For Immediate Release
April 1, 2020
Contact: Melinda Booth, SYRCL Executive Director, (123) 456-789
SYRCL Announces Campaign to Restore Endangered Native Dolphin Runs to the Yuba River Watershed
In a move that has stunned environmentalists and fisheries experts around the world, the South Yuba River Citizens League (SYRCL) has announced a new international campaign to restore native wild dolphin runs to the Yuba River.
While SYRCL is better known for its work to restore endangered native chinook salmon and steelhead species to their ancestral spawning grounds throughout the upper Yuba River watershed, SYRCL announced its new effort after studies revealed a long-dormant run of wild dolphins once spawned in Sierra foothill rivers throughout California, and that the Yuba once hosted some the largest spawning runs in the region.
“We are so excited by this discovery and the opportunity it represents to launch an innovative and historic effort to restore an endangered native species to their ancestral home,” said SYRCL Executive Director Melinda Booth. “When people think of dolphins they probably think of “Flipper.” But the fact is that the Yuba River was once the site of one nature’s most majestic and mysterious events: tens of thousands of dolphins swimming thousands of miles from the ocean, leaping high waterfalls and boulders, to spawn in the mountain streams where they were born.”
The construction of the 261-foot-high Englebright Dam on the main stem of the Yuba River in 1941 blocked migrating fish from accessing their ancestral spawning grounds in the North, Middle and South Yuba Rivers. While it had long been well-known that dams like Englebright, built without fish ladders, are a leading cause of the decline of native salmon and steelhead, their impact on native dolphin populations had been unkown until now.
“Whoa,” said international dolphin expert Romilon Hendrickson, of the National Oceanic Institute. “Just, wow. I mean. Whoa. Mind blown. I need to get to Nevada County ASAP. I mean, Flipper can go fetch a ball in a swimming pool, you know what I mean? Stupid tricks for an anchovy? Gimme a break! The Yuba is where it’s at in the dolphin world.”
“While dolphins are known for their slightly insane, chirping cackle, this is no laughing matter,” said Booth. “At SYRCL we take our role as guardians of the Yuba very seriously, and we expect everyone to treat this news with the gravity it deserves.”
Yuba River Dolphins
P.S. Happy April Fools Day
(Photo courtesy of Tom Mooers)