11th Annual Coho Confab
The 11th Annual Coho Confab was held on the South Fork of the Smith River from September 26-28, 2008.
Orientation presentations included opening talks about the significance of the Mill Creek watershed acquisition in protecting and restoring a salmon stronghold, by Grant Werschkull of Smith River Alliance and Zack Larson of the Smith River Advisory Council. Tom Weseloh of Cal Trout discussed Coho Salmon from State CESA listing to Local Restoration Projects. Research Ecologist Frank Lake presented on how upslope fire and forest management affect fish by providing a review of tribal and scientific knowledge about the effects of fires on fisheries.
This year’s Confab featured restoration tours in the Mill Creek watershed, tributaries of the South Fork, Yontucket Slough and the Smith River estuary. Randy Lew of Pacific Watershed Associates led a tour of road decommissioning and erosion control projects in Dominie and Rowdy Creeks. State Park geologist Rocco Fiori discussed experimental wood loading designs to enhance stream function and salmonid habitats. A full-day tour of Mill Creek restoration projects included presentations by Dan Burgess of Rural Human Services who led a tour of the native plant nursery for Mill Creek restoration, Lathrope Leonard of Redwood National and State Parks who led a forestry tour focused on restoring late seral forests, and Brian Merrill of California State Parks who discussed backcountry road management in North Coast Redwoods State Parks and rehabilitating watershed function. Rod McLeod of the Mill Creek Monitoring Program led a hands-on workshop assessing juvenile coho summer abundance estimation in Mill Creek.
Additionally, Zack Larson facilitated a Smith River fish identification workshop. Antonio Llanos of Mike Love & Associates led a tour of fish passage projects and co-led a tour of Yontocket Slough and the Smith River estuary with Zack. Other workshops included instream fish identification, and macro-invertebrate sampling and stream health assessment.