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.


Here Come the Fall Chinook! Time for Dives!


The rains of late September pushed the lower Eel at Scotia over 250 cfs briefly and some fish have moved up into Fortuna pools! ERRP met with the Wiyot Tribe and the Humboldt Redwood Company and devised a 2014-2015 Eel River Fall Chinook salmon monitoring game plan. Dives will begin on October 10 and go every two weeks until the river is too high and muddy. If low flows happen during the spawning season, ERRP Outdoor Coordinator Eric Stockwell will lead us in floating spawning surveys. To get into the swim of things on dives, check in with ERRP Volunteer Coordinator Pat Higgins at 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 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.  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. 

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.


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

Watch a video of this sturgeon on YouTube



ERRP Eel River Aerial Surveys Continue!

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! See also Rich's very cool YouTube channel.

Lower Ten Mile Creek where October 4 field trip will take place.


Post Lodge Fire - Erosion Control & Forest Health Meeting & Field Trip October 4th


ERRP is joining the the Mendocino County Resource Conservation District, U.S. Bureau of Land Management, and CAL FIRE in co-sponsoring a public meeting on recovery from the Lodge Fire and resources available to help landowners improve forest health and control erosion. The public meeting will be on Saturday, Oct. 4, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Harwood Hall, 44400 Willis Avenue in Laytonville. A field trip will follow departing at 1:30 PM. See Press Release, Poster and Agenda for Meeting.


Eel River Aquatic Life is Surviving the Drought


See hundreds of fish and an audacious turtle in this video, taken in an amazing cave- like pool in the the Black Butte River.

Read an article on the aquatic ecosystem response to drought.

ERRP is taking a new interest in the non-native Sacramento pikeminnow, formerly known as the squawfish (see Plan).

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


Our You Tube Videos also show river conditions.


ERRP Summer Outreach - Big Success!


Click here or on collage to enlarge

The Recovery Project is expanding outreach in a new direction in 2014 by patricpating in festivals. Our team experienced Jah Love at Reggae on the River, mixing with the enlightend crowd and building connections at the grassroots. Thanks to the Mateel Community Center for this great opportunity! Our Northern Nights food concession helped us raise funds and consciousness at the same time and we thank the sponsors of that great event for letting us participate. Our first event of the season was joining the Salmon Restoration Association at their fantastic 4th of July Salmon BBQ. Thanks SRA!



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