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

Kier Associates kierassociates at suddenlink.net
Wed Apr 18 09:56:41 PDT 2012

Perhaps there's some confusion here re the diff between 'gravel' and
'sediment' ?


As the  State Senate's natural resources cmte consultant in 1967 - a bit
before your friend was born, Frank - I took my cmte by 'con camp' bus down
to the mouth of Grass Valley Cr to witness the double-whammy effect of flow
curtailment (Trinity Dam) and careless logging practices. The loggers had
cut the toe out of Grass Valley's decomposed granite hillsides and there
were no substantial downstream flows remaining to move the DG sediment that
flowed down Grass Valley Cr into the Trinity River. 


Somewhere there's a great photo, taken that day in Oct 1967, of CDFG Region
1 fisheries mgt supervisor Elton Bailey standing on the bed of the Trinity
at the confluence of Grass Valley Cr with head-high banks of DG close to
either side of him


That trip down to the mouth of GV Cr, by the way, was the very beginning of
policy-level Trinity River restoration history. I wrote a ltr for my boss,
then-State Senator Bob Lagomasino's sig to then-Resources Sec'y Ike
Livermore, asking, in effect, how in the world did that river get in that
awful shape and what's to be done about it ? (Elton Bailey and I had been
CDFG office mates at Sacramento HQs ten years before - it was he who put me
up to taking the Senators down there)


Ike Livermore was concerned enough that the agencies jumped on it and formed
a Trinity River restoration task force - or perhaps it was a Grass Valley Cr
investigation task force - it's been awhile now


A minor CA gov't history note here : the CA Dept of Water Resources
established a district office in Red Bluff for the purpose of planning and
supervising the construction of diversion facilities from the North Coast,
beginning with Dos Rios dam on the middle fork Eel, the Grindstone tunnel to
the Valley and Paskenta-Newville reservoir (which would have been the
world's largest evaporation pan) to receive the North Coast water (there
were to be more dams, right up to and including the Klamath, envisioned in
the 1957 State Water Plan) 


One of the DWR/Red Bluff engineers, Ed Barnes, had too much energy to loll
around an office that was clearly waiting for a general public North Coast
rivers decision (the CA Wild and Scenic Rivers Act took the North Coast
rivers 'off the table' in 1972). 


Ed had volunteered to be part of the NPS-led federal survey of rivers for
inclusion in the federal W&S Rivers system, which preceded that 1968
enactment, and he jumped at the chance to head up the task force triggered
by that ltr that I wrote for Bob Lagomasino. 


Ed continued to have a strong and decisive hand in Trinity and Klamath river
restoration matters for many, many years thereafter. He gave a legitimacy to
DWR's Red Bluff office that would have gone conclusively south with
enactment of the CA W&S Rivers Act otherwise - he was the model for those
who would hustle up work for DWR in northern CA long after the initial
purpose of that Red Bluff office was history


Bill Kier

Kier Associates, Fisheries and Watershed Professionals

P.O Box 915

Blue Lake, CA 95525

(707) 668-1822

Mobile: 707.498.7847  

 <http://www.kierassociates.net/> www.kierassociates.net

GSA Contractor GS10F0124U


env-trinity-bounces+kierassociates=suddenlink.net at velocipede.dcn.davis.ca.us
[mailto:env-trinity-bounces+kierassociates=suddenlink.net at velocipede.dcn.dav
is.ca.us] On Behalf Of Frank Emerson
Sent: Tuesday, April 17, 2012 1:10 PM
To: Gail Goodyear; trinityjosh at gmail.com; env-trinity at mailman.dcn.org
Subject: Re: [env-trinity] Trinity Journal- River dwellers share views at
Lewiston meeting


I forwarded this article to a friend who grew up on Rush Cr. This was his
response to the comments about holes being filled....


"When I was about 10 or 11 years old they came in with excavators and
dumptrucks and dredged that hole out, it took 15+ years to completely fill
in, so that guys comment is sort of off base being the area never had a
natural hole in the first place, additionally the hole was filling in long
before gravel injection operations began."  


He is now about 40 years old. Nature did not create that large pool. So on
the one hand I can agree about a careful approach and monitoring it does not
seem reasoned to state that gravel injection is "overzealous" in the sense
that building the dam stopped all the natural recruitment of gravel in the
first place. The same problem that we are dealing here with out local river
where a dam blocked all sediment since 1921. Now the dam is filled in, does
not store water, and the 10 miles below the dam has only large substrate
which is no good for spawning, for production of macro inverterbrates and
juvenile habitat. So in short there is only series of pools without riffles
in between so no where for adults to spawn. 


The natural scouring of Spring flows should recreate deeper holding water
regardless in not much time I would think.


Frank Emerson

----- Original Message ----- From: Gail Goodyear
<mailto:ggoodyear at hotmail.com>  

To: trinityjosh at gmail.com ; env-trinity at mailman.dcn.org 

Sent: Tuesday, April 17, 2012 12:33 PM

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


Concern about the filling of deep holes between Vitzhum's and Dutton Creek
has been expressed in my writings and testimonies. A project plan which
focuses on fry fish without maintaining adult fish habitat that nature
created is not okay. Period.
Requests for plans to balance adult and fry fish habitat transcends money
and recreation. It is simply logical not to destroy adult habitat for fry
Josh, buy a piece of land, manage it for ten to twenty years and you might
develop a deep respect for how nature continues to do good and to make
fascinating changes. Landowners are well used to change and to adapting.
There is wisdom in the requests to take a softer approach, and to avoid
man-hurried overzealous implementation of a current favored restoration
method. Fashions pass. Plopping methods, used on rivers very diffferent from
the Trinity River, on our treasured river is not okay.
Those scientists and engineers who evolve slowly methods of river management
appropriate to the multi-varied ecosystem and to the many different
microclimates of the Trinity River will do well here and will build a
respected reputation for their work. They will develop methods for each
small section of the river rather than implementing blanket treatment of 10
to 40+ miles, or forwarding ideas that would make the Trinity look like a
place far different than what nature intended or intends (e.g., [1]
excessive revegetation plans for a river that for many miles historically
had little vegetation close to river edge and its floodplain, [2] burying
bedrock with gravel and [3] numerous, unnatural-looking, large log jams).
The successful workers will be creators and innovators who are respectful of
the diversity of the Trinity River and its people.


Date: Tue, 17 Apr 2012 11:35:28 -0700
From: trinityjosh at gmail.com
To: env-trinity at mailman.dcn.org
Subject: Re: [env-trinity] Trinity Journal- River dwellers share views at
Lewiston meeting

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


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

~ 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>


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

>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

"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

"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

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

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

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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