Sunday, February 24, 2008

**NEW** 2003 Wintu Tribal Election Fraud?

The Wintu Tribe of Northern California has operated a non-profit organization since 1993 after thier incorporation as a tribal 501.3 (c) status entity seven years after the closure of Toyon Wintu Center in 1987. The current Wintu Tribe is represnted in its incorporated capacity by the tribally elected governing body, known as the Wintu Tribal Council. Consisting of 12 elected Wintu Members, they are elected on staggered terms.
Annual elections for the Wintu Tribe/ Toyon Wintu Tribe historically have been public knowlege and thier candidates and results reguarly published in Redding area publications like the Record Searchlight, currently an E.W. Scripps Co. owned conseravtive based news source that continues to shun the focus of media attention on the Wintu Tribe or its varied issues, in favor of the more economically contributive Redding Rancheria (RR). The RR also based in Redding and established Win- River Casino a lucritive native american gaming faciltiy in operation since 1990. The gaming revenue generated by Win- River Casino, however, does not benfit the larger Wintu Tribe, in which, ancestral territory the quasi alien Win-River Casino lies. The RR contibutes hundreds of thousands of dollars to the State of California every year, tens of thousands of dollars to the Newspaper annualy, partially, it is alleged. to supress the plight of the Wintu People. The cumulative generated contributory asset revenue capacity to the state and other agencies generated by Win-River (and the RR)since its opening is estimated to be in excess of $180,000,000 (180 million) US dollars (Root- Wintu Demograph- 1998), while the Wintu Tribe remains landless and without federal aknowlegement.

It has come to the attention of Stop Wintu Fraud Editors that a small group of Wintu Members were disenrolled from the Toyon Wintu Tribe/ Wintu Tribe of Northern California's tribally prepared "base roll", that has not yet been approved by the secreatry of the interior (BIA). Carol Sinclair, Wintu Elder and Cultural Resourse Director for the tribe for the last two decades, was disenrolled as a result of the actions of the tribal council and its enrollment committee shortly after the 2003 Wintu Tribal Elections along with 10 other individuals. These 11 Wintu have become known as the Wintu 11. Ms. Sinclair has gone on record as stating it was following provocation, her and another unidentified Wintu Tribal member concurrently serving on the Wintu Tribe Enrollment Committee began to bring questions to the Tribal Council as to enrollment proceedures, and tribal election proceedures, and brought fourth allegations of vote tampering by the 2002 Tribal Council member Linda Malone, and Carol Martin. Vote tampering allegations that include Ms. Sinclair, "... watching Linda throw ballots out (of the ballot box) and onto the floor, and in the trash...". Taking place in June 2002 at the old Wintu Tribal office at the end of the Downtown Mall on Placer St. in Redding. This is alleged to have occoured in front of Womens Leagure of Voters Officials present to provide oversite to the Tribal Election by an unbiased outside body. But whether or not the League recognises the Results or these Election Officials, or the Officials identities has yet to be verified by Stop Wintu Fraud. Other Tribal members that voted in person in 2003 reported seeing the, "... grey haired non-indian ladies in a seprerate room form the voting chambers...", that were, "...tallying ballots with Carol Martin and Linda Malone present."
In an attempt to assure the intergrity of the vote Sinclair and another un-named Tribal Member tried and failed to gain larger tribal support for recount and later recall of the tribal council in 2004. Actions of which are legal proceedures outlined in the Wintu Constitution. These Individuals were bothat the time of the incident serving on the Wintu Election Committee and serving as Election Officers at the proceedings, and were told ot leave while the "illegal" election proceed. The election results saw the Encumbants all being re-elected, some for the 5 and 6th terms consecutively, reigns of tribal leadership that lasted for over 15 years in some cases. Gary Rickard, a progressive, was elected chairman as a result of this vote while some traditionalists, like Loretta Root, lost by small margins.

The tribal council at that time (1998-2006) has come to be known as the Curl-Malone Board which was responsible for several attemts at violations of the tribal members rights inclding political convolution with the WWO (winnemem wintu organization), seeking to reduce the tribal roll (dis-enroll) by more than 350 people, and passing a illeaglly written document as the 2003 interim Wintu Constitution, an attmept by the former CILS attourney, Mary Risling, to draft controls into the Wintu Constitution. Controls that would have enabled the Curl-Malone Board to violate various former tribal member rights that are guarenteed by former Toyon Constitution. The governing document by which the tribe had been operating, albeit sporadically, since the closure of the facilities at Toyon by the BIA in 1987. The rule-change violations alleged in the secific rights vioaltions include the language "...right to deprive of life propertry or liberty without prior notice...", and the heavily suspect language that attempted to hand the WWO power to control all of the tribes archaeological and spiritual resourses. The language was removed by a majority vote of tribal members in 2003, denoucing the Curl-Malone Board and its memebers ability and future goal, in capacity to regain the sole rights to the use of the lands at Toyon Wintu Center.

