The wondrous annual event is underway, as this article from the Sacramento Bee reports.
A miraculous thing happens each fall in the Sacramento Valley, and it’s not the end of 100-degree weather: Salmon return to the area’s rivers and creeks.
One hundred miles from the Pacific Ocean, the valley hosts one of the largest annual salmon spawning runs in America. More than 300,000 fall-run Chinook (or king) salmon are expected to return from the ocean to area creeks and rivers, mostly in October and November, to spawn in hatcheries or on their own in river gravels.
The big fish – many 2 feet long and weighing more than 20 pounds – swim past riverside restaurants, office buildings, sewage outfalls and subdivisions. Many swim up tiny creeks pinched between movie theaters and shopping malls. They all follow a mysterious homing impulse to return to the same waters where they were born, to lay eggs and begin the next generation. After spawning, they die.
“It’s kind of amazing to be there in these suburban creeks and see these giant fish,” said Orangevale resident Kally Kedinger-Cecil. “I didn’t realize these fish are so big, and they’re right there in these urban creeks.”
In the ocean, these fish are the basis of a wild-caught salmon market that supplies grocery stores and restaurants throughout California. And on the rivers, recreational fishermen have crowded the banks for decades in hopes of hooking a prize salmon.
More recently, volunteers have begun to walk the smaller waterways each fall for another purpose: to restore salmon habitat long ago cut off by development, and to count the salmon that find their way back.
On Friday, Kedinger-Cecil volunteered with the Dry Creek Conservancy to look for salmon on the network of tiny streams – many narrow enough to jump across – that thread through Roseville. After pulling on waders, she walked a section of creek to count salmon that found their way into the Dry Creek system in search of safe spawning habitat.
“Especially in Roseville, you don’t really associate that area with wildlife like that,” she said. “You get the sense that it’s so urbanized, but there’s this stuff going on right there.”
Retrieved November 17, 2014 from http://www.sacbee.com/news/local/article3972980.html