Eco Company TV Presents...

This past winter, the Nigiri Project, at Knaggs Ranch, hosted a sixth grade class from Willett Elementary Davis.  During the field days, the students got hands-on experience helping with field work and data collection.  They learned about the studies being conducted on the floodplains of the Yolo Bypass and the important role that Knaggs Ranch plays in the future of Chinook salmon life cycle.  

Check out the Nigiri Project Episode on Eco Company that highlights the students' experience and the work that is being done at Knaggs Ranch.



What does it mean to "go green" as a teen? More and more young people want to know the answer to that question. Now there's Eco Company, a national TV show on a quest to find answers. Eco Company is hosted by a dynamic group of teens who combine their natural curiosity with their enthusiasm to preserve the planet they will inherit.

Our Partnership with Audubon CA

Photo by Lisa Park

Photo by Lisa Park

Over the last several months, we have been working with Audubon CA - Working Lands Program to assess how "bird-friendly" our farms are and how we might be able to improve our environmental efforts. Our partnership with Audubon CA is featured this week on Audubon California's Audublog

A huge thank you to Valerie Calegari, Director of Working Waterways Program, and Audubon CA staff for helping us develop our Waterbird Riceland Management Program tri-fold.

Environmental Defense Fund

Robbins Rice partner and farmer, John Brennan, was featured this month on the Environmental Defense Fund's blog site "Growing Returns." 

The blog highlights the multiple benefits that come from integrating conservation practices in a working agricultural landscape.  Knaggs Ranch, the location of  the Nigiri Project,  is identified as a great example of how such integration benefits both farmer and the environment. 

For the full article: CLICK HERE

Colusa National Wildlife Refuge

Emily James - Sales & Logistics Manager 

Emily James - Sales & Logistics Manager 

As a Colusa native, the Colusa National Wildlife Refuge has always been a part of my community. Growing up, I knew where the refuge was and did a few field trips out there for school, but never really understood the significant role the refuge plays in the Sacramento Valley. 

When I started working for Robbins Rice Company and participating with our restoration partners, I was able to truly appreciate what an essential role the Colusa NWR plays within our North State watershed and in the Pacific Flyway

Through our restoration efforts, establishing hedgerows, providing seasonal floodplain habitat on winter flooded rice fields, going on lots of tours, and learning about native California species, I have become quite a birder. 

This time of year is one of my favorites at the Colusa NWR.  I like to drive the loop or take a walking tour with the hopes of spotting migrating shorebirds, deer, ducks, geese, and maybe even a bald eagle. 

Here are some photos from this past weekend. Enjoy!

Located just west of the small farming town of Colusa, the Colusa National Wildlife Refuge is a great destination for bird enthusiasts.   For the last few years there has been a lot of excitement generated by the appearance the falcated duck. This rare Asian duck brought birders from all over the country out to the Colusa NWR, which really benefited the local community businesses. If you are every on I-5 or Hwy 20, be sure to come check it out!

For more information about the Colusa NWR: HERE or HERE

Winter Run Salmon Rescue

Featured in the Davis Enterprise this week, Knaggs Ranch and the incredible rescue efforts to help prevent stranding of adult winter run salmon in the Knights Landing Ridge Cut and Colusa Drain. 

Read about the incremental and highly-beneficial solutions that have been proposed to avoid future stranding and to improve the efficiency of the Yolo Bypass.

Check out the full story: HERE

Flows for Thought...

Over the last two weeks, Northern California has finally seen it's first significant rainfall in almost a year.  While we are still in need of a lot more rain and snow pack, the Sacramento River system has risen 10-12ft overnight!

Here is a diagram of the Fremont Weir and how the water flowed during a high river event. In this photo you can see the inflow from the Sacramento River, the existing fish ladder and the scour channel that connects the river to the Tule Canal (eventually leading back down to the Delta).

Photo taken on the Fremont Weir. The bend is a superficial byproduct of panoramic view; the weir is straight.

Photo taken on the Fremont Weir. The bend is a superficial byproduct of panoramic view; the weir is straight.