The Wintu 11 are a small numer of California Indians in comparison to the other 2000+ tribal disenrollments statewide California's Gaming Tribes have seen in the last several years, but the lack of civil rights enforcement quite equal. 57 members of the Foreman Family were also disenrolled from the Redding Rancheria, a scandal which recieved national media attention, the Wintu 11 and the the Disenrollments of 2003 by the Wintu Tribe's enrollment committee members in contrast has seen no media attention to this day.

Allegations of illegal tribal elections, tribal voter fraud, illegal use of the identity of the Womens League of Voters by the Wintu Enrollment Committee, Wintu Constitution and Wintu Election Ordanance violations, vioaltions of the Brown Act, Violations of Civil Rights, Illegal Seizure of Tribal Assetts without CFR Probate, are just some of the Allegations that are coming to light as a result of inquests by Stop Wintu Fraud contributors.

Stop Wintu Fraud is seeking Contributors on Wintu Rights Violations, you can email for information on how to contribute to the exsposure of Wintu Fraud.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Wintu Bands Geography

Wintu band areas- Map Published in DuBois- 1931 Wintu ethnography The Wintu Tribal band areas were described, at that time as being the Bald Hill, Keswick, Stillwater, French Gulch, Upper Trinity, Hayfork, Upper Scaramento River, and McCloud River.

These 1931 surviving Wintu that recollected pre-historical village- family locations relayed a incomplete list of Wintu Bands as some at that time had been entirely extinct from Gold Rush era massacres, dieseases, famine and conditions, and removal to reservations abroad. The prehistoric list of Wintu Bands are: Daunom, El Pom, Pui dal pom, Nom ti pom, Nom sus, Nor Muk, Wenamem, Wai muk, and the Pui su.

The correlation of prehistoric Wintu Band Names to historic (1931) era surviving Wintu band locations are: Bald Hill - Dau nom, Keswick- El Pom, Stillwater- Pui dal pom, French Gl.- Kl' bal pom, Upper Trinity- Nom sus, Hayfork- Nor Muk, Upper Sacramento River- Nom ti pom, and McCloud River.

As one can see the Pui sus, and Wai muk were not represented in the later 1931 list but I will attempt to outline those bands histories in a later post. The modern band correlations to prehistoric Wintu Bands are:

-Nom sus (Upper Trinity), Nor Muk (Hayfork) are today the Nor- Rel-Muk Nation

-Daunom, Elpom, Wenamem, Nomtipom, Klablpom all compose the Wintu Tribe of Northern California. Fmr. Toyon Wintu Tribe.

-United Bands- All Bands

- El pom- is now the El-Pom Keswick Rancheria

- Dau nom- Wintun of Cottonwood

- Wintu of Shasta- ?

- Wintu of Central Valley- ?

- Wenamem- WWO Winnemem Wintu Organization- Puisus- ???

Wintu Band Unity- If The Pit River Can Do It, We Can Do It

(map) Pit River bands & ancestral territory

As seen in other tribal petitions where the tribal membership is either duplicate or representative of the same prehistoric tribal group recognition has been denied repeatedly thru the BAR process of recognition at BIA. As recently at November 2007 the Juaneno tribe had a negative determination handed down on their petition because several years previous to the final review as a result of tribal matters the tribe split, much like the Wintu Bands Today, into sepreate organizations claiming "control" of the membership rolls, and future administration of the tribal government. Around 1997 the Juaneno, a tribe from southern california that also have been on the list waiting for a descision on their application for recognition thru Interior's BAR process for over 20 years, split into two groups that became knows as Juaneno 1 and Juaneno 2. The Interior dep't declared a "NO" descision after the membership rolls were found to be duplicate, and the membership criteria innacurate and differing from interior historical documents, and the tribal governments not following proceedures outlined in tribal governance documents. All Wintu elders know that the band members are scattered throughout the modern tribal poltical entities that all claim the same thing, governance of the Wintu People.

