FRC and California Trout (CalTrout) worked together throughout 2013 to develop a plan, fund and implement a multistage property and ecosystem improvement plan on the CalTrout Island Road property. Improvements made this year to the property will add to the experience of those CalTrout members who frequently use the property, and also help to restore the ecological integrity of the ecosystem. These improvements were truly a community effort and with continued stewardship the property will continue to be a cornerstone of the Fall River fishing season for years to come.
- As many of you may have already noticed, we’ve improved the access road and parking area and added a full turn around for launching small boats and kayaks. The purpose of these improvements are to improve the angling experience (access, parking, etc.) for CalTrout constituents and FRC supporters during the fishing season. No overnight camping is allowed on site and all those using the facility should be CalTrout members.
2. A new informational kiosk was installed and will have improved information signage. All the existing rules for the property including no launching of gas motors and no overnight camping have remained the same. Work was completed with help from Senior Project student Colin Vestal from Fall River High School. The kiosk will educate the public on issues affecting the Fall River (invasive aquatic plants, sediment, etc.) and the role of FRC/CalTrout in addressing key issues
3. A permanent boat storage was installed to allow river users to lock their boats overnight and to reduce damage to stream-banks. Previously there was no permanent boat storage and this led to improvised boat storage locks being installed. With this improved overnight storage we will reduce impact to surrounding stream-banks and focus storage to one centralized area.
4. Roadside plantings were added to begin the re-vegetation of the riparian corridor. Quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides) and Black hawthorne (Crataegus douglasii), both native riparian species were planted. All plantings received caging to protect from deer and beavers, as well as a layer of mulching to reduce the growth of weeds.
5. A pilot stream-bank restoration planting was completed to assess the viability of the stream-banks for supporting riparian plants and shrubs. With help from Senior Project students Clay Brock and David Putalluz from Fall River High School, the FRC led the planting of native shrubs along the riparian corridor. Native plant clusters were planted in a strategic mosaic that distributed plants varying distances from the river to protect eroding banks. This pilot project will help to inform future plantings as to the species and distance from stream-banks that native shrubs thrive.
Community Involvement and 2014 Feedback
The completion of these property improvements will ensure the continued use of the site and the vitality of the ecosystem health for years to come. With the aid of Senior Project student help as well as local landowners, these riparian improvement projects have become a community effort that all can take pride in. It is the Fall River Conservancy’s mission to preserve the lands, waters and cultural heritage of the Fall River and this project is an excellent example of this focus at work. We look forward to your feedback on the improvements during the 2014 fishing season.