A group of Northern California Tribes are working hard to save the Clear Lake hitch, a small fish that has played a large role in our culture. But we can’t do it alone.
This February, after long-anticipated rains deluged California, causing creek beds to overflow and turning fields into marshland, the spawning runs of a sacred, highly endangered fish—the Clear Lake Hitch—reappeared in their historic waterways.
We rejoiced, we wept, and we sang to them. Then we rolled up our sleeves and pantlegs and rescued over 5,000 hitch from puddles in vineyards and isolated pools in the creeks as the water levels dropped lower and lower. Tribal members participating in the rescues held hitch gently in their hands, marveling over their size and vigor. Some of the beefier guys gave them quick, surreptitious kisses before releasing back into safer waters.