In 1984 the Pit River Tribe (constitution) was recognised under the Reagan (R, CA)administration, and at that time were able to consoldate inter-bands interests for the good of the members to gain federal recognition, I'm not saying everything is smooth up in Burney, or Bieber, or Alturas, but they did it, now they have housing, they have a gaming facility, while we have spent the last 30 years watching with Toyon closed, no federal funding, no community and no guarentee for education for our children or jobs for our members, and without a land base members are found in substandard housing without any response whatsoever from the BIA.

Lets get together for the Elections 2008 and vote in members to the tribal council that will take steps tward, what the CILS attourneys have told us five years ago was the only was to a BAR final detirmination, to resolve the intertribal disputes between the seperate bands of Wintu, and move foreward for recognition for the entire tribe! Cuz if the Pit River can do it, So Can We!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Sisk- Franco WWO Not For Profit's Second Unilateral Bid For Federal Recognition

WWO Not For Profit Goes To Washington Seeking Recognition For the Second Time

Caleen Sisk sole spiritual and political leader (dictator) of the New Age not-for profit WWO has been for the last few years, or at least since the death of the late spiritual leader Flora Jones and her questionable aquisition of Ms. Jones's land in Jones Valley, individually assumed a self provlaimed leadership position that claims traditional lines from prehistoric wintu people. In the process circulating much mis-information as to the historical identity of the Winnemem Wintu tribe and has skewed the representation of the historical former body of Wenamem (or McCloud River Wintu) for her own personal gain. Mis-information that has gone almost entirely unopposed until now! After Flora's unfortunate death Mrs. Sisk and a non-Native Mr. Marc Franco (see below article exsposing Marc Franco for being non-indian, after claiming to be a "Wintu Headman" as a result of his personal relationship with Caleen Sisk) have repeatedly tried to represent the interests of the Larger Wintu People and Tribe and its members, to various state local and federal agencies without Tribal approval from the Wintu Tribe of Northern California. These attempts to gain influence unilaterally and without concesnt have seen varying sucess.

In a Record Searchlight Article back in 2002 Mrs. Caleen Sisk Claimed that her Not for profit was composed of Shasta persons and exspressly stated in the 2002 article that "the wintu people no longer exist". It is not the goal here to attempt to identify Sisk's past or current motive(s) for the circulation of this and other mis-information, but, rather, to bring it to light for tribal members and the community at large to see the lack of intergrity of the WWO group she represnts. Or rather mis-represents.

Currently Sisk has released information that the WWO not for profit after recently recieving errant support from an obcscure board of Intergovernmental Affairs for the State of Califirnia in January 2008 that she is going back to Washington DC seeking support for her sole led group for federal recognition. For the second time! Sisk tried for recognition thru Congress while Flora was still alive back in 2002. Luckily for the other hundreds of Wintu tribal members Sisk's attempt failed. it would have handed her power of the Winnemem Wintu Oraganization while recognising it as a tribe, like the rancheria, allowing her to violate her members rights with impunity as a result of tribal soveighnty without oversite, she has already shown that she is not worthy of the position nor trusted in any capacity by the Tribal Government of the Wintu Tribe.

After members completed the Journey to Justice Exhibit at the Newly Completed Turtle Bay Museum in Redding, Ca, Sisk tried to gain support for recogntiion at that time in the halls of congress using the Exhibit at Turtle Bay as leverage, an exhibit Sisk or the Winnmem were never involved in. She also tried to use the Documentary "in the light of reverence" that portrayed the last doctor of our people as proof of her fraudulent claims to the "traditional leader ship of the winnmem band or people.

The Winnemem claimed in 2006 that it was Winnemem members that were benefiting from a salmon harvesting permit on the Sacramento and this was false as well. There is only one Wintu Man that harvests on the Sacramento River. Sisk also claimed an identical membership level that was presented to the Wintu tribal members in 2004, of 173. The same number in the Wintu Tribal news letter that year and the same number claimed By Sisk in the Record Searchlight article.

It has been in the recent past the effect on split tribes like our that the entire group be denied recognition as a result of splintering of bands (JuanenoNov. 2007), the lack of intermarrage of members (need 50% intermarrage- Mattaponi descision2007), and the splitting of tribal assets including lands (Enterprise Rancheria 1,2). it the Wintu tribe (ALL BANDS) continues on like this none of us will be recognised.

If Sisk thinks she has the resourses to move BIA faster why isn't she helping the WINTU PEOPLE?

Why isn't she being transparent about her motives for the WWO?

