Thursday, July 28, 2016

Calaveras Dam Project shows Day Campers how to build their own Dam

It was a hot summer day in the Sunol Regional Wilderness Park. But that did not stop our project teams to meet with a group of energetic kids from the Ridge Runners Nature Day Camp. 

Staff met with the young, curious minds to tell them about the Hetch Hetchy Regional Water System along with what is happening just around the corner at the Calaveras Dam Replacement Project and the Fish Passage Facilities within the Alameda Creek Watershed.

The youth learned about how their drinking water reaches their tap and asked questions about how fish migrate along the fish ladder. The Fish Passage Facilities Project will support the migration of the steelhead trout in Alameda Creek, around the existing Alameda Creek Diversion Dam, when completed in late 2018.

In addition, the kids were able to become hands-on dam builders, designing and constructing their own dams with clay, gravel and sand materials. The soil samples provided will actually be used in the construction of the Calaveras Dam, an earth and rock filled dam, so the campers got to touch the very center of the dam.

Thank you to the Ridge Runners Nature Day Camp for the opportunity to hear about our important projects in the Sunol Valley!

Friday, July 15, 2016

Photo Friday - Tule Elk

Tule elk are a subspecies of elk that are native to only California. Once abundant, they were hunted to near extinction after the Gold Rush.  A small handful of elk were discovered on a private ranch in San Joaquin County in the mid 1870’s and protected by the rancher.

Flash forward, tule elk were reintroduced to the area in Santa Clara County in 1978. The herd split up, and some of them took up residence near our San Antonio Reservoir.  

The ancestors of that herd are still there today, and apparently making themselves available for photo ops by watershed keeper Pat Jones while on his rounds.

Pat spied this gentleman below Turner Dam last weekend.

Have a great weekend, everyone!