The Eel River Recovery Project (ERRP) is a broad-based community initiative to address water conservation, nutrient pollution and ecosystem recovery. This project is operating under the umbrella of the Trees Foundation and Institute for Fisheries Resources and has an Advisory Group comprised of people from throughout the Eel River Basin. The collaborative effort to restore the Eel River is coordinated with communities, Tribes, other non-profit groups, and government agencies.

Chinook Spawning on Christmas!

Pair of Chinook salmon spawning in old growth redwoods on 12/24/14.

You can't see Chinook salmon migrating in the turbid main trunks of the Eel River, but they are using them like a highway to get to healthy tributaries. Spawning is going on all over the watershed and ERRP Outdoor Coordinator Eric Stockwell has been prowling the tributaries of the lower South Fork. See a slide show of an amazingly beautiful creek with big fish spawning. Also, check out this video of fish 25-35 pounds spawning on Christmas Eve day. Call Eric if you want a guided nature tour at 707 845-0400, or call Volunteer Coordinator Pat Higgins, if you see fish at 707 223-7200.


Cleaning Up and Expanding Wilderness


ERRP is working with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management Arcata Office and the U.S. Forest Service with a goal of cleaning up all industrial marijuana grows in Eel River Wilderness Areas over the next five years. ERRP also wants to prudently expand Wilderness where possible to protect sources of clean water and biodiversity. Call 223-7200 if you want to volunteer or support this effort in other ways. Read about our progress and plans in 2013 Rose Foundation Wildlands Grant Report.

Water Temperature/Flow 2014 Results Soon

The Recovery Project is in its third year of water temperature and flow monitoring to help the community assess the health of the Eel River. Despite lack of anticipated fuinding from the State, we were able to collect data at over 80 locations. This was a super-dry year, but there were signs of cold water refuge areas holding up enough to support steelhead in many areas of the basin (See Refugia Story). The 2014 Water Temperature and Flow Report will be circulated for review by mid-January 2015. 

See 2013 Report or visit the Water Temperature and Flow page.



The Recovery Project has sponsored numerous meetings throughout the Eel River Basin and sponsors Water Day annually to bring the community together, compare what we have learned and form partnerships to carry out the needed work. Learn more...

A group of students from the Van Duzen River, at Grizzly Creek State Park. A More Kids in the Woods experience.

In 2013, we began a school education project in the Van Duzen River, in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service and the Friends of Van Duzen. More than 500 students in the river basin went into the field in the Van Duzen River and learned about ecology, fish and watershed processes. ERRP is anticipating working with the Round Valley Elementary School this spring to get students more involved in study of the Middle Fork Eel River.

Help us expand school programs focused on the Eel River that get students out of the class room and down to the river!


Eel River Fish Events on January 31

The Eel River Recovery Project and California Trout are co-sponsoring two events on Saturday, January 31.

12:00 at Humboldt Redwoods State Park Visitor’s Center in Wiyot


Salmon and Steelhead of the Eel River - videos and photos showing results of the 2014-2015 Fall Chinook Monitoring project.

Flyfishing demonstration - learn how to cast a fly

5:00 at The Monday Club in Fortuna ~ Eel River Fish Tales

Presentations about the Eel River and its restoration

Videos of salmon, sturgeon and other sport fish

Anglers, bring photos or videos of Eel River fish to share, or send links to your photos, and you will be eligible to win a gift certificate from Bucksport Sporting Goods.

7:00 anglers will get to take the floor and tell tales about their catches, unusual fish they have seen or other fish observations from the recent or distant past.  Every story teller will be entered into a drawing for a gift certificate from Grundman’s Sporting Goods in Rio Dell.

Fish tacos and refreshments will be served

ERRP appreciates the generosity of Pacific Choice Seafoods for donating the fish for the tacos.

The Monday Club is at 610 Main Street in Fortuna.  For more information call 223-7200.



Late Fall Chinook Recon

Two intrepid stream explorers go out to see where the redds are in Bear Creek, Sproul Creek, and the South Fork Eel during the last two days of 2014. Share their discoveries in this power point slide show.

A frosty morning along the Eel River


Lodge Fire Helps Improve Forest Health!

On October 4, 2014, the Eel River Recovery Project co-sponsored a meeting in Laytonville at the Harwood Hall in cooperation with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, CALFIRE, and the Mendocino County Resource Conservation District.  Presentations covered the effects of the Lodge Fire, efforts to remediate damage from suppression activities, and how the monitoring of effectiveness of remediation activities might be conducted.  Read the Minutes of the meeting.

See the slide presentations from the meeting.

See maps of the Lodge Fire by date

See ownership of areas burned

Fire history of the upper South Fork



Lower Eel River
Lower Eel River at Fortuna, November, 2011