Not only is this incorrect for her to singularly go to DC and appeal for just her "group", while the remainder of the 800 Wintu waiting for recogntion now for 25 years, it is also a LIE to the representatives in which she is spinning her story.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Wailakki Disambiguation- Athabascan or Penutian ?

Wailakki Wintu or Wailaki From Eel River?

The Wintun people comprised pre-historically the open sacramento valley and the foothill region west of the sacramento river to the coast range from Just below Mt Shasta the entire distance of the Valley to Suisin and San pablo bay, including Napa and Yolo regions, that are in fact both Wintun words.

The Wintun (as the whole are often reffered) were broadly divided by early scientists into three wide ranging groups comprising this vast territory,
1) the southern wintun or "patwin" ("my relations" in Southern Wintun), there are very few s. Wintun tribal members left todayas a result of Gold Rush genocide, some are at Rumsey, Cortina, Elem, and Colusa rancheria's in the bay area and near present day Sacramento.

2) the central wintun or Nomlakki, wintun of the recently federally recognised Nomlakki of the Paskenta Rancheria, there are very few Nomlakki people left as a result of Gold Rush genocide, and several bands here were also extinct in the historical era.

3) the northern Wintun or Wintu- Wailakki- there are over 1100 modern day wintu in 5 bands from shasta and trinity counties, some can be found in the Nor-Rel-Muk Tribe and the Wintu Tribe. The vast majority are not- federally aknowleged by the BIA.
The northern wintu branch that the modern tribes represnt, pertinent to this website, are located within the northern wintu. Attention was paid by early ethnologists to record band names of these early triblets of wintu, but by the time scientists reached the northern sections of the state many thousands of wintu had already persished in the first fourty years of contact with white settlers, up to 98% of our people leading scientists estimate.
In the late 1800's after the field of anthrolopogy was created non-indian emmigrants from institutions began studying the lifeways of native peoples all over california, one of the first early anthropologists was Jerimiah Curtain. In his 1864 report on the Wintun reffred to the Northern Wintu of shasta county as being reffered to as the Wailakki by the Nomlakki south of them. The sylable, "Wai-", in Wintun means north in both the central (Wintun) and northern (Wintu) dialects, while the sylable, "-lakki", translates to language or speak also in both regional dialects.
Origin of the term Wailakki was first recorded by euro-american settlers amongst the Wintun of the open Sacramento Valley in the 1840's. First recorded by early spanish land grantee's like John Bidwell (Butte Co.- Maidu tribe) and P. B. Reading (Shasta Co.- Wintu Tribe) the term Wailakki, Wailaki, Y-laki, and the decidedly western euro-american pronounced Ylakkers, all as reffering to the Wintu of the northerly sections of the valley,
In the same time period in 1851, a treaty was signed at Cottonwood Creek with BIA Rep. Wozencraft, and seven chiefs and headmen of the Wintu, that is Northern Wintu of present day shasta county, which agreed to the cession of over 75 million acres of pristine Northern California timber ,agricultural and gold bearing land, in return for on 3.5 milion acres Reservation at Ash Creek, just east of present day Anderson, California.
The treaty was never ratified by congress in 1852, therefore the reservation abandoned and our tribal members that had been caught and herded there, were force marched first the Nome-lakki Reservation in Tehema county. The Nome- Cult Reserve which was also called, was shut down four years later in 1856 and our people again force marched with the Maidu being marched from Chico over the 7000 ft coast range mountains to Covelo, at the Round Valley Reservation.
There again ambiguity with the term wailakki again begins. One of seven tribes sent to Round Valley by the US Government, Achomai (pit river), Maidu, Pomo, Nomlakki (Wintun), Wailakki (used to identify northern wintu being marched into round valley), the term wailakki was used in form by non-indians on reservation rolls both at Ft. Reading, in shasta co. for northern wintu, and at ash creek rez for northern wintu.
The term that was in use in the trinty and humbolt wars of 1856-58 was Kelta, or Redwood tribe or indians. These groups are exsplained by miltary records as originating Eel River, Redood Creek and the south fork of the Trinity River. Or within the range of the area recorded by anthropogists as being the original location of the athabascan speaking Hochnom, Lassik, Sinkyone, Nugahtl, and what was named the "Wailaki". Kroeber stated in 1906"

"The athabascan speaking "Wailakki" of the Eel, Mad and Van Dusen Rivers, as they have been applied, should not be confused with the Penutian Wailakki of the Sacramento Valley, of which the term finds its origins, and where the languages were mutually unitelligable."

