live footage (with sound!) of hitch migrating and spawning!
meeting October 26, 2016
2016 hitch run has ended, with substantial numbers of fish observed in
the Middle Creek drainage for the first time in many years: please check out this year's results and photos.
All Chi Council
volunteers who have not already done so are urged to submit their
observations as soon as possible for inclusion in the database.
As usual, we are taking the summer off. The next Chi Council meeting will be held at 3:30PM on Wednesday October 26,
2016, at the Ag Center, just off Lakeport Blvd at Highway 29.
download a map if you need
directions. Download the
minutes of the May 25 meeting
note that the creeks are running and warmer weather may be coming soon,
which means that the 2016 hitch migration season could begin at any
time. All volunteers are encouraged to download printable and/or excel format observation report sheets and to start looking for hitch. Please note your observations whether or not
you see any hitch: negative reports are just as valuable as positive
ones. Detailed information about the ways to report observations can be
found on the forms.
All interested parties are invited to attend the Council's meetings.
For further information, to sign up for our email list, or to
volunteer for the monitoring program contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Council is a coordinated resource management and planning group dedicated
to the study, protection, and restoration of a viable population of
Lavinia exilicauda chi (the Clear Lake Hitch) within a healthy
watershed ecosystem. Details of the Council's goals, guidelines and
organizational structure are stated in the August 23, 2004 Memorandum
of Understanding (updated August 23, 2009)
which formally established it as an entity.
an ancient fish endemic to Clear Lake, live in deep in water most of
the time, but every spring the adults work their way up the tributary
creeks to spawn. In the words of biologist Rick Macedo, they used to
"mass by the thousands," in an annual ritual "as spectacular as any
salmon run on the Pacific coast . . . The tumultuous splashing . . .
and the appearance of herons, osprey, egrets, and bald eagles . . .
signify that the hitch are in." In recent years the population seems
to have declined precipitously, for reasons that are still poorly understood.
Streambed obstructions, predation by introduced fish, and food competition
all have been suggested as possible causes for their diminished numbers.
present time the Council has formulated several immediate objectives:
and training volunteer population monitoring teams
scientific protocols for the monitoring effort, and maintaining a
database of the information learned
scientific research on hitch and their habitat
public awareness of hitch and their habitat
and preserving information about hitch and their traditional uses
by the native peoples of the Clear Lake Basin
habitat restoration projects
action of the Board of Supervisors, all vessels launching
into any Lake County waters must participate in the county's
mandatory band and sticker program, with inspection and decontamination
if necessary. Local residents must renew their stickers annually,
visitors monthly. More
call the Mussel Hotline,
report possible violators or suspected contamination call the
263 8656 or 911
for launching without a valid sticker has been raised to
Tuesday April 28, 2009 the Board of Supervisors presented
the prestigious Conservationist of the Year
award to the Chi Council. This honor, which is awarded
on nomination of the Fish and Wildlife Advisory Committee and
memorialized by listing on a permanent plaque in the lobby of
the Courthouse in Lakeport, had not been given for the past ten
years. Photos and story here.