On Wednesday, December 17th, the Sacramento River at the Fremont Weir was at an elevation of 31 ft.  water passively flowed through the existing fish ladder notch in the Fremont Weir, filled the stilling basin, and flowed into the scour channels that lead to Tule Canal. 

Without any over-Fremont spilling, juvenile fish moved onto thousand of acres of shallowly-flooded Yolo Byapss floodplain habitat inundated by western tributaries. Nobody was monitoring.

If we had an operational Wallace Weir today, adult winter-run salmon would be swimming upstream through the notch (passing down-stream bound juveniles) and back into the river instead of up the Knights Landing Ridge Cut to their death. 

The Take Home:  River connectivity is essential. It is beneficial to young juvenile salmon that gain access to the great plethora of naturally produced food on the shallow-flooded bypass and adult salmon, migrating north to spawn, avoid getting trapped in dead end drainage canals.  This connectivity is a win for both fish and farms!

Fremont Weir at the north end of the Yolo Bypass

Filmed by John Brennan and Uploaded by Jacob Katz on 2014-12-18 

Salmon Rescue at Knaggs Ranch in Yolo Bypass

-  Click on pictures to see the slideshow!  -

Photos Compliments of Jacob Katz, CalTrout 

On a very wet Wednesday morning last week, John Brennan, a partner in RRC and landowner, was out to see the incredible efforts that are being made to save migrating salmon.  

Check out these links for more on the story!



CBS SF Bay Area: Drought: All  This Rain Is Confusing NorCal Salmon - They Keep Getting Lost

KCRA 3 Reports: Fish and Wildlife Officials Hope For Salmon Solution


Sacramento Bee: California Rescues Salmon Trapped in the Yolo Bypass 


Capitol Public Radio: California Fish and Wildlife Rescue Salmon In Yolo Bypass

Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op

Our Black Fox Brand Warimashi rice was featured during the Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op Holiday Tasting Fair.  In the spirit of Thanksgiving SNFC demo kitchen chefs created a delicious rice stuffing, which is an tasty gluten free option for your holiday feast. Happy cooking!

Black Fox Rice - Holiday Stuffing

  • 1/2 c. slivered almonds
  • 3 T. butter
  • 1 medium tart apple, cored and diced
  • 1/2 c. chopped onion
  • 1/2 c. chopped celery
  • 1/2 t. poultry seasoning
  • 1/4 t. thyme
  • 1/4 t. ground white pepper
  • 3 c. cooked Black Fox Rice

Cook the rice according to the package directions, this is very important! 

Cook almonds in butter in large skillet over medium-high heat until golden brown. Add apple, onion, celery, poultry seasoning, thyme and pepper; continue to cook until vegetable are tender-crisp. Stir in cooked rice; cook until thoroughly heated. Serve!

Use for stuffing, sides, and more for the holiday. For stuffing bake tightly covered in a separate baking dish at 350 degrees F for 25-30 minutes. 

Serves 6-8 people. 

Rotarians and Fish - Quite the Combo

(T): Feather River Juvenile Chinook salmon  (B): Nigiri Project Juvenile Chinook salmon

(T): Feather River Juvenile Chinook salmon

(B): Nigiri Project Juvenile Chinook salmon

The Nigiri Project is of the most exciting conservation projects that Robbins Rice growers take part in; raising juvenile chinook salmon on flooded rice fields during the winter (post-harvest). 

One of RRC's owners, John Brennan, gave a presentation on the project's concept at a Woodland Rotary Club meeting. John was joined by UC Davis scientist, Carson Jeffres, who is one of the main researchers looking at the multiple benefits that floodplains (both natural and managed) provide young salmon on their way down to the Delta.

For more on their presentation and the Nigiri Project please click here.

Other articles featuring the Nigiri Project and the on-going science:

Getting Into the Holiday Spirit!

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, we wanted to contribute to the 7th Annual Turkey Drive put on by the Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services.  Coordinating with the Food and Operations Director, Erik Kintzel, Robbins Rice Company was able to donate almost 6,000 lbs of our Black Fox Brand Warimashi rice.  We are pleased to be able to be a part of a great community cause. 

You can make a difference too!  Be a part of the Better Business Bureau "Donate Your Selfie" campaign. Click here to learn more about it: #bbbdonateyourselfie