Here Kroeber addresses the earlyer application of the Wintu term for north language, to the Athabascan speaking peoples of the Eel River area.Wailaki the term that has been wrongfully recorded as the athabascan term these Eel River people used for themselves. Wailakki is of course wintu, and there-by penutian, in origin.
In 1901 the photographer Edward Curtis recorded of the athabascan speaking wailakki as:

"...the Wailaki group, in Humboldt county, northern Mendocino, and the extreme southwestern corner of Trinity. The occupied areas are now greatly restricted. The Tolowa and Hupa, belonging to that highly specialized culture area of extreme northwestern California, have been described in the preceding volume. The Mattole were all but exterminated about I860, and little can be said of them. The Wailaki group, and particularly the bands that speak the sub-dialects Kato and Wailaki, are to be discussed in the following pages. The Wailaki group includes five sub-dialects, or what might be called five tribes, if only the people were somewhat more definitely organized on tribal lines. Farthest north of this group were the Nongatl, on the middle course of Mad river above Blue Lake (the inland limit of the Algonquian Wiyot territory). South of them were the Lassik, on the upper course of Mad river, and on Eel river and its eastern affluents from the mouth of Van Doosen creek (the limit of the Eel River Wiyot) up to Kekawaka creek. Still farther southward were the Wailaki proper, on Eel river and its north fork, from Kekawaka creek to Yuki territory at Round valley. The Sinkyone territory lay west of the Lassik and Wailaki, principally on the lower South fork of Eel river,..."

Here Edward Curtis records the wailakki as the linguistic parent group name of the athabascans of the Eel River area as a whole, as well as the name of one of the bands, as "Wailaki proper" a linguistic disambiguation.
It was recorded by early Trinity County Pioneers living closely with the Wintu of Hayfork Valley (the Nor el Muk band of Wintu, was closest to the Lassik, Nugahtul, Sinkyone) that the Wintu both, intermarried with the athabascan's from over the Hill at Mad River (Lucy Young Photo), and were in friendly relations with them. Wintu place names within the eel river watershed (athabascan apeaking territory) exist to proove, the knowlege of areas to the east of lands recorded as being within wintu territory. the accepted boundary with the Eel river tribes was and still is a long running continuous ridge in above the south fork named south for ridge. This was the boundary of the athabascan speaking peoples of the Mad River side, ie- Lassik, Sinkyone and Nungahtl.
The Wailaki of the Eel River are not the only tribe in California that had the wrong name given to them by non-indians in direguard for, what have been, diminsihing cultures from our landscape at the hands of these same "euro-amercans" as they have come to be known. The Yuki also were given a name that has Wintu origins. Yuki in northern wintu means enemy, and no translation to the Yuki language (which like Wappo has not been linked to any of the later emerging language groups circa 2000 bp).

In the hisorical era it was white men hearing the word Yuki used generically in reference to any enemy at hand that that moniker "Yuki" was later placed by whites, and later incorrectly by athropologists, as the name for the Hochnom (Yuki) over the coast ranges to east where two groups of Yuki pre-historically inhabited in the Upper Eel River and the second group isolated by the wailakki (athabascan speaking), from their coastal neigbors the Ukhotnom Yuki. the Yuki name for the Wailaki of the Eel River north of them is "Ko-il".
It was when these early pioneers came that they began referring to the Indians over this ridge as Yuki, as thier Indentured Wintu did. The Hochnom of course were geopraphically isolated from the wintu and were therefore a Tribe with which the Wintu never prehistorically had contact. The euro-american settlers, as a result, used the term in reference to the Eel river Indians in the 1850's time as Wailakki, which is in direguard for their true name for the selves which is "Ken-es-te". By this time many wintu had been taken under indenturship laws and moved from their traditional bands locations. It is of note that Powers in 1860 recorded Keneste as a Northern Wintu term for the Wintu band east of the Nor El Muks and within the Hettenshaw upper Mad van Dusen river area.

