Update: Fri., Oct., 25, 2013 - Audio added, including an interview with Pat Higgins, Eel River Recovery Project Volunteer Coordinator.

Another fish count in the Eel River will take place this Sat., Oct. 26. The orientation will begin at 8:30 AM, at the River Lodge in Fortuna. Volunteers are welcome and, if interested, should contact Pat Higgins, at (707) 223-7200. See photos and more information about the fish survey in the original post of this story below.

Use the player below to hear the Pat Higgins interview. This piece was submitted and aired on the KMUD Local News Thurs., Oct 24, 2013 by News Anchor Christina Aanestad.

The original post on this story appears below.

Around 20 volunteers met at River Lodge in Fortuna on Saturday morning, Oct, 12, ready to embark on their Lower Eel River Fall 2013 Chinook Census Dive. This dive, sponsored by the Eel River Recovery Project (ERRP) and several other groups, covered the Lower Eel River, including 12th Street, Boxcar, Drake, and Worswick Pools - shown in the map above. According to USGS data, the flow of the Eel River at Scotia, before the September 20 rain, was down to 50 cfs, but subsequent rainfall brought flows up, making for ideal dive conditions on October 12. Click here for the complete pdf version of the report and here for additional spectacular photos.
The dive team counted 1854 fall Chinook in pools ranging from the Van Duzen River to just above Fernbridge. These numbers were similar to last year's count. In addition to Chinook, 15 adult steelhead and 90 half pounders were counted. Chinook salmon were more numerous in the 12th Street Pool and Van Duzen/Eel convergence than in pools or runs further downstream. No Coho were seen in this first fall dive.

According to the report, lessons learned in this dive include:

  • The rise of the Eel River with the September 20 rain event and the September 30-October 1 storm was sufficient for dispersal upstream and access to the lower Eel River pools for adult and jack Chinook salmon. Flows were also optimal for the dive (<200 cfs).
  • Holding capacity in the lower Eel River is restricted with only the Creamery, Drake, Boxcar and 12th Street Pools capable of holding large numbers of adult Chinook in 2013. The Worswick pool is compromised in depth as is the run above it.
  • Doing reconnaissance and mapping of pools helped to develop more effective tactics for dive team.
  • High turnout of fish professionals and experienced ERRP divers lead to very trustable data being collected.
  • Scorekeepers that walk the bank are a great help because it frees up all divers to be part of the team.
  • Team may have bunched on River Walk side in 12th Street Pool and we may have missed some fish. The Drake Pool is much shallower in 2013 and we may need to rethink tactics.
  • Count is comparable to 10/13/12 dive in gross numbers, but the Van Duzen Pool was not counted in 2012 and many more fish were counted in the Drake Pool and below last year.
  • ERRP and Humboldt Redwood Company (HRC) dives are documenting the pre-pulse portion of run, if last year’s patterns hold, which means large counts are likely on subsequent dives (10/26 & 11/9 in Fortuna)

The next HRC dive is Monday October 21. Volunteers need to be in Scotia at Hoby's Market at 9 AM.  Call Nick Simpson at HRC to coordinate (764-4281).

Call Pat Higgins, ERRP Volunteer Coordinator (223-7200), if you want to help count fish near Fortuna on Saturday, October 26. Orientation will begin at 8:30 AM, at the River Lodge in Fortuna. Wetsuits are available, with advance request.

The photos below show adult Chinook and Jacks and a portion of the dive team after surveying the
Worswick Pool.



Sudden Oak Death (SOD), a disease that kills oak and other species of trees, has had devastating effects in some areas of California and Oregon. Symptoms of the disease, now known to be caused by the oomycete plant pathogen Phytophthora ramorum, include bleeding cankers on the trunk of the tree and dieback of the foliage. Often the disease is fatal to the infected tree. The photo above (credit: U.C.Davis) shows a forest with oak trees dying of sudden oak death.

In an update on the spread of SOD on the Mendocino Coast, KMUD News Correspondent Dan Young conducts several interviews, including an interview with U.C. Berkeley Professor and Statewide Forestry Pathologist Matteo Garbelotto.

This report can be heard using the player below and was aired on KMUD News on Friday, Oct. 11, 2013

Additional Resources:

Previous SOD News Web posts:


    An earthquake, first reported as magnitude 5.0 and later downgraded to 4.9, struck off the coast (52km west north west) of Eureka (32 miles WSW of Trinidad) this Fri. Oct. 11, 2013 at around 4:05 pm. The quake, was reported to be at a depth of 10.9 km., and, according to earthquake-report.com, was experienced by many as two strong jolts.

