CalTrout Protect Our Rivers

October 05, 2022

CalTrout Protect Our Rivers

Earlier this year High Camp Flasks got the incredible opportunity to design a VIP cocktail menu and attend CalTrout’s annual gala alongside Redwood Empire Distillery. The event, which attracted sportsmen, outfitters, and philanthropists across California, highlighted CalTrout’s mission to preserve and restore freshwater ecosystems.

The historic drought in California and throughout the West has dramatically amplified the need to protect our source waters. In order to accomplish this, CalTrout spearheads policy initiatives to achieve a mutually beneficial future for recreationists and conservationists alike - because we can't fish if there’s no water. During the gala, we had the privilege of meeting Tracey Diaz, CalTrout’s Communications director, and we got to brainstorming ways we could help their cause. We decided that we could co-launch an awareness campaign and donate a portion of our sales for the month of October to their cause. Along the way, our friends at Barebones Living, Redwood EmpireLoon Outdoors, and California Cowboy decided that they also wanted to spread the word.


A Note From Our Co-Founder Nic:
Last month, Whit and I took a trip up to Mount Shasta to visit the CalTrout fishing lodge for ourselves to learn more about the issues CalTrout is addressing. On the way to Trout Camp, along I-5, we passed over Shasta Reservoir, the heart of the Central Valley Project that supplies 40% of the state’s water, delivering it as far as Los Angeles. The reservoir is currently half of normal levels and 129’ below capacity. Almost more startling, the famously prominent 14k foot peak of Mount Shasta was derelict of snow.

Trout Camp sits along the Upper Sacramento River, fed by the Sierra Snowpack and Mount Shasta spring systems. When we arrived at the Camp we were greeted by CalTrout’s Executive Director, Curtis Knight. He gave us a tour of the surrounding area and discussed, among other topics, the challenges they face in local communities when restoring waterways below decommissioned dams. He also admonished the fact that California only has 1 major undammed, free-flowing river - the Smith and acknowledged the uphill battle CalTrout is fighting to overturn decades of short-sighted development. Mr. Knight walked us down towards a spring coming from a small pipe about 15’ up a hillside that’s naturally carbonated. The most refreshing water ever. Unfortunately, a private landowner fenced it off - so no human or animal could drink from it - and its spring water just ran off into the dirt below. Nevertheless, we did our best to get a sip from the runoff to hydrate for the hike back to camp. 

We admittedly didn’t fish on this particular trip (and in this case it also meant that we didn’t get any mosquito bites), but we hope that by supporting CalTrout there will be plenty of opportunities to fish in the future.