Have you ever driven all the way to a river, excitedly anticipating the day, only to find – after you got there – that you forgot your fly rod? It’s an embarrassing mistake that can make you feel a bit foolish.
That’s kind of how I felt yesterday when learning that I inadvertently left out any mention at all of one of our most effective and important partners in a story I wrote for the recent issue of TROUT Magazine about our tremendously successful North Coast Coho Project (NCCP) – in which we are working with timber companies and other landowners to protect and restore critical habitat for salmon and steelhead.
You can learn all about NCCP in the recent TROUT article. Unfortunately, here’s what you won’t (but should) learn about in the article:
The critically good and important work we, and our partners, are achieving along the North Coast of California would not be possible without the assistance and support of the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration’s Restoration Center (NOAA-RC).
Created in 1991, the NOAA-RC is dedicated to restoring our nation’s coastal, marine, and migratory fish habitat. Part of that effort includes protecting, restoring and reconnecting coastal rivers to help ensure healthy, productive, sustainable habitat for salmon, steelhead and other fisheries. Their accomplishments are impressive:
In the past 14 years, NOAA has provided more than $19 million and leveraged an additional $52 million in partner funding to remove dams, replace culverts, and install fish ladders.
NOAA funded and provided technical assistance to almost 400 fish passage projects around the country since 1996.
In 2006, NOAA negotiated fish passage at two major hydropower projects—the Klamath in California and the Santee Cooper River in South Carolina—opening more than 650 miles of historic river habitat to migratory fish.
NOAA has also engaged more than 7,000 citizen volunteers who gave 42,000 hours to help implement fish passage projects since 1996.
TU is among 18 national and regional partners, and more than 1,300 total partners, working cooperatively with NOAA-RC. Check out the agency’s Restoration Atlas and you will see links to thousands of projects throughout the United States and beyond. Click on any of those links and you will see hundreds more. Click on California, for example, and little diamond-shaped icons mark hundreds of projects all over the state. Click on some of those diamonds along the North Coast of California and you will find projects with names like “Little Jack Creek Fish Passage Barrier Removal Project,” “Bridge Creek Fish Passage Improvement,” “North Fork Garcia Woody Debris Placement and Road Decommissioning” and “Garcia River Restoration”
Those are part of TU’s NCCP Project – a few of the many good projects that could not be done without NOAA-RC.
On its website, NOAA-RC states:
“NOAA is leading the charge to open our nation’s rivers and streams by providing fish passage solutions at these barriers . . . We understand that achieving success depends on long-term partnerships—relationships that set examples for others to invest in our planet’s future.”
We couldn’t agree more. And we are grateful and proud to have a good, strong, committed and effective partnership with NOAA-RC!
The future of our fisheries, and fishing, is certainly better for it!
Dave Stalling is the communications director for Trout Unlimited in California (TUCA). For more information about and to get involved with TUCA, check out and “like” TUCA’s Facebook page at: http://www.facebook.com/#!/TUCalifornia