For some, this trembler came as an earthshaking reminder of the importance of being prepared for a major earthquake in our area, and it occurred less than one week before the planned Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drills which will take place this Thurs. Oct. 17 at 10:17 am. According to the Great ShakeOut web page, last year 9.4 million people participated in the drill. The ShakeOut began in California and has also been organized in many other states and countries, resulting in millions of people worldwide now  practicing how to Drop, Cover, and Hold. See the information summarized below for reminders about earthquake safety. KMUD will participate in the Great ShakeOut Drill. Tune in Thurs. Oct. 17 at 10:17 am to participate.

Use the player below to hear more about the earthquake, in a story submitted by KMUD News Director Terri Klemetson and aired on the KMUD Local news Fri., Oct 11, 2013. The piece includes an interview with Humboldt State University Geology Professor Lori Dengler.

Additional Resources:

General Guidelines for Earthquake Safety:

  • DROP to the ground (before the earthquake drops you!),
  • Take COVER by getting under a sturdy desk or table, and
  • HOLD ON to it until the shaking stops.

If there isn’t a table or desk near you, drop to the ground in an inside corner of the building and cover your head and neck with your hands and arms. Do not try to run to another room just to get under a table.

These are general guidelines for most situations, depending on where you are (in bed, driving, in a theater, etc.).  Click here for more information.


Today, Friday Oct. 11, 2013, is day 11 of the partial Federal Government Shutdown and although the White House and Congress have been recently engaging in staff-level negotiations, the impasse, with Obamacare at its focal point, has not yet been resolved.

According to a press release from 2nd District Congressman Jared Huffman, he will hold a Telephone Town Hall meeting on Tuesday, October 15 at 7:00 p.m. Huffman will take questions regarding his efforts to end the government shutdown, as well as his other work and priorities representing the North Coast in Congress.

In the release Huffman stated, “I’m looking forward to discussing with Northern Californians about what exactly I’m doing to end the government shutdown. We need to reopen our government, and I am looking forward to discussing that and other issues with my constituents.”

Click here to sign up for the Telephone Town Hall Meeting.


Update: Mon., Oct 14, 2013 - Missing Hunter, Gene Penaflor, found alive

After spending a total of 19 days lost in the Yuki Wilderness area, missing hunter Gene Penaflor was found this Saturday (Oct 12) about 3 miles from the point where he was last seen by his hunting partner . From his hospital bed Penaflor reported being knocked unconscious by a fall, while hunting, and awakening disoriented and engulfed in a thick bank of fog. Penaflor was able to use his survival skills to keep alive for 19 days until he was heard shouting for help by a group of hunters and was subsequently located and rescued.

Details on the disappearance and rescue of missing hunter Gene Penaflor can be found below in the press release from the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office.

On the morning of 9/25/2013, the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office received a report from a deer hunter that his hunting partner, Gene Penaflor, had gone missing in the early morning hours of 9/24/2013 in the area of Bloody Rock in the Mendocino National Forest. This area of the Forest was determined to be in Lake County and the case was referred to the Lake County Sheriff's Office and the Lake County Search and Rescue Unit (SAR).  By late afternoon the Lake County Sheriff's Office had located the hunters camp and found it was well inside the County of Mendocino, so the case was transferred back to the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office.  The Lake County SAR Unit continued to assist with the search that was conducted throughout the night and into the following morning but Gene was not located.

On 9/26/2013 the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office called for Mutual Aid resources from allied SAR units as the search continued over the next three days.  The Search and Rescue teams developed a missing persons profile with the assistance from the hunting partner and members of the Penaflor family to assist in the search.  The search area, ranging from 5000 to 6200 feet above sea level, was covered extensively but Gene was not located.  The search was suspended due to no clues beign found to suggest the whereabouts of Gene and due to a significant incoming storm. Members of the following agenices assisted with the search in the first four days: Lake County SAR, Marin County SAR, Sonoma County SAR, Tehama County SAR, Glenn County SAR, Siskiyou County SAR, Salano County SAR, Monterey County SAR, Contra Costa County SAR, San Mateo County SAR, Sutter County SAR, Bay Area Mountian Rescue Unit (BAMRU), California Explorer Search and Rescue (Cal ESAR), California Rescue Dog Associ!
ation (CARDA), CHP Air Operations Redding Unit, United States Forest Service Law Enforcement Officers, and the California Office of Emergency Services Law Enforcement Division.

