Under the shadow of 14,000-foot Mt. Shasta in Northern California lies the greatest natural diversity of native trout of any large river system in North America. Among them is the rare and threatened, McCloud River redband trout. Close cousins of golden trout, the redband exists above barrier falls in small spring-fed tributaries to the upper McCloud. Because many of these streams are so remote, the McCloud River redband trout has evolved in isolation and persisted in low numbers for thousands of years.
Habitat fragmentation and degradation has limited fish passage to important spawning grounds; competition and predation by introduced brook trout and brown trout have almost eliminated the redband’s food resources; and hybridization with hatchery-reared rainbow trout has diluted their genetic integrity. Action now will prevent us from losing one of the rarest trout in the world.
Orvis is working with California Trout, timber companies—the primary private landowners in the area—and others to restore genetically pure strains of McCloud River redband trout and their degraded habitat. Conservation strategies include: genetic monitoring and collection to gauge the extent of hybridization; improving fish passage through culvert alteration; creation of “fish ladders;” stream bank restoration; and outreach programs to empower the community and its visitors to be environmental stewards and ensure the health of this fish and its habitat.
Help us restore the native McCloud River
redband trout. Your contribution will be
matched by Orvis, the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation, and California Trout to quadruple your contribution of $200 to $800. Our goal is to raise $90,000 with your help! Please send your tax-deductible contribution, made payable to:
McCloud River Project
c/o Ms. Wende Micco
870 Market St. Suite 528
San Francisco, CA 94102
You can now contribute online with California Trout, and Orvis and the National Fish and Wildlife Service will match your donation!