FERC makes it easy to have your voice heard. Go to the FERC website comment page and make sure you file under the McCloud project number which is P-2106-047.

Tell them how important the McCloud River’s angling heritage is.  Tell them you support the CalTrout, Trout Unlimited, and Northern California Federation of Fly Fishers proposal to improve the way the river is managed and protect McCloud River’s fishery.

Thank you.

Click here to get the details of our flow proposal.

For more information contact:
Curtis Knight, California Trout
cknight@caltrout.org; (530) 926-3755

Brian Johnson, Trout Unlimited
bjohnson@tu.org; (510) 528-4772

Mark Rockwell, Northern California Federation of Fly Fishers
summerhillfarmpv@aol.com; (530)432-9198

2 Trackbacks

  1. […] Local Shasta Trout guide/outfitter Craig Nielsen actually fished the McCloud during the flow regime testing, and also supports the new CT/TU/FFF flow proposal on his website. […]

  2. By McCloud River « Fly Fishing Journal on September 23, 2010 at 1:26 am

    […] but also in assisting with conservation efforts throughout the region, by working together with Cal Trout, Trout Unlimited and the Federation of Fly Fishers to help protect our […]

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