The Mendocino County Sheriff's Office reactivated the search on 10/12/2013 and again called for Mutual Aid resources.  The following agencies responded to assist: Marin County SAR, Lake County SAR, Bay Area Mountain Rescue Unit, California Rescue Dog Association, Monterey County SAR, and US Forest Service Law Enforcement.  Around 8:30 AM the Mendocino County Sheriff's Dispatch received a call from a hunter in the area of where the search was being conducted.  This caller reported he was with a large group of hunters and someone from his group could hear someone calling for help in the bottom of a canyon nearby.  He said members of his party were trying to locate the person.  Due to poor cellular telephone service the call was lost numerous times and his exact location was not known.  The caller was instructed to dial 911 and the GPS coordinates were obtained for his postion.  SAR units were then dispatched to his location.

The hunter later called to say that his hunting group had located the person calling for help, determined it was Gene Penaflor, and were rendering aid to him.  The group of hunters then rigged a makeshift stretcher from their coats and several poles they cut in the area.  They then started to carry Gene up the steep hillside towards recue teams decending to the location.  It took several hours for the rescue units to make it to the hunters due to the difficult terrain.  Gene was then evaluated medically and it was determined he should be extracted via helicopter.  SAR units located a suitable landing zone and Cal Star 4 Air Ambulance was called to extricate Gene to the Ukiah Valley Medical Center for medical treatment.

Gene was located approximately 3.25 miles from the point where he was last seen by his hunting partner. He spent a total of 19 days lost in the Yuki Wilderness area.  During this time it snowed numerous times, temperatures ranged between 25 and 70 degrees at times.  He was later interviewed at the hospital where he said he travelled further away from the road than he had planned on his hunting excursion.  At one point on the first day he fell and hit his head, rendering him unconscious for an undetermined amount of time.  When he awoke he was disoriented and a thick bank of fog had enveloped him.  He walked for a time but eventually stopped as he did not know where he was at.  He was able to make a fire and warm himself with leaves and grasses that he packed around his body.  On days when it rained or snowed he was able to crawl under a large log to stay dry.  He was able to kill and eat several squirrels in the area and there was plenty of water in a nearby drainage to sustain himself.

The Mendocino County Sheriff's Office would like to thank the group of hunters who suspended their efforts to hunt and go above and beyond in trying to locate the person calling for help. Their quick thinking to notify rescue teams and seek assistance while also rendering aid to Gene was critical to his being rescued and returned alive to his family.  We would also like to thank all the volunteer SAR members from so many agencies who responded to assist in this case. 

The original post on this story appears below.

 Gene Penaflor, a 72 year old man, went missing during a hunting trip on Sept. 24, 2013 in the Mendocino National Forest. Penaflor, an experienced hunter possessing survival skills and excellent knowledge about wilderness areas, was hunting with a partner the day he went missing. As was their custom, the two hunted separately and then planned to rendezvous for lunch together around noon. However this time, Penaflor did not show at the rendezvous point, as planned, and has not been seen since.

Gene Penaflor is a father and grandfather, and the family is asking for assistance from the public in providing any information regarding this missing person case.  Anyone with information that may help is asked to please contact the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Department at (707) 463-4411 or Jeremy Penaflor, Gene’s son, at (415) 533-0000.

Use the player below to hear more on this missing person case, including an interview with Jeremy Penaflor, the missing man's son. This story was submitted by KMUD News Anchor Eileen Russell and broadcast on the KMUD Local news Mon., Oct. 7, 2013.

Additional Resources:


The Humboldt County Board of Supervisors voted recently to support a multi-agency committee dedicated to promoting enhanced use of the port at Humboldt Bay. However, others are concerned about the environmental impact of increased shipping on marine mammals. These issues were the focus of a news piece aired Thurs., Oct. 3, 2013 on the KMUD Local news. See the "Additional Resources" section below for infographics that support the information in the interview.

Use the player below to hear an interview with Stephanie Buffum, Executive Director of Friends of the San Juan, a non-profit organization focused on cleaning up and protecting the harbors and surrounding waters in Washington State.This story was submitted and aired by KMUD News Director Terri Klemetson.


Additional Resources:

Update: Thurs., Oct 3, 2013 - Officially beginning on Tues, Oct.1, 2013, the U.S. federal government entered a "shutdown", suspending discretionary services deemed "non-excepted" by the Federal Antideficiency Act.

