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Carmel River Steelhead Association
Address: PO Box 1183
Monterey, CA 93942
Website: http://www.carmelriverwatershed.org
Phone: (831)375-5376
Description: To preserve the Carmel River Steelhead The Carmel River Steelhead Association (CRSA) from its roots dating back to the 1970?s evolved from a Conservation group consisting mainly of fishermen to the leading advocate for preserving the Native Steelhead. CRSA has initiated several programs associated with the rearing of smolts during extreme drought periods on the Carmel, & a Brood Stock program at the CDFG marine station at Granite Canyon Carmel, CA. This program was primarily responsible for ensuring the continued existence of the Carmel species of Steelhead during 4 years of extreme drought when no migrations were possible. Fertilized eggs were hatched & reared at the Monterey Bay Salmon-Trout Project and with cooperation of various other groups the small fry were transported by mule and released in the upper reaches of the Carmel above the Los Padres dam. Rescues of stranded Steelhead adults & young have occurred for 26 years during April through October. CRSA & MPWMD cover the creeks & the mainstem respectively. During the past 4 years with shocking equipment purchased with County Fish & Game Commission grant, the CRSA has assumed primary responsibility for creek rescues, although from time to time they assist the MPWMD that has its own crew in the mainstem. CRSA members & its volunteer crews from youth groups also participate on an as needed basis for major transfer to the ocean of adults & smolts locked in the Carmel lagoon. A major restoration program that was initiated by the CRSA & others was the Carmel River Lagoon Project that took place over a 6-year period. Initially the participants were CRSA, MPWMD, Calif. Coastal Conservancy, DF&G, Monterey County Flood control & State parks. It took some time to get funding & then the 2nd. Phase began. In the 3rd phase Cal. Trans joined the group and in utilizing a ?mitigation bank? helped to complete the project. The CRSA has for many years been engaged in fighting for minimum flows on the Carmel in the wake of increased illegal over-pumping of the Carmel aquifer. This culminated in a judgment as a result of a lawsuit filed by CRSA & others and new regulations from the California State Water Resources Control Board (CSWRCB) that will over time eliminate the over- pumping. CRSA monitors on an ongoing basis and where necessary files a protest where appropriation of water rights is sought. CRSA with grants totaling $86,780 from CDFG & California Wildlife Foundation (CWF) has constructed a new fish ladder & trap at the foot of the Los Padres dam. Adult migrating Steelhead having ascended a short fish ladder & Notch on a couple of impoundments, the San Clemente Dam fish ladder that is approx. 98 feet high, the highest operating fish ladder in California then find themselves in the plunge pool at the bottom of the spillway. An old and disintegrating Denil ladder remains on the east side of the river and will be left in service. Because of its location and changes to the streambed, many fish miss the entrance to the ladder and spend time unsuccessfully trying to negotiate upstream through the rock face. The new ladder on the west side consists of seven 10-foot sections, two resting pools and a newly designed trap for easy transfer of adult fish to the tanker. Cal-Am the local water company provided the tank & flatbed truck & will take on the task of maintaining the ladder, trap & transportation of adult fish to the reservoir above the dam. CRSA has fewer than 50 members. Each year a fund-raiser (a Wild Game BBQ) is held. The 2000 BBQ raised over $9,000.
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