Salmon Return Ceremony

The Bear River Tribe recently held the first Salmon Return Ceremony in over 100 years at the mouth of the Mattole river. The Mattole Salmon Group was honored to help organize and facilitate the ceremony. A detailed description of the event can be found here, and recent interview on KMUD discussing the effort can be heard here.

McGinnis Creek Salmonid Habitat Enhancement Project

The McGinnis Creek Salmonid Habitat Enhancement Project includes the installation of 16 large woody debris structures to increase channel complexity in this important Mattole River tributary.  The project is being constructed by MSG staff this summer on Humboldt Redwoods Company (who donated the trees) and the 3030 Ranch.  It is funded by the Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Mid River Heliwood

Mid River Heliwood or Heliwood 3 is the name MSG gives to this project which is located in the Middle Mattole area where Sholes and Fourmile Creeks connect to the Mattole River.  The official title is the Corridor/Stansberry GGRF Large Woody Debris Project.  The Save The Redwoods League (SRL)  is the project lead under a grant from the CalFire.  MSG has a subcontract with SRL to put the trees removed for fuel break creation to beneficial use in Sholes and Fourmile Creeks as fish habitat.  MSG was assisted in this effort by Columbia Helicopters Company which transported the trees from staging areas along the fuel break to about 90 locations in the two creeks.  A total of approximately 350 trees were placed.  Other project partners in the wood placement include Bob Stansberry the landowner who provided the trees and on whose land the fuel break and a portion creeks are located, Native Ecosystems, Edwards Excavation and Restoration, and the US Bureau of Land Management.  Photo below is of Bob Stansberry and Greg Mullins of Edwards Excavation and Restoration.

Middle Slough Restoration Project Phase 2

Phase 2 of the Middle Slough Restoration Project continues restoration efforts upstream in the slough connecting them to sections restored in Phase 1.  These restored sections serve as holding and rearing habitat for salmon and steelhead and provide cool water, food and refuge from predators.  The project located on property owned by the US Bureau of Land Management also includes upslope planting of willows, trees and other plants.  Phase 2 is funded by the CA Department of Fish and Wildlife and the CA Department of Water Resources.  The Mattole Salmon Group is the lead for this work with critical assistance from these partners:  Mattole Restoration Council, Native Ecosystems, Edwards Excavation and Restoration, Mike Love and Associates, and the North Coast Resource Partnership. 

Black Lives Matter

MSG Logo

The Mattole Salmon Group adds our voice as citizens against the inhuman brutality perpetrated in Minneapolis (and elsewhere).  We are confirming our support for all people who live in the valley and especially people of color who feel fearful and vulnerable as the backlash against the nationwide protest continues to erupt.

Job Listing — Mattole Restoration Council is seeking an Executive Director

The Mattole Restoration Council is a 36 year-old watershed restoration non-profit on the Lost Coast of Northern California, with a million dollar plus annual budget and a regular staff of nine. We are a membership organization with an elected board of directors that undertakes landscape-scale watershed restoration and rehabilitation in the Mattole watershed and adjacent areas, and promotes a stewardship land ethic. For more information about our programs, please visit

Job responsibilities

  • Works with the board of directors to execute the mission and long-term strategic goals;
  • Oversees and manages 9 regular staff and 60 seasonal employees;
  • Leads fundraising efforts and works with the program staff to develop projects and submit grant proposals to various federal and state agencies and foundations;
  • Directs the implementation of organizational policies and the strategic plan;
  • Acts as liaison to the community, partner groups, agencies, and other stakeholders;
  • Oversees fiscal management.

Desired Qualifications

  • Excellent communication skills;
  • Experience with fundraising and developing federal and state grant proposals;
  • Experience with managing federal and state contracts;
  • Ability to establish dynamic relationships with a broad base of stakeholders;
  • Experience with non-profit fiscal and personnel management;
  • Commitment to community based watershed restoration;
  • A background in environmental science/biology/ecology;
  • Familiarity with watershed restoration strategies and methods;
  • Strong sense of self-direction and self-organization;

The position is full to half time (negotiable), and reports to the board of directors. Compensation is commensurate with experience, and includes health, vacation, training and retirement benefits. The position is based in the Petrolia office, with travel throughout the watershed and Northern California. A valid driver’s license and functioning personal vehicle are required.

