North Bay Voice

firstchinook2012An underwater fish monitoring video camera located near a fish ladder in the Russian River recorded the first 2012 Chinook salmon on September 5th. That pioneering fish is the first of thousands that are expected to enter the Russian River watershed this season, in a year that shows promise for larger than normal returns.

Chinook salmon are listed as threatened under the Federal Endangered Species Act, which means they are a species that is likely to become extinct throughout all or a large portion of their range. The Sonoma County Water Agency has been actively working to restore and create habitat for the Chinook salmon for more than a decade.

chinook salmon 380"It is always an exciting time of the year when the first Chinook salmon makes its debut in the Russian River," said Water Agency Chairwoman Shirlee Zane. "The Water Agency is working diligently with federal, state and local agencies and stakeholder partners to protect the Chinook. Recovering Chinook salmon in the Russian River is among our highest priorities."

Water Agency biologists and a team of technicians review the time-lapse images seven days a week and visit the site daily to clean and maintain the cameras. This video shows how the recordings are made, and how the fish ladder, at the inflatable Mirabel Dam near Forestville, is also used by other river species.

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The Water Agency conducts surveys to monitor fish rearing in the Russian River over the summer and will be tracking the number of salmon returning past the underwater cameras in the months to come. Below, in numerical order, is a total count of Chinook salmon from prior years:

beached chinook2003: 6,103
2002: 5,474
2004: 4,788
2006: 3,410
2011: 3,119
2005: 2,572
2010: 2,414
2007: 1,963
2009: 1,801

The Chinook salmon currently returning to the Russian River are offspring of wild parents that spawned naturally in the upper 75 miles of the river or in Dry Creek; there is no hatchery production of Chinook salmon. Fish returning to spawn are two to four years old. Spawning typically commences in November and continues through January. Eggs incubate in the gravel for several weeks before fry emerge and begin their downstream migration to the estuary. Water Agency trapping and marking studies have shown that most juvenile Chinook salmon enter the Pacific Ocean by July of their first year of life.

Poor ocean conditions that led to low food supplies for juvenile fish in 2005 and 2006 negatively affected the abundance of adult salmon for the past several years - hence the prior years' fishery closures along our coast. In 2008, the Water Agency counted only 1,125 fish - our lowest total to date. In 2003, the Water Agency counted nearly 6,100 fish.

The Water Agency will be updating its website with Chinook salmon counts throughout the fall. Residents are encouraged to report any active Chinook poaching or suspicious activity to the Sheriff's Department at (707) 565-2121

gr-28356-1-1A Superior Court judge has approved a controversial statewide pesticide plan to control the Light Brown Apple Moth. Health and environmental groups argue the plan involves applying harmful and untested pesticides in order to control a minor agricultural pest that has not been proven to damage California crops. Lori Abbot has more.

 

Climate Ride HeaderClimate Ride, a five day bicycle ride covering more than 300 miles of the northern California coastline, rolled through western Sonoma County today. During a lunchtime stop at Sebastopol's Ragle Ranch Park, KRCB spoke with a few of the 150 riders.

Climate RidersClimate Riders Jeff Lesk, Marcus Kenny and Kate Seitz pause for lunch  Wednesday in Sebastopol's Ragle Ranch Park

 

carlos penaSSU's Carlos Pena dedicates his time to a community that needs it.

Based on his vast involvement with local businesses, Pena has been chosen by the Cotati Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors to receive the Spirit of Sonoma County Award for 2012.

Over the past year, he has spent his time working with local businesses and charitable organizations to improve Cotati and surrounding communities. Pena, manager of special projects for the athletic association, has also used his position on campus to bridge the gap between the University and the businesses surrounding it.

"It amazes me to think how much difference one person has made in this regard," says Gerard Giudice, owner of Sally Tomatoes, who nominated Pena. "He has personally visited and cultivated relationships with over 100 local businesses and groups..."

The Spirit Award is given out each year to recognize individuals in the community that have contributed to the economic vitality of Cotati by building relationships with local businesses to create positive change in the community.

 Two years ago, Pena lost his eight-year-old child Galilea in a tragic car accident. Despite his heartbreaking loss, Pena managed to turn his grief into a positive and launched a successful 501c(3) non-profit named after his daughter. Galilea's Place to Play benefits youth sports programs in Cotati and the surrounding community. Pena aims to continue to build relationships with local businesses and community members for years to come and grow his non-profit in the process.

The Spirit of Sonoma County Luncheon honoring Pena is scheduled from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Friday Dec. 7 at the DoubleTree Hotel in Rohnert Park.

PJC logoThe Peace & Justice Center of Sonoma County (PJC) is expanding its Board of Directors. Over the 27 years that the Center has been in existence, it has hosted or sponsored movie nights, lectures, workshops, meetings, peace vigils, anti-war marches, and a myriad of other actions, such as counter recruitment, to address social and economic justice issues and the core events of the day.
The Center's mission statement reads:

The Center envisions a world of peace, justice and freedom. It is a revolutionary and empowering vision of a democratic community where differences are respected, conflicts are addressed nonviolently, oppressive structures are dismantled, and people live in harmony with the earth, nurtured by diverse traditions that foster compassion, solidarity and reconciliation. Therefore, we commit ourselves to replace violence, war, racism and economic injustice through active nonviolence as a transforming way of life and as a means of radical change –personally, locally, nationally, and globally.

Applicants with skills such as accounting, fundraising, media/publicity, outreach, and building maintenance are especially desired. The boared meets monthly at the PJC with additional meetings and committee work as needed.
Individuals with an interest in devoting some time to this organization, are invited to contact Board President Ezter Freeman at 823-9203, or by This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . For more information, visit the Center's newly redesigned website .

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