August 2020 Bulletin
Alpine Watershed Group works to preserve and enhance the natural system functions in Alpine County's watersheds for future generations through collaboration, education, and proactively implementing stewardship projects.
Upcoming Meeting
Please join us for the next virtual bimonthly
Alpine Watershed Group meeting!
Roads and Water Quality
Tuesday, September 8, 5:30 p.m.
We will be using Zoom, so you can tune in from either your computer or your phone.
This meeting is part of the West Fork Carson River Vision Project process led by the Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board. We will have a panel of speakers discussing how roads impact water quality and how each agency is working to address road issues.
You can find more information on this innovative framework for improving water quality here.
For more information, contact Mo at (530) 694-2327 or

Hope Valley Bank Stabilization Project —
Going to Construction!

Be on the look out for construction commencement by mid September.
See project flyer for more details.

A big thank you goes out to our partners at Carson Water Subconservancy District (CWSD) for providing in-kind drone monitoring last month (CWSD staff pictured above: AmeriCorps Member Loren Secor on left, Watershed Program Specialist Shane Fryer on right).

To Bloom, or Not to Bloom: That is the Question

By Mo Loden, Watershed Program Manager

If you were not familiar with Red Lake’s history, I could imagine a new visitor to Alpine County driving by paying the actual reservoir very little attention, enthralled by the exquisite beauty of Red Lake and its surroundings. Well, that’s the case this year, but not so much last year or other recent years. Last year as you drove past Red Lake, the green opaque water caught most people’s eye and maybe their imagination, wondering what could cause this slimy looking phenomenon.

July 30, 2019
July 30, 2019
July 28, 2020

AWG in coordination with the Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board spent a great deal of time attempting to better understand this water quality issue at Red Lake last year. While we know cyanobacteria causes these problematic harmful algal blooms, we still don’t know exactly why or how. 

Click here to learn how the 2020 data is sizing up against the 2019 data.

Wander Your Watershed

What HABs Don't Want You to Know About Red Lake

By Debbi Waldear, Friends of Hope Valley President
Red Lake tends to stay in Alpine County’s current news due to its battles with the above mentioned harmful algal blooms, but that’s not all Red Lake has to offer. When not experiencing a bloom, Red Lake is a beautiful place to visit, and wildlife is abundant in the area. Busy beavers have moved into both the inlet and outlet. Bears enjoy the Lahontan cutthroat trout in the lake. There’s a bald eagle nest adjacent to the lake, and one seldom visits the area without seeing an osprey or two. Red Lake is the backup broodstock source of Lahontan cutthroat trout (if California Department of Fish and Wildlife can’t collect from Heenan Lake). The trout make it popular with anglers as well.

At the end of the parking area, just beyond the interpretive sign, there’s a great walk up the old highway. The overgrown roads afford great views of the surrounding area. Several springs cross the road creating bog areas with a wonderful variety of wildflowers. Approaching the top of the road you cross the Emigrant Trail. Before turning left to follow the Emigrant Trail, look down at the steep slope to view where the emigrants climbed up. It was quite a heroic feat to get the wagons and animals up the hillside. Follow the old trail up to the Odd Fellows rock, a resting point after the struggle up from Red Lake. A group of Odd Fellows signed their names on the rock in 1849. The old road continues on up to Carson Pass.
Click image above to view video summarizing Ed's CWSD career and accomplishments.

Floodplain Manager of the Year — In Our Very Own Carson River Watershed

Carson Water Subconservancy District General Manager Edwin James has been awarded the 2020 California, Nevada, and Hawaii Floodplain Management Association’s Floodplain Manager of the Year Award!

We are thrilled to see Ed receive this much deserved recognition. Ed's passion for and commitment to the Carson River watershed is immense, and we greatly appreciate his leadership. Congratulations, Ed!

Did you miss AWG's July public meeting?

No worries! The Blackwood Creek Restoration — Holistic Restoration Opportunities in Riparian Forest Environments presentation is now available on AWG's YouTube channel.

Presentation Slides

Carson River Mercury Superfund Site at a Glance

What is the Carson River Mercury Superfund Site?
In 1859, miners discovered large natural deposits of gold and silver, also known as the Comstock Lode, in Carson City, Virginia City and Dayton, Nevada. Miners used mercury to process gold and silver ore. Two hundred and thirty-six mills processed the ore. Over several years, this mining process released 14 million pounds of mercury into the environment.

Due to mercury contamination, the Carson River Mercury Superfund Site was added to the National Priorities List in 1990. Click here to learn more about the EPA's next steps in this Superfund process.

A quick note for Gmail users:
To get our monthly bulletin email sent to your "Inbox" instead of "Promotions,"
click and drag the email over to your "Primary" tab.

Until next time!

Facebook Instagram
powered by emma
Subscribe to our email list.