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Thread: Effie Yeaw River Construction Project

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
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    The OV
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    417

    Default Effie Yeaw River Construction Project

    I was a little reluctant to post this, but the EY stretch has been one of my favorite fall and winter steelhead areas on the American for the last 30 years. I’ve had mixed feelings about some of the “habitat improvement” that has been done on the river - for example, I think some of what was done at Sailor Bar was actually pretty positive, while some others were complete wastes of money and time.

    I went down to EW for the first time since March this morning, to fish and see what was done.

    For description purposes, I’ve sort of broken this stretch into 3 “beats” that were separated by some wing dam-ish rock piles along the north bank (river right) and the pool and tail out at the top.

    The trail out of the pool at the top, which used to slowly taper into a long, fast tail out, has had a very shallow gravel bar graded completely across the river, so the longer tapered chute is gone. Better or worse is probably a wash, although there is less cover for fish moving up into the pool as they have to traverse much shallower water.

    Beats 1 and 2, which were shallow to medium shallow runs with some fish holding structure, are both gone. They actually seemed to fish better since the high water 5-6 years ago. It is now a wide, uniform, shallow, essentially featureless gravel stretch that looks like it will be cruise-through water now rather than someplace some fish will hold. With a little higher flows…. It will be a slighter deeper, uniform, featureless stretch.

    What I’ll call beat 3, the long riffle at the bottom, has always been my favorite stretch, although it hasn’t fished as well for winter fish for me since the last high water. It was a long riffle, and could be comfortably fished by at least 2 people on the north side and 2-3 on the south without a problem. That riffle has also been destroyed. The river has been reconfigured into a chute about 30’ wide along the south bank, with a shallow gravel bar parallel to the flow that extends halfway across the river on the north side. The fish will be funneled into this narrow chute, rather than spread across the riffle, and the riffle itself is less than half as long as it used to be, at least from the perspective of someone who fishes the swing. On the other hand, if you enjoy shoulder to shoulder fishing and the social interactions brought about by constantly tangling with the guys fishing from the other side, you’re golden here.

    I’m not a fisheries management expert. They didn’t teach much fisheries science to us forestry majors at UMaine in the mid-80’s. But from a fishing standpoint, about 80% of the fishable, fish holding water here is gone, as is that wonderful Klamath / Rogue-like lower riffle. This really feels like a do-it-because-we-have-the-budgeted-money projects that justified the data takers and report writers jobs at the end of the fiscal year, but really served no real world purpose. I’d love to know what other’s thoughts are.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
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    The OV
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    Default

    I neglected to mention that they also added A side channel, which I usually think of as a positive. I didn’t look closely at this one, so I don’t know the depth, but with some cover added in it should provide some good protection for fingerlings / smolts.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Rescue ,CA Cromberg, CA
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    1,804

    Default

    Sounds like they made a nice chute for salmon snaggers! You know my feelings about these projects and I have not want to venture down there just for this purpose, disappointment. This is a real punch in the gut about this section of the river, my favorite as well. You hit the nail on the head, budget, use-it-or-lose-it! They have to make it look like there doing something well. They really need to stop these projects or at least next budget put some massive VW bus rocks throughout the river, this would be key for this river and habitat!!!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
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    Antelope
    Posts
    288

    Default

    Use it or loose it, sounds like a similar song a bit more north on another steelhead fishery.

    Spent 2hrs on the phone with these guys, well just 1 guy after getting an email saying they want our input. 2hrs, we agreed on a lot of things, including water conditions and adding more stress to the fish with a project. Then after all said and done, I get the, well it has already been decided that this project is happening, we have the funding and it's a go. Asked then why bother asking for our input, I said wait it's cuz legally you have too, also said that you all know if our input happened before all the funding then you all know this project wouldn't happen......I'll leave it at that. Just another money grab project with no good feasible outcome.
    And Always Remember
    Keep Those Line Tights
    Brian W Clemens
    Nor Cal Fly Guides
    530-354-3740
    norcalflyguides@gmail.com
    www.norcalflyguides.com


    "I have many loves and Fly-Fishing is one of them; it brings peace and harmony to my being, which I can then pass on to others."
    ~ Sue Kreutzer

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
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    On the River in Shastanistan
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    112

    Default

    Welp, I can't speak to specifics of this EY project since I don't know anyone involved in it, but by law, there is a rigorous public input process that must be followed before funds are appropriated and dirt turned. So contrary to claims, public info meetings are held before money is appropriated and dirt turned. I'm sure it happened here, because, well, it's the law. And it sure sounds like no one spoke up in opposition to it, since they're turning dirt. Once dirt is getting turned it's too late to stop it, no matter how much you b$%^&. A similar process is playing out on the Trinity right now, where a lot of unhappy guides are B&M about the proposed winter flow changes. The TRRP hosted a public input forum one night a few weeks ago and guess what, not a single guide or fishing organization attended. Huh, imagine that, they're just B&M on forums that don't reach anyone, but it makes them feel better.
    Last edited by WLREDBAND; 10-13-2021 at 08:37 AM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    Antelope
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    We have spoken up about trrp, and wouldn't you know it, our concerns weren't brought up on the trrp recent EAs, and we have questioned trrp why, and they don't know why. It's because if they did have to address them,their would be issues getting the project done. this also goes for the ones on the American too. Many guides gave our input on the American project during the open door policy and we all got the same answer the project was already in the motion and going to happen, despite all of our inputs on the project. You can say all you want about the guides on the trinity and trrp. We have seen the slow demise of the river above NFTR, spawning habitat destroyed for rearing, despite needing in river spawning to happen for the rearing habitat to be used.. the river getting shallower and warmer each and every year, riverbwas deeper at 150cfs pre trrp than 300 post trrp. The proof is in the numbers 250+million spent over 20yrs without 1 single increase in fish populations. Trrp started in 2001, starting 2004 (3yr salmon cycle) to 2020 we went from 14,000 salmon to 4,000 salmon, that's a steady decrease of 6% each year. These numbers don't include steelhead as trrp could care less about them despite a huge population of self sustaining populations of wild fish. Trrp admits their faults but continue to do the same work year in and year out. It's time to leave that river alone and let mother nature take its course. Plus with the Monument fire we need to see what these next few years do to it as well. 0 projects should happen over the next 5-7yrs. Lots of contradicting has been going on in the trrp between their fisheries biologist and his fire sediment report, trrp going against it then this same biologist going against his fire sediment report stating the Monument fire will not have any long lasting negative effects on the T, despite him saying in his report that the Carr and Helena fire will have long lasting negative effects. The Monument burned 90% of the tribes, those other 2 fires only 10%, due the math. Same crap different day. Continuing a project well into spawning season while having spring run salmon activity spawning below their project was bs as well. Was told the klamath and Trinity salmon aren't on the ESA, endangered species act, so they will continue. We will not stand for this, it's time trrp became accountable for their projects, checks and balances from outside sources will uncover their data vs science vs numbers discrepancies. And once the Klamath/trinity salmon get put on the ESA, we will see a whole new issue with these projects, hoping for a full stop. It's one of only a few river systems in CA that doesn't protect these fish.

    I believe their hearts are in the right place, but there are to many faults in their work. To much money spent without any increase in fish.
    Last edited by Brian Clemens; 10-16-2021 at 05:58 PM.
    And Always Remember
    Keep Those Line Tights
    Brian W Clemens
    Nor Cal Fly Guides
    530-354-3740
    norcalflyguides@gmail.com
    www.norcalflyguides.com


    "I have many loves and Fly-Fishing is one of them; it brings peace and harmony to my being, which I can then pass on to others."
    ~ Sue Kreutzer

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