Eyes on the Eel!

Some evening in June, July, or September, you may see a wet, tired crew of river ecologists eating burgers at The Peg Inn (don’t never stop there) or the Chimney Tree House in southern Humboldt.  Or you may see our flagging along the river–The “Eyes on the Eel” is an ongoing survey of the state of river and tributary ecosystems along Eel mainstems and tributaries, one of four long term research tasks outlined for the Eel River Critical Zone Observatory.  Led by Profs Stephanie Carlson and Mary Power, and graduate students Suzanne Kelson, Phil Georgakakos, and Keith Bouma-Gregson, our Berkeley-based student crews have been, frankly, amazing at putting up with long days, hard work, wet clothes, while steadfastly documenting physical conditions, cyanobacterial and algal abundances, invertebrates, and vertebrates along 48 transects crossing four tributaries and four mainstem sites down the South Fork and mainstem Eel River.  Thanks so much to these student researchers, and to the many generous land owners who have given us permission to visit their property for one day per month of river transect surveys.  We will be working over the winter to publicize our observations in ways that will be widely accessible and informative.  Our surveys, restricted to shallow, wadeable portions of the Eel River, in some ways complement the extensive snorkeling surveys of deep pool habitats performed by the Eel River Recovery Project.  The rationale and methods for this effort are described in more detail under the Research section.

September 2015 Eyes on the Eel Crew in Wilderness Lodge meadow