Council for the Clear Lake Hitch
Early in 2004, the Lake County Group of the Sierra Club organized volunteers to survey the hitch migration. In August of 2004, the Chi Council for the Clear Lake Hitch was formed with the assistance of the Eastlake & Westlake Conservation Districts as a Coordinated Resource Management and Planning (CRMP) organization. The organizers were Sierra Club members, local landowners, tribes, state and local governmental agencies and interested citizens.
As stated in its Memorandum of Understanding, the goals of the Chi Council are to:
Streams have been monitored in each of the successive spawning seasons. The data has been compiled by Chi Council and posted on its website at www.lakelive.org/chicouncil.
Summary of Findings
Spring hitch surveys made over the past four years have resulted in the following observations:
The Need for Scientific Research
Two of the objectives of the Chi Council are to:
While volunteer surveys of hitch spawning have provided significant information regarding current hitch populations and the location of physical barriers to streambed access, scientifically designed and supervised studies are needed to answer fundamental questions regarding the condition and fate of this important native fish. The Chi Council has solicited assistance from the University of California to help organize and conduct such studies.
Removal of Physical Barriers
Modification or removal of physical barriers in the creeks to allow free passage of spawning hitch is a vital first step to restore a viable population of hitch. The Chi Council urges ongoing, focused efforts by governmental agencies and private parties to achieve that end.
Volunteer Support Is Vital
Monitoring of the spring hitch migration is essential to learn more about hitch behavior and establish population trends. The continued participation of volunteers to monitor the hitch spawn is vital to the success of this project. For detailed results of past surveys, log onto the Chi Council's website at www.lakelive.org/chicouncil.
Thank you for your continued support of the Chi Council to save the Clear Lake hitch from extinction.