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 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 Disbursing - Spawning

Check Out New Video

Chinook salmon are now distributed throughout the Eel River watershed and we are tracking them every way we can. See VIDEO of hundreds of holding salmon taken November 9 at Dos Rios. ERRP volunteers have now reported fish above Outlet Creek, on the South Fork as high as South Leggett, on the Van Duzen to just below Goat Rock Falls, and into the Middle Fork. Call us if you see fish at 707 223-7200

ERRP Outdoor Coordinator Eric Stockwell will lead us in spawning surveys from kayaks, if flows are low and the river is clear. Call him at (707) 845-0400.


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 Studies Continue

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 and its tributaries in this very dry year.  We are currently picking up the automated probes, so expect a call if you are an ERRP volunteer. On Monday, October 7, found older age juvenile steelhead in Chemise, Dobbyn and Larabee creeks showing they sustained these fish despite the drought. More soon. This year we have expanded coverage to include the North Fork Eel River and increased the number of watershed residents we are assisting. 

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.

Help us expand school programs focused on the Eel River that get students out of the class room and down to the river!
Call ERRP Education Chair Sal Steinberg at (707) 768-3189.

Algae Watch - 2014 Sampling Completed


UC Berkeley doctoral candidate Keith Bouma-Gregson was able to expand his toxic cyanobacteria monitoring stations in the Eel River basin to 15 locations with the help of ERRP volunteers. The susceptibility of the the different river reaches to toxic algae appeared highly variable. Sample analysis should be completed by late October and Keith will be able to share results shortly thereafter.


HRC Dyerville to Holmes Nov 19 Dive a Success Almost 1000 Chinook - Also 1000 Suckers!


The ERRP and HRC dive team after the November 19 survey

The lower Eel River dives ended on November 19 when ERRP teamed up with the Humboldt Redwood Company and saw just under 1000 Chinook salmon in three pools. The the rains came and the fish have disbursed through the watershed with likely more than 10,000 Chinook on the fly and spawning all over the headwaters (see Press Release). In the back of the Dyerville Pool the team ran into an astounding pod of native Sacramento suckers (Sucker Video). We saw one green sturgeon in the Holmes Pool on November 19 but not nearly as big as the six footer we saw on the 12th (see Video).

We saw 2467 Chinook on October 11 when we dove the lower Eel River index pools (see Report ). See the 2014-2015 Eel River Fall Chinook salmon monitoring game plan.


First Annual Round Valley Salmon Awareness Festival Is A Big Success

Thanks to:

Round Valley Indian Tribes
"Mudcat" Hoaglen & Round Valley Feather Dancers
Kenny Chadbourne, Ernie Merrifield, Dewey Lucas, & Peter Lara
(The Fish Crew)
Mary Francis Merrifield and Lola Thompson
(Hostesses of Salmon Feed)
KYBU Radio Covelo
Bruce Hilbach-Barger
& Dane Downing (ERRP)

Also, thanks to these people, who spent their day in classrooms:
Moose McFadden, Walter Feather, Eloisa Britton, David Weitzman, Ron Lincoln, Sr., Tom Grover, and Pat Higgins. And all the super local teachers who opened up their classrooms for their workshops . . . and the kids for responding with such enthusiasm and respect.

Thanks to Russell Lincoln Jr. for his significant video contribution and lightening quick video skills!


Aerial Surveys to Count Salmon Redds!

NEW VIDEO of Middle Fork & Upper Eel

Aerial Reconnaissance: ERRP Volunteers took to the air with pilots Rich DeHaven and Jim Stewart to photograph and video-record hundreds of miles of the main Eel River, South Fork and lower Van Duzen on the morning of Friday, August 29 (see 8/29 AERIAL VIDEO). We documented that the lower Eel in Fortuna lacked surface flow between the 12th Street and Box Car pools. Rich DeHaven and Pat Higgins then flew out of Willits on September 14 over the upper Eel River from Lake Pillsbury to Dos Rios and the Middle Fork Eel from the Black Butte River to the mouth. See the New Video! On Saturday, November 8 ERRP will be going up with Rich again to count salmon redds. Stay tuned!





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