[env-trinity] Trinity Journal- River dwellers share views at Lewiston meeting

Joshua Allen trinityjosh at gmail.com
Tue Apr 17 11:35:28 PDT 2012

Ok, just for discussion related purposes; I'm going to play devil's
advocate for a moment. A lot of people keep complaining about the gravel
and holes being filled in between Lewiston and Douglas City. This has a lot
to do, as I see it, with  a lack of fishing areas, and the river
drastically changing from what it was in the past. Like it was reported,
"...need to stop man-ipulating the river" and "what time period
is the program trying to capture".

Though as I see it, it is not possible to not stop manipulating the river,
because there is no period in the river's history that is trying to be
captured. Instead a brand new section is being created that never existed
before. The river has already manipulated to death since the dams were put
up in the first place.

~ Is not the whole point of the program is to create a stretch of
river between Lewiston and Douglas City that mimics upstream spawning
conditions lost by the dams?
~ If so, isn't it then required that the holes and areas between those two
communities be filled in flat with smaller pools behind them to provide
spawning habitat so redds can be laid and juveniles have shallows to be
raised in?
~ If the area in question does not have uniform flat areas for natural
spawning of salmonids, instead has huge holes like it did in the past, then
spawning can not occur, areas to raise juveniles is limited, and what is
left is a dependence upon the hatchery for production?
~ Since this area is meant for spawning and raising of juveniles, does it
also not make sense to provide shade cover, like the upper reaches, for
said juveniles?
~ Would it also not make sense to limit access to that stretch of river for
sport fishing/recreation and instead move such areas out of redds and
habitat areas to more appropriate places downstream where there are holes
for holding? (i.e potential for Douglas City and Junction City to become
the "new" fishing and financial resource areas of the county, while
Lewiston focuses on dam related recreation activities.)
~ Should not people be the ones that must adapt to these changes
since the fish have already had to adapt to huge changes in their
environment with the installation of the dams which provides positive
benefits to humans that are negative to natural salmonid production?
~ Isn't the whole point of the program to increase natural production while
reducing man-ipulated hatchery production?
~ Can't anyone associated with the program just come out with this "secret"
to the public through the participatory process in a way they can

I know, blasphemy! But to me, it seems like no one will be happy, because
humans are unwilling to adapt to necessary changes, and instead are more
focused on the human concepts of recreational use and money. Just my two
cents. Though I would be interested in hearing from someone
more knowledgeable about the needs of fish, who can answer these questions,
and how humans can adapt to these requirements of a changing environment.

2012/4/12 Tom Stokely <tstokely at att.net>

> http://www.trinityjournal.com/sports/outdoors/article_dcf01834-83e8-11e1-9634-0019bb30f31a.html
>  River dwellers share views at Lewiston meeting
> *By Amy Gittelsohn The Trinity Journal | Posted: Wednesday, April 11,
> 2012 8:15 am*
> Appreciation of the Trinity River and its wildlife was a common theme last
> week at the second in a series of outreach meetings, this one held in
> Lewiston, to get public input on the Trinity River Restoration Program.
> A small group of about a dozen people attended the meeting April 4 at One
> Maple Winery put on by the Trinity County Resource Conservation District,
> under contract with the restoration program. The meeting was run by RCD
> employees Alex Cousins and Donna Rupp, and contractor Jeff Morris, who made
> clear they were not representatives of the restoration program but were
> there to bring concerns and questions back to agencies involved in the
> program.
> From Napa, Al Lilleberg said he has been visiting Lewiston four to five
> days a month since he was a teenager, and the river was basically his
> biology lab in college majoring in biology. The river has declined since
> construction of Trinity and Lewiston dams in the early 1960s, according to
> Lilleberg.
> "I quit fishing because the river is dead," Lilleberg said. "I know people
> fish in it all the time, but it's dead by comparison."
> Lilleberg said when the sun went down and fish were jumping for food, "you
> couldn't count fish fast enough … You might not see one now."
> Several residents expressed concerns about restoration program activities.
> Tom and Diane Gannon questioned the planting of willows which make the
> river less accessible.
> "Somebody -- in my estimate -- is insane," Tom Gannon said, noting that at
> one time the program goal was to push the vegetation back.
> "They did that," he said, "and now they've replanted where they pushed it
> back."
> "Pre-dam there weren't all the willows they just planted," he said.
> Describing herself as a "river lifer," Lewiston resident and County
> Administrative Officer Wendy Tyler said, "The river is the lifeblood of our
> county."
> She spoke of the importance of the river for recreation and economic
> development, saying, "restoration is important – but it must be balanced."
> Her husband, Bob Tyler, shared a concern that has come up repeatedly over
> the past year – that spawning gravels added to the river have filled in
> holes adult fish use.
> Bob Tyler said he's fished along the river since childhood (the late ‘70s
> to early ‘80s), and "you'd come home with five salmon or two or three
> steelhead."
> Below the Lewiston Bridge the hole was so deep, he said, "you used to be
> able to jump off the bridge into that hole. You can't do that anymore."
> Others said the river is "not dead" and continues to support a variety of
> wildlife — particularly in comparison to other rivers.
> "This is one of the best rivers left. We have a chance," said Dale Davey,
> who lives part time in Lewiston.
> Davey said the Trinity River Record of Decision which increased Trinity
> River flows is the most important way to restore the river.
> Under the Record of Decision river flows are determined based on
> water-year type, but over multiple years 49 percent of inflow to Trinity
> Lake is to be released to the river and 51 percent available for diversion
> and Central Valley Project use.
> "That's the thing we can never let bury," he said. "That's what's helping
> recover the river and recover the fish."
> "Let the water flow do it," Davey said. "Eventually, we've got to stop
> bulldozing and injecting gravel and say, 'We're going to stop man-ipulating
> the stream.'"
> Regarding the river flows and the Record of Decision, Lilleberg said, "We
> are facing a challenge. The four biggest farms in California can crack that
> law."
> Supporters of the river must be "rabid" about how rivers function, he said.
> The audience also asked about goals of the program, what time frame the
> program is attempting to recapture in the river's history, and if there
> will be an endpoint to the mechanical restoration projects. County Sup.
> Judy Pflueger requested that the answers be "in terms we understand."
> From the RCD, Morris said written answers to the questions would be
> provided within 30 days.
> Also, several more outreach meetings in communities along the river are
> planned. The locations, dates and times will be announced.
> The outreach meetings began after the Trinity River Guide Association and
> California Water Impact Network requested a moratorium on channel
> restoration projects until a scientific review of earlier projects is
> complete. Gravel injections were of particular concern to the guides, and
> the restoration program has since announced that no gravel injections are
> planned for this year.
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