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Record rainfall not enough to restore Eel River flow levels

HUMBOLDT COUNTY- Wednesday’s rainstorm brought a record 2.59 inches of rain to Eureka, with some areas in the region reaching up to three inches by nightfall.

With the fall storm came aid for the Eel River, where sections of the river have become disconnected in the past month because of the statewide drought.

According to the Friends of the Eel River, the low flow levels have placed Chinook salmon at risk, as well as other wildlife native to the area. Overall, the rain has helped the river, however experts say because of long-term drought like conditions and heavy rainfall over the course of only 24 hours some of that rain was not able to soak in, meaning much more rain is needed to recover the eel.

“There’s no question we need a lot more rain, even with the three inches from this last week because we've been in drought for so long, you know it's not just the fish that need water, it's the whole landscape. It's the wildlife that depend on the plants that grow with the water so it's going to be quite a while before the landscape recovers even if we get back to normal rainfall,” said Scott Gracen, director if the Friends of the Eel River.