It’s ‘Conserve the Carson’ river day |

It’s ‘Conserve the Carson’ river day

Linda Hiller

Today, the third “Conserve the Carson” river work day comes at a time when much of the activities will center on repairing flood damage from 10 months ago.

The New Year’s flood in January undid much of what volunteers worked hard to preserve one year ago last fall.

“We’ll be working on the Allerman diversion behind the fish hatchery,” said organizer Dan Kaffer. “This is a very important area, providing irrigation water to 103 users in the Carson Valley.”

Kaffer said that although the Carson River blew out its banks in some locations last January, several of the willow and cottonwood trees that had been planted by hundreds of Conserve the Carson volunteers last year and the year before were still standing.

“Some of the areas we planted were in high erosion areas and the trees didn’t survive, but we did have a lot that made it,” he said.

In addition to repair work and erosion control, today’s volunteers will be planting trees, picking up trash, wrapping trees with chicken wire and releasing trout.

Kaffer said this is the first year volunteers will also install bat boxes in the area. The wooden structures were constructed by students and staff in Silver Springs schools, and will be installed high in trees to help encourage the insectivorous mammals to roost there.

“Considering the mosquito problem we have in the Valley, I think we could use a lot more bats,” Kaffer said.

The Conserve the Carson project includes five counties – Lyon, Churchill, Carson, Douglas and Alpine – who all have organized workdays to help care for the river. Government agencies and community groups from each county pitch in to help.

Kaffer said volunteers from Churchill County and Alpine County, Calif. have already completed their willow planting projects.

Today’s volunteers will receive a free T-shirt commemorating their participation in the three-hour morning project and each river worker will get to release a bucket of trout from the nearby Lahontan Fish Hatchery into the water.

Area scout and school groups, members of the Washoe Tribe and community groups have already committed to today’s effort.

Kaffer said everyone is welcome to come to the river today and help.

Volunteers should bring shovels, gloves, extra shoes and socks and perhaps a change of pants and/or clothes if they think they or other family members might get wet.

Participants will meet at the Lahontan Fish Hatchery on the west side of Highway 395, south of Gardnerville. The work day will run from 9 a.m. to noon.