To Apply: Email cover letter, resume/CV and three references to John Williams, For more information, call John at 707 629 3265.

Job Listing — Sanctuary Forest is seeking a Program & Administrative Assistant

Sanctuary Forest seeks a highly organized, detail-oriented and experienced individual to assist with office and program duties. This position is based at our office in Whitethorn, about 30 minutes west of Garberville.

This position is 20 hours per week, 3-4 days per week. Pay rate based on skill level and experience. Sick leave, holiday pay and vacation provided.

Please submit cover letter and resume, with references, to—put job title in the subject line. For more information, send inquiries to the above email address, or call (707) 986-1087 ext. 1#.

Position open until filled.

For a complete job description, click here.

Reducing Sediment and Improving Salmonid Habitat in Coulborn and Sebbas Creeks

Funded by: the CDFW and Lost Coast Forestlands


The Mattole Salmon Group, in collaboration with participating landowners, heavy equipment contractor McCullough Construction, the CDFW, Pacific Watershed Associates and Lost Coast Forestlands, recently completed a project designed to reduce sediment delivery and improve salmonid habitat in Coulborn and Sebbas Creeks, located in the Middle South Fork Eel watershed, approximately 7 miles upstream of the confluence of Indian Creek and South Fork Eel River.

The objective of the project is to reduce sediment delivery and improve water quality for all life stages of salmonids in Indian Creek by preventing the delivery of approximately 5,129 yd3 of sediment from road-related sediment delivery features to Coulborn and Sebbas Creeks including, upgrading 17 features on 1.9 miles of road and decommissioning 38 features on 3.5 miles of road (a total of 55 features on 5.4 miles of road).

Completion of the project included installing culverts at stream crossings, planting trees along stream channels, applying straw mulch and rock to control erosion, and spreading native grass seed to re-plant bare earth surfaces.


Anecdotal information provided by Scott Downie (CDFW, retired), local foresters with historical knowledge, and several sources of unpublished literature, indicate that instream habitat in the Indian Creek tributaries became degraded primarily in the 1950s to 1980s as a result of unrestricted logging, tractor yarding, and road construction practices. Many of the Indian Creek watershed tributaries were filled with logging debris and sediment, and were used as skid trails and railroad routes during the first and second cycles of logging, the remnants of which can still be observed today. In the 1970s these watersheds were further subjected to stream clearing, which resulted in the removal of significant volumes of Large Woody Debris (LWD). The legacy effect of all of these deleterious activities is clearly identified in each stream inventory report and is manifested as chronic fine sediment delivery from the road system, episodic catastrophic failure of stream crossings, a diminished pool frequency and cover, significant bank erosion along stream channels, locally dysfunctional or poorly functioning riparian habitat, and high values of substrate embeddedness.


Decommissioned Stream Crossing

Heavy equipment and labor subcontractor, McCullough Construction, a highly skilled and well qualified heavy equipment contractor, provided all the necessary heavy equipment, experienced operators, and skilled laborers required to complete the project as designed. This included but may not be limited to the excavation of stream crossing fills, unstable road fills, road drainage treatments, and installation of instream structures using a team of hydraulic excavators, bulldozers, and dump trucks. In addition, laborers were used to spread straw and mulch, man and monitor pumps during necessary dewatering operations, maintain and monitor equipment, and work on in-stream habitat improvement structures. Laborers will also conduct tree planting this winter as the final phase of implementation.

2019 MSG Retreat

We recently completed our 2019 retreat, which was a great success. This year we had presentations on strategic planning (and process) from our sister organizations MRC and Sanctuary Forest, and a field trip to visit a couple of project sites. Our planned float down the river was cancelled due to high water.

Lots of engaged participation of our staff, board, and other interested members of the community. This was the first MSG retreat lead by Richard Sykes, our new executive director.