CSPA Staff

Board of Directors

Chris Shutes, Executive Director

Chris is a lifelong California angler who has fished rivers and streams across the state. Inspired to improve flows in his favorite trout streams, he participated as a volunteer in relicensing the El Dorado hydroelectric project, during which he used hydrologic modeling to help resolve 10 years of litigation. Chris joined forces with CSPA in 2006, and has become a leader in relicensing and related processes across California. Because of his acumen in integrating technical, legal and policy issues, Chris and CSPA were invited to join the steering committee of the national Hydropower Reform Coalition in 2009. Chris has also taken on water rights for CSPA. He has filed 15 water rights protests and been a witness in three water rights hearings, including the successful hearing to revoke the water rights for Auburn Dam.

Mike Jackson, Secretary/Director

Michael B. Jackson grew up in Redding, California and has been a resident of the Sacramento Valley Watershed for more than 50 years. In the few years he lived outside the watershed he graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara and Hastings College of the Law. He has lived and practiced law for the last 30 years in Quincy, California, a community of 5000 people located in the upper reaches of the Feather River, the source of the water for the California State Water Project.

Mr. Jackson has represented various parties in numerous water battles in California, including environmental groups, farmers, and local governments. He presently represents Abatti farms in the Imperial Valley regarding the validity of the Colorado River Quantification Settlement Agreement between the Imperial Irrigation District and adjacent states, the State of California, and urban Southern California water districts. He also represents the Plumas County Flood Control & Water Conservation District, and the California Sportfishing Protection Alliance in various water matters. He is a member of the Sacramento Valley Watershed Environmental Water Caucus and a member of the California Environmental Water Caucus.

Nothing he says should be held against any of his clients because what he says here is his own opinion, not necessarily theirs.

Cindy Charles, Treasurer/Director

Cindy Charles is an avid fly angler and has been active in fisheries conservation work within California the past 20 years. She has been the Conservation Chair for the Golden West Women Flyfishers for over 16 years and received the 2007 Conservation Award from the Federation of Fly Fishers. Cindy has been a past Vice President of Conservation for the Northern California Council, Federation of Fly Fishers. Cindy has a degree in Zoology from UC Berkeley and recently retired from a 20 plus year career in finance. She has participated in a broad range of fisheries conservation issues including Federal Energy Regulatory Commission hydropower relicensing projects and was instrumental in halting a hydropower prohect on the South Fork Pit River in Modoc County which would have dewatered three miles of a migratory route for Red Band Trout. Cindy can often be found up at her cabin in the mountains where she fishes on the Tuolumne River.

Richard Izmirian, Director

Richard Izmirian has held executive and policy making positions in fishing organizations at the local, state, and federal level, most notably with the Northern California Council/Federation of Fly Fishers (past President and Conservation Chair), and the national Federation of Fly Fishers (past Conservation Policy Chair and VP Communications). Richard is also a member of CDF&G’s Striped Bass Advisory Committee, and served on CALFED’s Bay Delta Advisory Committee. He was an original member of the Environmental Water Caucus. Richard is a long time director of CSPA. A contractor by profession, an economist by training, and an angler by preference, he sees hope for our fisheries with CSPA’s pro-active and aggressive advocacy.

Dave Hurley, Director

Dave comes from old time Delta commercial fishing family and has fished the Delta his entire life. He has been a teacher in the Stockton, Lincoln and Lodi school districts over the past 34 years and will shortly retire. Dave is an outdoor writer for a number of publications, including: editor of the thrice-weekly fishing reports for Hurley Chronicles at USA Fishing.com since 2005; the Fresno Bee Fishing Report since July 2005; Western Outdoor News’ weekly report on the Delta since 2006 and a bi-weekly report on the east Delta in Fishsniffer Magazine since 2010. He provided eloquent testimony on behalf of CSPA in the Waterfix hearing on the Delta’s historic fishery and its decline, loss of water quality and the devastating impacts on guides, marinas, bait and tackle shops and local businesses.

Dave Fries PhD., Director

Dave is a retired research professor at the University of Pacific’s School or Pharmacy and Health Sciences and has extensively published in refereed literature. Dr. Fries was a Fulbright Senior Scholar at the University of Zimbahwe and a visiting Research Professor at Scotland’s University of Dundee, the German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg and the State University at Groningen in the Netherlands. He previously served on the Board of the Committee to Save the Mokelumne and Baykeeper/Deltakeeper and is the Conservation Chair of San Joaquin Audubon Society. Dave is an avid sailor with a 43-foot sailboat on which he leads numerous field trips throughout the Bay/Delta. He provided extensive evidentiary testimony on behalf of CSPA and California Water Research during the recent Waterfix hearings before the State.

