The 2017 HSD proceeds went toward protection, recovery, and restoration in three key Humboldt watersheds: The Eel, Mad and Trinity Rivers. These activities were coordinated by our three primary HSD beneficiaries: The Mad River Alliance on the Mad, CalTrout’s Eel River Forum on the Eel and Mountain Community & Culture.

Mad River Alliance

Mad River Alliance (MRA) is a community driven group working to enhance the ecological integrity of the Mad River. Established in 2011, the MRA provides a place at the table for tribal, federal, state, county, and local agencies, as well as private land managers, to come together and solve problems.

Our Monitoring & Research Program works to update and coordinate a public database that informs the public of current watershed conditions and encourages management strategies toward a full recovery of the Mad River watershed. Current projects include the coordination of the summer steelhead population surveys, and a continuous temperature monitoring study among others.

Our Education Program provides watershed-based curriculum to user groups through formal and informal learning opportunities. The K-12 program focuses on providing education on Water Safety, Teamwork, and River Ecology. Over the past 4 years we have provided this program to hundreds of Humboldt County students. Our ‘Paddle with a Purpose’ program is designed to provide fun, safe, boat-based learning experiences for a broad range of community members.

The Conservation Program facilitates open dialogue among diverse interests. Informed by the best available science and other relevant information, we work together with our watershed partners to develop projects as simple as river cleanup days, or the more complex phasing of restoration projects.

Since 2011 Mad River Alliance has been able to provide educational outreach to over 1,000 community members, remove over 400 cubic yards of trash from the river, and begin the steps toward full watershed recovery.

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California Trout

CalTrout’s North Coast regional goal is to recover and protect threatened salmon and steelhead populations and their habitats.

We do this through putting agency recovery plans and proof-of-concept projects into action. And we use a science-based approach to advocate for policy reform.

The Eel River is a major focus in our north coast office and here are a few of our efforts in this large watershed:

  • CalTrout brings together the Eel River Forum, a group with the goal to achieve consensus among a coalition of agency, tribal, and conservation partners regarding priority recovery actions and policy reform needed to recover salmonid populations in the Eel River basin.
  • CalTrout is leading efforts to establish an accepted methodology for determining how much water needs to remain in the river to sustain salmon and steelhead throughout their freshwater lifecycle while balancing the needs of people as well.  That methodology will help set water policy throughout the region.
  • CalTrout is leading design and implementation projects to recover essential habitat in the Eel River from the lower Eel River estuary to fish passage improvement projects on the important tributaries, Woodman and Bridge Creeks.

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Mountain Community & Culture

Mountain Community & Culture is dedicated to bringing a community center to the Trinity River Valley. Our area has a great need for a multipurpose facility providing classroom and meeting space, a code kitchen and a venue for live theater and music. The community center will serve as a safe, pleasant gathering space for celebration and personal growth.

Accomplishing this goal will require community-wide collaboration and partnership.  Join Us!

Need for Action

Construction of dams, diversion of water, and reduction of flows in the Trinity River have impacted the river’s ecology, its fisheries, and its ability to recover from prior mining activities.  In addition to the dams blocking salmon from the upper watershed, studies during the 1980’s and 1990’s revealed that weak flows resulted in channel simplification and a reduction of habitat for juvenile salmon.

TRRP Restoration

The overall strategy of the Trinity River Flow Evaluation Final Report (TRFEFR) and the Trinity River Restoration Record of Decision (ROD) is to restore physical process and rescale the Trinity River as a foundation for fishery recovery.  The ROD established the current Trinity River Restoration Program (TRRP) and specifies:

Four modes of restoration:

  • Flow management through releases from Lewiston Dam
  • Construction of channel rehabilitation sites
  • Augmentation of spawning gravels
  • Control of fine sediments (mainly watershed projects)


  • Infrastructure improvements to accommodate high flow releases
  • Environmental Compliance (Riparian Vegetation, Wetlands, Turbidity, Water Temperatures)
  • Science-based Adaptive Management to enable modifications to actions according to scientific feedback

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