Troutcather, Good on you for going after helping the river... I'll tell you what I know...
Center for Justice just got a grant that will make a SR River keeper to help w/ river issues www.cforjustice.org
The SRForum on the above link is doing really cool stuff.
(Here's the Short SFTU Pitch:thumb
Also, I am the conservation chair for a fairly new chapter of the Spokane Falls TU. We are doing a number of things that we hope will help on the redband issue. We have made redband restoration a conservation priority for our chapter.. Naturally, I think it would be great if folks would join the chapter and help our efforts... We are small and we need volunteers.
Here is what weve done so far:
1. Working with the Spokane River Forum and WDFW, City of Spokane in putting up educational signs along the river that we hope will bring attention to the fact that RBs are native and should be released.
2. Watching and commenting on the whitewater park and TMDL issues on the river
4 doing some project work Today was a willow planting on Hangman Creek
5 down the road we are trying to come up w/funding contributions and volunteer labor to study smallies in the upper R.
6 We hope to have some enfocement training days later this year... Eyes in the Woods Program where folks learn how to call in poachers which are a real problem on the lower river
With more folks, there are a lot of other things we could do. Mainly, we are trying to get the city and State governments to listen to our agenda... conservation of native trout.
(I promise to do a better job posting events on WFF)
NAturally I would love to see folks join up, but not every one is going to want to become an active member of TU... SO there are a some options aside from TU efforts that I've been thinking about. A big issue is getting the attention of the city government.
They are a major player in terms of those things affecting the RB Trout in the river.
A huge issue is the over consumption of water both domestically for purposes of sewage treatment. Recently the city recomended that low summer flows of only 400 CFS would be reasonable in the lower river:rofl: This is because the city pumps the water, wastes it, and sells it to the west plains. This is not trout friendly policy. If we could simply organize a letter writing campaign that let Mayor Verner/and city officials know that people fish the river and care about having a fishery in the next 20 years, we COULD have a positive affect on local politics that bare on the river... This goes to Panhandle's question of what we might do that would help things a bit... It would have to be focused and reasonable, but maybe we could push for the city to pass a resolution adopting policies that support an urban native trout fishery in its core... I'm open to ideas.
A few thoughts on the river. After dealing the the city of Spokane on (4) development issues on the South Hill, it is my opnion that the scales are terribly unbalanced toward development, especially the building department and the city council. More development and new projects more $$$ for them to spend. Our mayor seems to have good intentions but seems to lack the backbone to take a stand. She will say something to distance herself but refuses to draw a line in the sand on anything controversial. The Mayor wanted watering restrictions last summer (seem reasonable no water from noon to 6pm and watering every other day). She about got thown out of office. If seems people have no idea on water up here . They see the rivers and lakes and thing there is a never ending supply. But the reality is an aquifer located in another state serves 650,000 people. No one knows how much water is there or if it is mainting, dropping or increasing. Mean while Spokane County is projected to grow 50% in the next 20-25 years and Post Falls mayor thinks they will grow into a city of 100,000 people??? HELLO!!!
Joining TU is a step in the right direction, also buy one of the redband t-shirts. I atteneded a meeting dowtown a year or more back and it was very informative (put on by TU). A WDFW biologist and warden were there, as well as a representive form Avista. They seemed very willing and interested in improving the fishery. But like most issues they have a major lack of funding and man power to do much.
I also talked to a gentleman I have meet at a few different events. He seemed very knowledgable on the issues. He said as we all know that the water flow especially during spawning is a major problem. There were negotiations with Avista to help develop spawning beds and insure they had water. The deal was almost done when an outside envrionmental group came in and filed a law suit against Avista to maintain flows over the dam or possibly removing the dam. When that happened Avista pulled everything off the table and a few years of negotiations were down the drain.
LD you pretty much nailed it... Consumption of water from the aquifer that feeds our river is the 600lbs gorrilla that has to be addressed. Every man woman and child in this town consumes over 300 gallons of aquifer water per day!! That is rediculous... most of this is watering grass and the street... Every drop of that water that is evaporating or running down the storm drain on 100 degree days is water that could support caddis flies and native trout...
Spokane is mining its aquifer and river water at the expense of native fish.
not so much, the actuall falls arnt that much fish habitat, and the same CFS is going to be moving down the watershed, the differncew is it wont be diverted into the power house, it will flow over the basalt instead.