Your Financial Help

Can Make a Difference in

Saving Gualala River Steelhead

To date, aside from some generous monetary donations from friend Mark Felton (and valuable time contributed by him and many other individuals), my work on the Gualala River has been completely self-funded. I have gladly contributed tens of thousands of dollars of my time and money to helping save this river and its steelhead for future generations.

However, now, time is becoming of the essence. The river’s existing environmental problems, led by the ugly summertime phenomenon of dewatering, due to development pressures and landscape conversions, are worsening incrementally. And new, even more ominous threats to the river–including huge proposed vineyard expansions–are on the horizon.

Meanwhile, the kind of systematic steelhead population surveys and related work I have been doing since 2001 are needed for other key tributaries of the river–not just the Wheatfield Fork, where my efforts have been focused. It is not likely that resource management agencies, despite their lifeblood being our hard-earned tax dollars, will be stepping up to the plate to do this work anytime soon. They have been sitting on their collective hands for over 4 decades. So, it’s likely to be totally up to the rest of us to ensure that the job of documenting the river’s real environmental problems and remaining steelhead resource is done in a timely, comprehensive and complete manner.

Helicopter surveys are an important tool that can help. The initial two spawning surveys and one stream dewatering survey done by helicopter in 2007 (see Helicopter Surveys and 2007 Annual Report) demonstrated feasibility of this survey approach. During my remaining time on the river, I want to expand survey coverage by utilizing helicopters and by hiring some qualified assistants. I also need to begin corroborating my population survey results, using weir counts, mark-recapture techniques, and other methods. These are expensive endeavors.

If you or your group, have deep pockets and are interested in contributing a significant sum (at least a few thousand dollars) to the Gualala River cause, I want to hear from you. I am also looking to connect with folks with really deep pockets (or connections to such) to implement a strategy that could effectively lock the river’s present status–including fisheries–in place. Large donations can be structured in a manner to provide the donor(s) with tax deductibility, through a certified charitable, non-profit 501(c)(3) organization (Fishery Foundation of California) I am affiliated with. So, if you have the ability to help in a big way–or a connection to such–please contact me.

Also, if you want to help financially, but are not the deep-pocketed contributor I am seeking, please make whatever smaller contribution of a few dollars or more to another very worthy group–FoGR (Friends of Gualala River) at This local, grass-roots organization knows the issues and is working diligently to save the river and its fish. They can also provide tax deductibility for your contribution.

Thanks for your contributions–RD.


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