Richard McHenry, Director of Permit and Compliance

Richard is a licensed Civil Engineer and spent 23 years with the State and Regional Water Boards, including service as Supervisor of the Sacramento River NPDES permitting section of the Central Valley Board and senior engineer of the State Board’s Enforcement Unit. Upon retiring in 2008, he joined CSPA as our volunteer Director of Permits and Compliance. With an almost encyclopedic knowledge of state and federal water quality regulations and wastewater treatment processes, Richard reviews and comments on NPDES permits and irrigated lands WDRs, testifies on our behalf in proceedings before the Boards and assists our attorneys in enforcement actions.

John Beuttler, Conservation Director

John Beuttler, CSPA’s Conservation Director for the past decade, helped propose and draft the federal Klamath River Basin Fishery Resources Restoration Act and the Central Valley Project Improvement Act. He played a pivotal role in the passage of Proposition 132 that banned gill nets in California’s waters and stopped their destruction of marine life. He has worked to conserve the state’s fisheries for a quarter century and was recently appointed by the Governor to the Delta Vision Process to recommend solutions to the crisis in the Delta. The Western Assoc. of Fish and Wildlife Agencies has acknowledged John’s conservation work for his outstanding contribution to wildlife.

Deirdre Des Jardins, Director

Deirdre, principle with California Water Research, has done research on California water issues since 2009. She has a background in physics and computational modeling, and is a former researcher at NASA Ames Research center, the Center for Nonlinear Studies as Los Alamos National Laboratory, the Santa Fe Institute, and the UC Santa Cruz Bioinformatics Group. Deirdre has worked closely with CSPA for years in collaborating on document reviews and comment letters, including; environmental review documents, proposed water projects, fisheries, climate change, etc. She provided extensive submittals and testimony during the Waterfix hearing.

Advisory Board

Denise Zitnik, Webmaster

Denise is CSPA's online media coordinator. After receiving her degree in Environmental Engineering, Denise worked with American Rivers creating outreach for river restoration, water rights, and hydropower projects. Her commitment to environmental protection led her to CSPA in 2013. She supports CSPA with membership engagement and advises CSPA on any and all of their website and online questions. Denise is a passionate hiker with a soft spot for the Tuolumne River’s headwaters.

Kari Burr, Advisory Board

Kari has a B.S. and M.S. in biological sciences and more than a decade experience in fish sampling and water quality monitoring. As a biologist for the Fisheries Foundation, she has conducted field sampling in the Delta and numerous Central Valley rivers and is the project manager for the Salmon Acclimation Project in the Carquinez Strait. An accomplished skipper, Kari is proficient in sampling techniques, managing field data and preparing and presenting scientific reports. Previously, she was monitoring and field operations coordinator for Deltakeeper.

Steve Bond, Advisory Board

Steve Bond is a geologist, hydrogeologist and engineering geologist with more than 30 years experience in pollutant fate and transport in groundwater and surface water. He has worked for the U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board and, since 1999, has served as President and Principal Geologist of Steven Bond and Associates Inc. in Santa Cruz. Steve has written extensively and provided expert testimony in numerous lawsuits. Among his numerous accomplishments was the initial analytical work identifying the underlying geochemical causes of acid mine drainage at the notorious Penn Mine, on the banks of the Mokelumne River. He has received many awards acknowledging his commitment to environmental protection.

John Ryzanych, Advisory Board

John is an avid fisheries conservationist, municipal policy advisor and recreational angler. In addition he is a business owner within the specialty sport fishing products industry. John provides CSPA with valued service on policy, planning and outreach issues. He's been published in both regional and international sport fishing magazines.

