Posted another Mikey Wier video on CalTrout’s site, this one showcasing the in-the-throes-of-restoration Shasta River (note: this is the same stretch of the Shasta I wrote about here).
This stretch of the Shasta is primarily a spring-fed river and it’s not only beautiful (watch the video; I dare you to say it’s not drop-dead gorgeous), it’s also vitally important to the Klamath River watershed, and for a couple reasons.
First, approximately 10% of the salmon that returned to the watershed last year ended up in the Shasta. That’s a sizable number.
Second, when the dams do finally come out, the Shasta River — as the last major tributary before the first dam — will probably end up providing a large percentage of the fish that return to sections of the Klamath that haven’t seen a salmon in about 100 years.
Finally, the coho salmon are the fish most in danger of extinction. The problem is they spend a year in the freshwater before going to see, making them vulnerable to low, hot water conditions (often the result of water diversions). Spring creeks and spring-fed rivers (the Shasta is the latter) are vital because they offer a year-round, coldwater refuge for juvenile coho.
Most of this footage was shot on the Nature Conservancy’s Shasta Big Springs Ranch, and while you can’t fish it today (yes, it holds steelhead), maybe someday…
See you watching the salmon splash, Tom Chandler.