live footage (with sound!) of hitch migrating and spawning!
meeting September 24, 2014
next Chi Council meeting will be held at 3:30PM on Wednesday September 24,
at the Ag Center, just off Lakeport Blvd at Highway 29. Please download
a map if you need directions.
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.
2013 spawning run ended in early April, with very few sightings
reported. For details, check the database
and 2013 photographs. All volunteers
are encouraged to submit their results as soon as possible, remembering
that negative observations (no chi seen) are just as valid and
important as positive ones, and that the minimum information needed
for an entry into the database is date, creek, and approximate
number of fish. Time of day, precise location, and additional
comments about weather, predators, etc are all very helpful but
not essential. Results may be submitted by email to email@example.com,
mailed to PO Box 1081, Kelseyville CA 95451, faxed to 707 263
6224, or dropped off at Peter Windrem's office at 5716 Main St,
Suite A, Kelseyville.
September 25, 2012 the Center for Biological Diversity
filed state and federal petitions requesting
protection for the Clear Lake hitch under the
Endangered Species Act. Read about the listing
process, latest scientific assessment by Dr. Peter Moyle, and the hitch status review
prepared by the Department of
Fish and Wildlife recommending "threatened" status under CESA. More news
on August 6 the California Fish and Game Commission formally listed the hitch as "threatened." Details in the August 11 Press Democrat
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.