Eel River | Michael Wier CalTrout
Eel River | Michael Wier CalTrout

Eel River

It’s well established that healthy rivers contribute to healthy communities. In the Eel, this also means revitalizing and sustaining culture, supporting diverse economies, and providing endangered species a path to recovery. Removing both Scott and Cape Horn dams is key to returning California’s third largest watershed to a healthy state.

Alicia Hamann, Executive Director for Friends of the Eel River

Threat: Dams

The Eel River once teemed with abundant native fish and other wildlife, supporting the Wiyot, Sinkyone, Lassik, Nongatl, Yuki and Wailaki peoples, who have lived along the river since time immemorial. Today the river’s Chinook salmon, steelhead, and Pacific lamprey are all headed toward extinction in large part because of two obsolete dams that make up Pacific Gas and Electric’s Potter Valley Hydroelectric Project. Together the dams completely block salmon migration and harm river habitat. The license for the dams recently expired and PG&E no longer wants to operate the facilities. It’s up to federal regulators to require PG&E to remove the dams as part of the decommissioning plan, expected during the fall of 2023.

American Rivers appreciates the collaboration and efforts of our partners:
  • California Trout Inc.
  • Friends of the Eel River