The Current Magazine Winter 2016/17 - Page 8


In spite of these cumulative human impacts, the Eel has a unique set of factors working in its favor that make it a strong candidate for recovery. The first advantage is the Eel's location in a remote and sparsely populated area, with no major urban centers in its watershed. Thanks to its designation as a National Wild and Scenic River in 1981, no new dams will ever be built on the Eel. There is no fish hatchery, and thus the river can be repopulated with its native wild fish. CalTrout and its partners within the Eel River Forum recognize this golden opportunity and are working hard to implement a broad set of actions to help the Eel and its wild fish make a comeback. There is the potential on the Eel not only to repair the damage humans have done, but to bring back sustainable levels of salmon and steelhead abundance.

An Encouraging Future