Wild & Scenic Mokelumne Update

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Salmonid spawning habitat survey underway
Photo by Reuben Childress
Scientists surveying Mokelumne River fish habitat.
As we’ve discussed in previous newsletters, Foothill Conservancy is leading a voluntary project to investigate the feasibility of restoring native salmon and steelhead to their historic spawning habitat on the Mokelumne River upstream of Pardee Reservoir. This fall, we contracted with Cramer Fish Sciences to carry out a spawning habitat survey of the river. The work was funded by generous grants from the Firedoll Foundation (through the California Hydropower Reform Coalition) and the Lower Mokelumne River Partnership.

“We’re grateful to our funders and partners for making the survey possible,” said Foothill Conservancy Watershed Conservation Associate Reuben Childress. “It’s an important step in our effort to explore the feasibility of restoring native fish above the East Bay Municipal Utility District dams."

Reuben, our salmon project leader, joined Cramer scientists on their first two days on the North Fork, Middle Fork, and main Mokelumne River. The rugged, remote river canyon terrain required them to scramble over rocks and wade, swim and float on the river.

The team looked for fish, examined the geology of the river bed, measured gravels, evaluated rapids and falls, and collected other data for analysis. In Subsequent days on the river, the team assessed the main Mokelumne from Ponderosa Way to Middle Bar.

We expect the report from Cramer to be completed by the end of the year. We’d like to thank Roaring Camp Mining Company for their assistance in allowing access to the remote section of the river on which they’re located, our funders for making this assessment possible, and our Mokelumne Salmonid Restoration Team partners for their continued work on this exciting project.

For more information on this project, contact Reuben Childress at 209-223-3508 or send him an e-mail. There’s also information about the project on our website, under Current Issues.

THE FOOTHILL CONSERVANCY  |  35 Court Street, Suite 1   Jackson, CA  95642  |  209-223-3508