12th Annual Coho Confab
The 12th Annual Coho Confab was held on the beautiful Mendocino Coast on April 15, 2009.
This Confab featured an all-day restoration tour of the Garcia River watershed that included multiple bioengineering sites on the lower river dating back to 1995, and comprehensive sub-basin wide erosion control projects in at least one upper Garcia tributary. There were discussions of the public/private purchase of one third of the Garcia Watershed and its positive implications for coho recovery in the Garcia River as well as other watersheds in California. A tour of Caspar Creek highlighted the California Department of Fish & WIldlife's monitoring of fish populations in Caspar Creek, USDA Forest Service Caspar watershed research, Caspar Creek fish ladders presented by foresters from Jackson State Demonstration Forest, and road decommissioning efforts.
Lisa Bolton of Trout Unlimited and Forestry Consultant Christopher Blencowe led a tour of Ten Mile River to visit the South Fork Ten Mile River Accelerated Wood Recruitment Project to demonstrate an experimental approach to large woody debris loading. Participants also had a chance to tour fish passage projects in coastal watersheds as well as post-fire erosion control projects. On Sunday, Richard Gienger led a tour of coho bearing streams in the Sinkyone Forest and tour the recent forest acquisitions.
Hands-on workshops included macro-invertebrate sampling, underwater fish identification, and native plant propagation. Matt Coleman from the Mendocino Land Trust and Maureen Roche from the Mattole co-hosted an underwater fish identification workshop on the Little North Fork of the Big River as well as on the main stem and estuary so that participants had an opportunity to snorkel in different micro-habitats.
Open Forums included Stories and Songs of Salmon with songwriter Dana Lyons and a native plant propagation workshop at Jughandle Farm. Saturday night culminated with a BBQ and concert with river troubadour and singer Dana Lyons.