Member, Advisory Board - Bay Delta Sport Fishing Enhancement Stamp
Member – Municipal Advisory Council, Castro Valley, Alameda County, CA
Member, Board of Directors – Northern California Council Federation of Fly Fishers
Member, Board of Directors - Lake Merritt Institute

G. Fred Lee PhD., Advisory Board

Dr. G. Fred Lee received his Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering and Environmental Science from Harvard and for 30 years was a Professor at University of Wisconsin, University of Texas, Colorado State University and Texas Tech University before concluding his academic career as Distinguished Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the New Jersey Institute of Technology. Since 1989, he has been President of G. Fred Lee and Associates, an environmental consulting firm specializing in the technical aspects of water supply water quality, water and wastewater treatment, water pollution control and solid and hazardous waste impacts evaluation and management. Dr. Lee has published over 1150 professional papers and presented more than 860 lectures at professional society meetings, universities and to professional and public groups. He advises CSPA in all aspects of water quality and has frequently testified in various hearings on behalf of CSPA.

Tom Cannon, Advisory Board

Tom Cannon is an estuarine fisheries ecologist and biostatistician and has been involved in Delta fishery issues for more than 35 years. Over that period, Tom has worked for or been a consultant to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, National Marine Fisheries Service, State Water Contractors, CalFed Bay-Delta Program, State Water Resources Control Board, PG&E, California Striped Bass Association, Fisheries Foundation and CSPA. He has been involved in numerous habitat restoration projects.

Michael R. Lozeau, Advisory Board

Michael R. Lozeau received a degree in Zoology from University of New Hampshire and a law degree from Rutgers University. Following an internship with Sierra Club Legal Defense fund, Mike was general counsel and later Executive Director of Waterkeepers Northern California (San Francisco Baykeeper). Subsequently, he became staff attorney and Lecturer-in-Law at the Stanford Environmental Law Clinic before venturing into private practice and establishing the Law Office of Michael Lozeau. In 2008, Mike and Richard Drury joined to form Lozeau/Drury LLP, an Oakland firm specializing in Clean Water Act, Endangered Species Act, CEQA and NEPA litigation. Mike’s many clients have ranged from CSPA, the Sierra Club, Earth Island Institute, Defenders of Wildlife and San Francisco Baykeeper to various Indian tribes and the New Mexico Environmental Law Center. The San Francisco Chronicle selected Mike as one of the Top 25 Bay Area Lawyers.

David J. Ostrach, Ph.D, Advisory Board

Dr. Ostrach received his Ph.D from UC Davis and has over 39 years of experience in aquatic fisheries, aquatic toxicology, risk assessment, aquaculture and ecosystem research. He began his career at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, worked at various consulting firms and joined UC Davis. He designed and supervised the construction of the Aquatic Toxicology Research Laboratory Facility and, as its first manager, developed and implemented inland surface water toxicity testing along with state-of-the-art environmental research programs. His Pathobiology, Conservation & Population Laboratory conducted interdisciplinary research on sublethal effects of contaminates on striped bass in the Bay-Delta estuary. He is currently Chief Scientist at Ostrach Consulting and his research goals are to better understand the long-term effects of contaminate exposure and multiple stressors on fish and wildlife populations and ecosystem health and to correlate findings with human health and risk assessment.

In Memoriam

Bill Jennings, Chairman Emeritus

Fighting to protect fisheries and water quality for over 25 years, Bill chaired CSPA since 1988 and was a Board Member of the California Water Impact Network and Restore the Delta. Between 1995 and 2005 he served as Deltakeeper. He was a founder and Chairman of the Committee to Save the Mokelumne. Bill has received numerous acknowledgments including the International Conservation Award from the Federation of Fly Fishers, the Director's Achievement Award from the Department of Fish and Game, the Conservation Achievement Award from the California-Nevada Chapter of the American Fisheries Society, the Quality of Life Award from the Land Utilization Alliance and the Delta Advocate Award from Restore the Delta. The Outdoor Writers Association of California recognized him as Outdoor Californian of the Year and the Delta Fly Fishers selected him as Fly Fisherman of the Year. His efforts in obtaining an historic cleanup of Penn Mine on the Banks of the Mokelumne River led to awards to both the California Sportfishing Protection Alliance and Committee to Save the Mokelumne by the California Water Policy IX Conference.

Jim Crenshaw, Past President/Treasure

Jim was taught how to fly fish by his father starting at the age of 8. He took over as President of the CSPA from founder and President Roy Haile in 1981. Jim was awarded the Larry Green Memorial Conservation Award by United Anglers in 1996. He is the chair of the Striped Bass Stamp and Bay Delta Stamp advisory committees to the California Department of Fish and Game and is a member of the San Joaquin Drainage Advisory committee.

Mike McKenzie

Corey Cate

Dan Odenweller