April 14 Club Meeting

  • Thursday, April 14, 2016
  • 7:00 PM
  • Town Center Room 201

Mt Tam Fly Fishers and North Bay Trout Unlimited will be hosting a presentation by Eric Ettlinger of the Marin Municipal Water District.

“The Status of Salmon and Steelhead in Lagunitas Creek.”

Eric is the Aquatic Ecologist for the Marin Municipal Water District. He monitors sensitive aquatic species impacted by the District’s water supply operations, including salmon, steelhead, and western pond turtles, and enhances habitats for these species.  Eric was recently featured in a Marin IJ article about his projects.

Coho salmon were once abundant in the tributaries along the California coast from the Santa Cruz area to above Fort Bragg. Historical records estimate populations were as high as 125,000 as late as the 1940s, with Marin hosting some of the larger runs.

But as human population and development increased along the desirable coastal areas, coho numbers plummeted to fewer than 6,000.

Part of the human impact in Marin came in 1954 when Peters Dam was erected along Lagunitas Creek.

Before the dam was built, giant redwoods would fall and work their way into the creek. They would slow waters, fill adjacent floodplains and provide areas for coho to rest. But once the dam went up, the trees got stuck behind the structure.

“The dam is a limiting factor in getting those redwoods into the creek,” said Eric Ettlinger, aquatic ecologist for the water district. “It’s holding back a lot of sediment and the trees that help create these flood plains….This will be a new kind of work for us,” Ettlinger said. “This will allow us to expand the habitat in the winter, which studies show is needed.”

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