[env-trinity] Siskiyou Daily News: Hundreds watch Shasta salmon

Tom Stokely tstokely at att.net
Wed Oct 31 11:18:25 PDT 2012


Hundreds watch Shasta salmonBy John Bowman
Oct. 30, 2012 5:38 p.m.

Butteville Elementary School science and math teacher Lenny May points out spawning salmon on the Nature Conservancy’s Shasta Big Springs Ranch. Students attending the event had the opportunity to watch as salmon competed over mates and spawning habitat. Daily News photo/John Bowman
Hundreds of visitors, including over 400 local students, attended the Nature Conservancy’s Shasta Big Springs Ranch salmon viewing open house on Friday and Saturday. Visitors came to catch a look at this year’s unusually large run of Shasta River Chinook salmon. The carcass of a salmon, which had already spawned and died, drew a wide range of commentary and eager pointing from the kids, as did the female Chinook noisily splashing and flapping her tail against the stream bed to build her redd (nest) just under the Louie Road bridge where the students stood watching.
This year’s run of fall Chinook salmon on the Klamath River is likely to be the biggest since 1978, with scientists predicting a total near 380,000 fish for the Klamath River system.  The Shasta River has already seen the return of over 22,000 Chinook this fall and this year’s large run has been providing increased opportunities for viewing the annual migration.
Jason Singleton, outdoor education specialist for the Siskiyou County Office of Education said the field trip provided a valuable learning tool for students and the general public. “You don’t often get the chance to watch this kind of thing in the wild. It's one thing to talk about it in the classroom, but you can’t beat this kind of direct observation,” Singleton explained. He said the students were able to inspect a salmon carcass up-close and learn about the different features of their anatomy, in addition to a lesson on the salmon life cycle and habitat requirements.
The Nature Conservancy operates the Shasta Big Springs Ranch as a working cattle ranch while undertaking stream restoration projects on the property to help protect and improve salmonid spawning and rearing habitat.

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