The current shutdown has resulted in 800,000 federal workers being furloughed, and it's estimated that their lost salaries alone will cost the U.S. economy 300 million dollars per day, according to CBS News.com

The last shutdowns occurred in 1995-6 and lasted a total of 28 days.  At this point there is no indication of how long the present shutdown will last.

According to a CNN/ORC International poll, which was conducted Friday through Sunday and came out on Monday, Sept. 30, 46% of respondents say they would blame congressional Republicans for a government shutdown, with 36% saying the president would be more responsible and 13% pointing fingers at both the GOP in Congress and Obama. The original post of this story appears below. See the "Additional Resources" section at the bottom of this page for links to more information.

 Original post of this story:

It's been 17 years since the last government shutdown, and the threat of a repetition of this event is looming again as House Republicans attempt maneuvers to prevent implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare).  According to CNN.com, "President Barack Obama made a previously unscheduled statement to reporters on Monday afternoon that repeated his criticism of the attempts by House Republicans to undermine Obamacare that he said threaten to harm the economy with a shutdown."

In response to the House Republican maneuvers, U.S. Congressman from the 2nd District of California, Jared Huffman, posted this message on his Facebook page:

"Tonight, the House GOP majority set in motion a shutdown of our national government starting Monday at midnight. Instead of allowing a vote to simply maintain government funding and avoid a shutdown, Speaker Boehner caved in to the Tea Party fringe of his party and re-issued a partisan ultimatum: no government funding unless the Affordable Care Act is repealed. This is the GOP's 43rd futile attempt to repeal Obamacare. It's not going to happen. I am certain that more reasonable minds in the Republican caucus will eventually change course, work with Democrats, and enact responsible legislation to fund the government. The question is, how much will the American people and our economy will have to suffer before they come to their senses?"

KMUD News Anchor, Eileen Russell, aired a report on this story on the KMUD Local News on Mon., Sept 30, 2013. Use the player below to hear details of what a government shutdown would mean for various government programs and services, including the implications for national parks and specifically for local parks.

Additional Resources:


-Photo of Doug Green by Bob Doran

As broadcast on the KMUD Local News this Mon. by Christina Aanestad: "Reggae on the River pioneer and festival MC Doug Green passed away Sunday September 22nd, 2013 after a bout with cancer. He was 68 years old.  Green worked in the entertainment business for more than 30 years and was one of the pioneers of the live music concerts we know today. He was born in Kentucky in 1945. A 4th generation in the theater business, Green grew up with vaudeville performers and theater producers.  He studied at U.C. Berkeley in the 1960’s and then left before receiving his degree to work in the theater industry. He settled in southern Humboldt in 1968. Doug Green MC'd several festivals in his lifetime, including the Oregon Country Fair, the Sierra Nevada World Music Festival and Reggae on the River.  As part of the Keeping Community series for the KMUD News, Doug Green spoke with Joellen Peterson in 2007 about his life and career in theater."

A portion of the 2007 Joellen Peterson interview with Doug Green was heard during the Mon. news broadcast. Use the player below to hear the entire interview.

"Doug Green passed away on Sunday night, September 22 at 10:45 pm. Blessings and guidance for your soul, Doug, and all those around you. You lived well, left your positive legacy and have, in your own words, "graduated." Southern Humboldt is a better place from your presence here. And it shall live on. Blessed be."
– Daryl Cherney

The photo above shows the crowd at the Sept. 18 meeting called by Rob Arkley in Eureka.

It's no secret that as the peak marijuana trimming season arrives the population of Homeless, Houseless and Traveling (HHT) folks increases in Humboldt and neighboring counties. With the increase in that population comes an increase in reports of inappropriate behavior carried out by some of the members of the HHT community. Conversely, reactions by individuals and law enforcement to the perceived problems and increased visibility of the Homeless, Houseless and Traveling population become causes of concern to people within the HHT group. KMUD News has covered several events and incidents related to HHT issues. Recent highlights are found on this page.

Homeless-focused meeting draws hundreds in Eureka: The player below contains audio from a report submitted by KMUD Correspondent Daniel Mintz and aired by KMUD News Director Terri Klemetson on the Local News Thurs., Sept 19. This report covers the meeting called by northern Humboldt Businessman Rob Arkley. Hundreds of people attended this meeting, held at the Warfinger Building on Wed., Sept 18, 2013, while a protest gathered outside leading to law enforcement being called and arrests being made. Photos were provided by Daniel Mintz


Second District Supervisor Estelle Fennell reported to the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors during their Tues., Sept.17 meeting, after touring Garberville's streets and transient camps. The player below contains a report submitted by Daniel Mintz and includes audio from portions of Fennell's report to the board. This piece was aired on KMUD Local News on Wed., Sept. 18, 2013 by KMUD News Director Terri Klmetson.