It is not known at this time (2008) the pre-histoprical connection with the wailakki and cahto branches to the penutial language groups made up of the wintu of trinity county. Wheather these similarities are a result of tribal boundary fluctuations of the penutian into surrounding receeding smaller tribal areas, like the wintu into Shasta Speaking Okwanuchu territory in southern siskiyou county on the upper sacramento and upper mc cloud rivers, and the wintu into Hokan speaking Yana areas of the eastern sacramento valley, and intermarrage directly following the initial genocidal acts seen in the first decades of contact with europeans, removals to recervations and early massacres all had some effect on the population distributions of these peoples, but its historical effect has not yet been studied by liguists. The possible connection of penuatian to these wailaki as a language group or its possible result of intergration and linguistic sharing post-contact. It is difficult to assess these possible scenarios when the historical loss of both languages in daily use among tribal members is factored.
Note on Indentureship- The Indenturship laws (indenturship act link ) enacted shortly after the gold rush were used by european emmigrants to secure native labor for things like mining, harvesting and ranching. It allowed any euro-american settlers and miners around northern california to enslave any indian depriving them of life and freedom without the indian having any right what so ever legally. Many Wintu women were taken by early pioneers after killing entire villages of Wintu, these european's became known as "squaw-men" and were looked upon by other whites as second class citizens.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Gold Rush Toxic Legacy- Altoona Mine Mercury in Trinity River Watershed

Gold Rush Toxic Legacy- Altoona Mine
Trinity River Mercury
Cinnibar / Mercury- Altoona Mine Trinity Co. Ca
Gold Rush Toxic Legacy- Altoona Mine Mercury in Trinity River- The Altoona Mine is located in Trinity County on the East Fork of the upper Trinity River above modern day Trinity Lake. In 1944 the Altoona mine was the 9th largest mercury producing mine in the country and its output was several times that for years, like many other early Gold Rush mines, Altoona operated in comlete dis-reguard for the native foods, native peoples, the lands in which we lived and the wild life there.
The exsploitation by hydraulic and hard rock mining in the area led to the name "the Northern Mines". Of the 26 million tons (26,000,000) of mercury used here 8 million tons,today, remains un-accounted for. The mining process included the extraction of raw gold from ore bearing minerals, these processes changed over time from simple stamp or wheel mills, used to crush the ore. Changed when larger mechanized techniqes were available to blast furnace smelting processes that introduced into the local environment minerals like aresenic, mercury, lead, and sulphur. These methods were used in large scale industrial processes for decades in the mining extraction methods, and the discharged into area rivers and streams where residual particulates remain to this day.
These toxic discharges from the former mines resulted in massive wildlife kills early in the historical era. Today the poluted alluvual depostits are situated along the Trinity and Lower Klamath Rivers and under Trinity Lake behind Clair Engle Dam, where natural water flows from the Trinity River are diverted in tunnels and emptied into the Sacramento River at the Spring Creek arm of Keswick Lake for irrigation purposes.The system is known as Trinity Project portion of the Central Valley Project or CVP (map).

When built Trinity Reservoir impeded the upper Trinity River, blocking contaminated sediments beneath the reservoir, some of which still continues down the Trinity River. Recent studies by the U.S. Geological Survey and the State Water Resources Control Board indicated that some species of fish in Trinity Lake and other water bodies in the Trinity River watershed contain elevated levels of mercury and could pose a health risk to people who eat them frequently. In northern California water bodies mercury is a legacy of gold and mercury mining activities that began during the Gold Rush and continued until approximately 1960. Both gold and mercury were mined in the Trinity River watershed and some mercury remains today. The inactive Altoona Mercury Mine is located along the East Fork Trinity River and is reported to contribute significantly to the mercury content of Trinity Lake. Current USGS H2O testing is focused on the East Fork main stream and tributaries and continues in 2008.
Excessive exposure to methylmercury can affect the nervous system leading to subtle decreases in learning ability, language skills, attention, and memory, developing fetuses and children are especially sensitive. Symptoms at higher levels of exposure could include loss of coordination and vision problems.
Liquid mercury moves relatively slowly through river systems and accumulates in places where sediments are trapped, such as reservoirs. Bacteria convert this inorganic form of mercury into a more toxic, organic form, known as methylmercury, which fish take in from their diet. Methylmercury can accumulate in fish to concentrations many thousands of times greater than mercury levels in the surrounding water. Because methylmercury accumulates in fish slowly over time, larger fish of a species usually have higher concentrations of methylmercury than smaller fish from the same water body

Mercury concentrations in samples of water, sediment, insects, amphibians, and fish indicate that the inactive Altoona mercury mine, which drains into the East Fork Trinity River, is a significant contributor of mercury to Trinity Lake. Ongoing studies are focused on understanding the fate and transport of mercury from the Altoona mine into Trinity Lake.
These mercury contaminants effect the last endangered runs of west coast wild chinook, coho, and steelehead. And these anadroumous fish constitute the native fishery of the Trinity-Klamath Watershed, protected and guarenteed by federal legislation. The last large native fishery in California.