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Golden Trout Habitat Restoration

$1,720 of $38,000 goal

Raised by 19 people in 3 months
Created September 3, 2018
Plumas Corporation www.plumascorporation.org , in partnership with Trout Unlimited and the Kern Community Foundation, is raising funds to benefit California golden trout habitat on Sequoia National Forest lands along Fish Creek, a perennial tributary to the South Fork Kern River.   The State Fish of California and a State Species of Special Concern California golden trout (CGT) once occupied 450 miles of stream habitat in the upper South Fork Kern River and adjacent Golden Trout Creek.  Touted as one of the most colorful trout species in the world, CGT is currently only native to two high elevation watersheds in the rugged southern Sierra Nevada Mountains.  Channel erosion, warm water temperatures, and barriers to seasonal movement of these beautiful fish all pose risks to their future in the South Fork Kern River Watershed. 

The Sherman Pass Road (Forest Rd 22S05) was originally built over the confluence of Fish Creek and Jackass Creek.  The road crossing has severely destabilized the stream channels, causing them to erode and abandon their floodplains.  This in turn has resulted in fish passage through the road crossing to be significantly impeded or non-existent because of the failed culvert.   Acting as barrier for movement of California golden trout and other aquatic species, such as the endangered mountain yellow-legged frog, these native species now have limited habitat access upstream of the Sherman Pass Road  crossing.  

The good news is Sequoia National Forest will be replacing the 72-inch arch culvert on Fish Creek with a 50-foot full span bridge beginning in mid-September!  The bad news is without restoring the stream channel under the new bridge the improvements to aquatic passage and habitat for CGT will not happen.  The channel implementation must be integrated into the bridge construction schedule to ensure effective construction of the channel(s), particularly under the bridge deck where height constraints when the deck is placed will inhibit channel restoration work from being accomplished.  Unfortunately, this only gives us one month to raise the needed funds!! 

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What exactly will your donations be used for?   The Golden Trout Habitat Restoration Project will provide a channel/floodplain design through the bridge footprint to stabilize the upstream channels, reduce the sedimentation downstream, and optimize the movement of native fish and other aquatic species under the new bridge.  Project activities will improve water quality, support a more natural flow regime, and enhance aquatic and terrestrial habitats available to the South Fork Kern River system.  The proposed project will benefit populations of native California Golden trout by providing access to more habitat through the new channel/floodplain.  Below is a photo of another channel/floodplain habitat restoration project similar to the one proposed at the Fish Creek crossing.  The channel/floodplain feature will tie-in to the historic Fish Creek and Jackass Creek floodplains upstream then carry a functional, fish passable slope to the existing grade downstream of the crossing.  The project budget includes Plumas Corporation time and expenses for 3 round trips to Tulare County, 10 total days onsite, and 5 total days in office.  Plumas Corporation, as always, is vested in the completion of this project, and will contribute its employee time and expenses ($16,221.00) to the project.  Donated funds through this request ($38,000.00) would cover contractor expenses for equipment usage and procurement of any supplemental material (imported rock fill) if onsite materials are insufficient.

32668610_1536027932679966_r.jpegExample of a fish passable constructed channel/floodplain.

The Forest Service is already committed to replacing the culvert on Fish Creek with a full-span bridge.  We have an opportunity to maximize the benefits of that work by restoring the stream channels through the bridge crossing.  The project is of even more value given the concurrent development of five (5) meadow restoration projects totaling 210 acres in the watershed upstream of the crossing. These meadow projects, Powell, Granite Knob, Little Troy, Troy and Jackass meadows, are intended to restore floodplain connectivity and aquatic habitat of the meadows.  Trout Unlimited is the lead organization for these meadow projects which are now in the environmental review stage and likely available for restoration beginning in 2019.  Sequoia Prioritized Ten Meadows Restoration (TEN MEADOWS PROJECT) Draft Environmental Assessment 

Join us in making this fish worthy project a reality.  Any donation will move us closer to improving habitat conditions for the beautiful native California golden trout.   Any funds in excess of needs would be applied to the meadow restoration work upstream.  Thank you for supporting the Golden Trout Habitat Restoration Project and the future of California golden trout in the South Fork Kern River Watershed one stream at a time!
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We would like to begin with a Big Thank You to everyone who made a donation to the Golden Trout Habitat Restoration project on Fish Creek. We have great news to share. Although we were unable to raise enough funds to implement the project this year as originally planned, we were able to use the donations to leverage additional funds made available from the Forest Service via the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation (NFWF). We've submitted an application to NFWF and are awaiting the award announcement. Due to the completion of the bridge this year the original fish passable stream simulation design will need to be modified to provide specifications for constructing the stream channel/floodplain through and around the road crossing. The project is now planned for construction in the fall of 2019. We appreciate everyone's support of this project and will keep you all posted as the NFWF funds are secured and we begin planning the project for implementation next year.
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Sequoia National Forest has started the bridge replacement work on Fish Creek. The contractor began cutting out the asphalt on Sherman Pass Road on Sept. 10th. Currently the culvert is acting as the streamflow bypass around the construction while they prepare the foundation and framing for the first bridge abutment. Once they pour the concrete for the first abutment, they will re-route the stream channel alongside the that abutment and begin to work on the opposite bridge abutment. As of the date of this posting, they were still working on the first abutment and determining whether they were going to have to import rock for the riprap needed around the bridge. The following photos were taken during the first week of construction on September 12th.

The first photo shows the water being diverted through the culvert during removal of the road bed.

The second photo shows them removing the road bed on Sherman Pass Road Xing over Fish Creek. The survey rod sticking out of the cut is resting on a terrace that the bridge abutment will be built on.

Over the last three weeks we have raised $3,850 (10% of our goal!) from 21 people/groups. We would like to thank all our donors for their support to date. In particular we would like to give a special shout-out to the local fly fishing organizations and their members who have so generously donated to the cause and helped spread the word about the campaign: Southwest Council of Fly Fishers International, Kaweah Fly Fishers, Southern Sierra Fly Fishers, and Pasadena Casting Club. We apologize if we have left anyone out. Please let us know if we did.

We still have a few more weeks before the stream restoration work would need to begin (after they are done constructing the abutments, but before the bridge deck is installed). So please continue to share with others and donate if you haven’t already done so. Every little bit helps!

Support our state fish and their habitat. Let’s not let the California Golden Trout end up like our state mammal, the grizzly bear! Let’s work together to sustain this beautiful native fish for future generations to enjoy.
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Well, the first week of the campaign and we've already raised over $500! Thank you to those who have so generously donated to date. We still have a long ways to go though to make this a reality. If you love to catch and/or see native fish in the wild, or know someone who does please share this fundraising campaign. Help keep our wild native California golden trout thriving and donate today!
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$1,720 of $38,000 goal

Raised by 19 people in 3 months
Created September 3, 2018
Funds raised will benefit:
Plumas Corporation (Central Operations Department)
Certified Charity
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Quincy, CA
EIN: 680016418
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2 months ago
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