Watch the MOVIE!: live footage (with sound!) of hitch migrating and spawning!
Hitch Run in Progress!
The 2018 spawning migration is on! Substantial numbers of hitch and Sacramento suckers have been reported in Adobe, Kelsey, Clover, and Middle Creeks. All volunteers are urged to download an observation form and check the status of creeks near you. 2018 observations to date; photos from the 2018 migration
OnSaturday March 31 Peter Windrem and Frank Hodge will lead a field tripto observe the run in progress in Middle and Clover Creeks.Participants should gather at Judy's Junction, 375 E Hwy 20 in UpperLake, at 9AM.
Thenext Chi Council meeting will be held at 3:30PM on Wednesday April 252018 at the Ag Center, just off Lakeport Blvd at Highway 29.Pleasedownload a map if you need directions.
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 email@example.com.
The Chi 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.
The hitch, 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.
At the present time the Council has formulated several immediate objectives:
- Coordinating and training volunteer population monitoring teams
- Establishing scientific protocols for the monitoring effort, and maintaining a database of the information learned
- Encouraging scientific research on hitch and their habitat
- Enhancing public awareness of hitch and their habitat
- Gathering and preserving information about hitch and their traditional uses by the native peoples of the Clear Lake Basin
- Sponsoring habitat restoration projects
Quagga Mussel Alert!
By 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 info
Or call the Mussel Hotline,
To report possible violators or suspected contamination call the Sheriff at
263 8656 or 911
Penalty for launching without a valid sticker has been raised to $1000
On 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.