So you’ve never heard of the Chetco and haven’t fished there either? I know, but it’s another one of those potential FUBAR things about which you may regret not taking action.
The Wild and Scenic Chetco River in Oregon is renowned for its world-class salmon and steelhead runs, and crystal clear water. However, it is still vulnerable to mining thanks to the General Mining Law. A law from 1872 that gives mining precedence over all other uses for the river!
The good news is that the U.S. Forest Service is urging the Interior Department to protect about 17 miles of the river by withdrawing it from mining for the next five years to give Congress time to pass more lasting protection via the Chetco River Protection Act.
Take action – contact Ken Salazar, U.S. Secretary of the Interior to help protect the Chetco. A sample letter to submit:
I support protection of the Wild and Scenic Chetco River from mining. With its crystal clear water, big salmon, wild backcountry, and fabulous camp spots, the Wild and Scenic Chetco River is a great American outdoor treasure. It’s also the beloved backyard river of local communities that benefit economically from its world-class salmon and steelhead fishery and the pure drinking water it provides.
The Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest recently released its environmental assessment (EA) for a 5-year mineral withdrawal in aid of legislation (the Chetco River Protection Act). The EA makes clear that suction dredge mining along the river threatens the outstandingly remarkable values for which the area was designated. It emphasizes that these values are important economic drivers for local communities and that these values can only be fully protected through a mineral withdrawal.
American Rivers listed the Chetco River as one of America’s Most Endangered Rivers® in 2010. It is time to ensure that this river no longer warrants this concerning distinction.
Please approve the immediate withdrawal of the Chetco River from mining for the next five years, in order to allow Congress time to pass permanent protections for the river. Thank you for considering my views.
The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission is having a disagreement with the state Department of Environmental Protection about the condition of the Susquehanna River. The PFBC says the river is in trouble and should be listed as “impaired,” which will put the river on a “pollution diet” and begin to address the problems. The DEP says there is no proof that the river’s problems are caused by any specific environmental issues. If you read the second link above, it sounds like the DEP may be waiting on more data from USGS and others before it moves on this issue.
We’ve had similar issues in the past seven years or so on the Shenandoah, James, Potomac and other large rivers in Virginia and Maryland. These issues with fish kills, lesions and intersex bass all seem to be caused by a bad combination of environmental factors. So when the DEP says they have no evidence to zero in on specific causes, they are probably correct — technically. And this, of course, misses the whole point.
If you live in Pennsylvania and are concerned about the health of the Susquehanna, read the articles above and contact your representatives.
The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission’s trout stocking info site is a great way to search for where they plan to stock fish in the near future. You can search by county, see the dates, types of fish and the hatcheries used to source each stocking. This is very detailed. I know here in Virginia we “chase” this info on the VDGIF stocking website after the stockings have occurred, and what the PFBC has done is much more useful for planning. I’ve updated the Brook Trout Fishing Guide resources page with this link.
What, a new post???!!! I know, it’s been a while…
Good article on the Trout Unlimited blog about protecting brook trout in the Appalachians. Good news and bad news about the future of the only native trout in the eastern U.S.
Related article about Thorn Creek that is also interesting.