The Eel River Recovery Project 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 and government agencies. 



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.

A few of the More Kids in the Woods education program team members.

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 will learn about the Van Duzen and the Eel rivers, fish and watersheds. Come learn more at Water Day and help us expand school programs focused on the Eel River that get students out of the class room and down to the river!

ERRP Has Successful Wilderness Clean Up

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 saources of clean water and biodiversity.

On February 21, ERRP turned out 14 volunteers who worked with BLM staff and the Mendocino County Sheriffs Office to clean up twp grow areas in Dann Creek adjacent to the Red Mountain Wilderness in the South Fork Eel watershed. Volunteer support, field reconnaissance, and agency coordination for this project were funded through a Rose Foundation California Wildlands grant and with help from the Mendocino Public Safety Foundation. More clean ups will be happening in April. Call 223-7200 if you want to volunteer or support this effort in other ways.

Water Temperature / Flow Studies Continue

The Recovery Project is in its second 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.  Citizen volunteers throughout the watershed are placing temperature sensors and taking pictures at photo points to monitor conditions.  This year we have expanded coverage to include the North Fork Eel River and increased the number of watershed residents we are assisting.  2012 Eel River Temperature Flows and Toxic Algae Report   Learn more.

Green sturgeon in Lower Eel River, October 26, 2013.

Watch a video of this sturgeon on YouTube


Toxic Algae Project

University of California, Berkeley research scientist Keith Bouma-Gregson is working with the community to discover why the Eel River has begun to develop toxic blue-green algae blooms in some years. Keith is pursuing a doctoral degree in the Mary Power Lab and sampled the Eel River at 8 locations in 2013 for algal toxins. In 2014 he wants to help study toxicity issues near public swimming beaches and popular swimming holes on the Eel River as part of the ERRP "Is It Swimmable" project.

ERRP and Keith are looking for more partners who want us to help them monitoring their swimming spots and make sure they are safe for people and pets.to be citizen volunteers in 2014. In the long term, Keith hopes he can help the community to remediate the problem over time. Come see Kieth at Water Day coming up on April 13 at the Mateel and then have him come to your place on the river! Learn more about algae monitoring and how you can get involved.



Water Day! Sunday April 13th at the Mateel

Come to the Mateel Community Center for a full day of fun and education about water and the Eel River.

Doors will open at 9 AM, for coffee and bagels.
Presentations will begin at 10 AM

Humboldt grass-fed beef chili lunch at Noon
Poster Session/Happy Hour 5-6 PM, with beer and wine available.
Seafood dinner 6 to 7:30 PM - Human Nature Theater Co.

Call 223-7200 if you want to be involved.

Print a Poster and put it up in your neighborhood!

11 X 17 PDF (11 Mb)


Draft 2013-2014 Chinook Report Released

Divers swam with large schools of Chinook salmon in the lower river in October and November 2013, but that was only the beginning of the ERRP 2013-2014 Chinook salmon monitoring project. The severe drought and virtual lack of rainfall from November through January meant that fish did not make it into headwater tributaries to spawn. Instead, native Chinook salmon showed they could adapt to the lowest flows on record by spawning in waves in main river channels. Read Draft Final Report (4 Mb) Comments open until April 10, 2014. Go to Fish Monitoring Page for field reports and video.

Spawning pair of chinook in Eel River, below High Rock. Female is in the foreground. November 29, 2013. See Salmon Spawning Video

Coho salmon at the lip of the 12th Street Pool in Fortuna on 1/29/14.

Coho and steelhead are headed to their spawning streams. Let us know if you see fish holding, migrating or spawning by calling 707 223-7200.

New Years Day 2014 Late Run Chinook Spawning Below Dyerville

Salmon Bites Biologist !

See Fish Monitoring Page for Reports & ERRP You Tube Videos.


December 16 Kayak Survey


Check out the photos and description of the Dec. 16 Eel River spawner survey, shared by Loleta Eric on the NorCal Kayak Anglers website.



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