The report below, submitted and aired by KMUD News Anchor Eileen Russell on Wed. Sept. 18, includes interviews with William, a "traveler" from Brazil camping in the area known as Hippy Hill at the north end of Garberville. William describes his experiences of traveling and camping in southern Humboldt, viewing what he's seen as a spiritual, cultural, and political movement. Also included in the audio, is a report that campers in the Hippy Hill area were told to leave and CAL FIRE began clearing brush at that location.

The following warning was received by KMUD News in a press release from the California Regional Water Quality Control Board, North Coast Region, dated Sept. 17, 2013.

Due to its potential health risks, federal, state, county and tribal agencies are urging swimmers, boaters and recreational users to avoid direct contact with or use of waters containing blue-green algae (cyanobacteria), now blooming in reaches of the Klamath River in Northern California.
Reaches of the Klamath River including the Copco and Iron Gate Reservoirs, and below to the confluence with Tully Creek are now posted with health advisories warning against human and animal contact with the water.  People can still enjoy camping, hiking, biking, canoeing, picnicking, or other recreational activities while visiting the reservoirs and the Klamath River, with proper precautions to avoid direct contact with algal bloom waters.
Recent monitoring found cyanobacteria (Microcystis aeruginosa) cell counts that exceeded public health advisory thresholds in Klamath River waters at locations in Copco and Iron Gate Reservoirs and downstream through Weitchpec on the Yurok Reservation.
Iron Gate and Copco Reservoirs were posted with health advisories in June and these advisories remain in effect.   Residents and recreational water users of the Klamath River from Copco Reservoir to Tully Creek are urged to use caution and avoid getting in the water near these bloom areas.
“These conditions are concerning as blue-green algae can pose health risks, particularly to children and pets.  These conditions underscore the importance of implementing the Klamath Basin water quality restoration strategy,” said Matt St. John, executive officer of the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board.
“We urge people to choose safe activities when visiting the affected reaches of the Klamath River and recommend that people and their pets avoid contact with water in locations with blooms, and particularly avoid swallowing or inhaling water spray in an algal bloom area." St. John said.
The algal blooms appear as bright green in the water, and blue-green, white or brown foam, scum or mats can float on the water and accumulate along the shore.  Recreational exposure to toxic blue-green algae can cause eye irritation, allergic skin rash, mouth ulcers, vomiting, diarrhea, and cold and flu-like symptoms.  Liver failure, nerve damage and death have occurred in rare situations where large amounts of contaminated water were directly ingested.
The Statewide Guidance on Harmful Algal Blooms recommends the following for blue-green algae impacted waters:

  • Take care that pets and livestock do not drink the water, swim through heavy algae, scums or mats, or lick their fur after going in the water.  Rinse pets in clean drinking water to remove algae from fur.
  • Avoid wading, swimming or jet or water skiing in water containing algae blooms or scums or mats.
  • Do not drink, cook or wash dishes with untreated surface water from these areas under any circumstances; common water purification techniques (e.g., camping filters, tablets and boiling) do not remove toxins.
  • People should not eat mussels or other bivalves collected from these areas.  Limit or avoid eating fish; if fish are consumed, remove guts and liver, and rinse filets in clean drinking water.
  • Get medical treatment immediately if you think that you, your pet, or livestock might have been poisoned by blue-green algae toxins.  Be sure to alert the medical professional to the possible contact with blue-green algae.

Water users are encouraged to check most recent sampling results on the Klamath Blue-Green Algae Tracker (see link below).   Even when blue-green algae blooms are not present, still carefully watch young children and warn them not to swallow the water.

For more information, please visit:
California Department of Public Health:

State Water Resources Control Board

CA Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment:

Klamath Blue-Green Algae Tracker

US Environmental Protection Agency

Siskiyou County Public Health Department:
 (530) 841-2100

  Water quality monitoring for the Klamath River is conducted collaboratively by the United States Bureau of Reclamation, PacifiCorp, the Karuk Tribe, the Yurok Tribe, the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board and United States Environmental Protection Agency from Link River Dam in Oregon to the estuary in California.  The health advisory postings are supported by the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board, the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA), the California Department of Public Health, as well as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the Yurok and Karuk Tribes.

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