Fall-run Chinook Salmon on Dry Creek, S.W. Placer County, Roseville, California, USA

Chinook_Salmon_Adult_MaleA big run of Chinook Salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) has been observed so far, even before the big rains have started- though we’re due tonight for a gully washer. At the start of Miner’s Ravine trail at Linda Street loquacious volunteer fish counter ‘Gary’ saw 70  at the bridge in November. I saw big fish in rapids upstream of Sculpture Park. Dead fish are evident too, some chewed by river otters (Lutra canadensis).

Chinook Salmon NPThe lack of interest in the Salmon run by Roseville trail users is a mystery, most don’t even know the big fish swim all the way from the Pacific back to little, suburban (misnamed) Dry Creek, Placer County, and are migrating and sometimes spawning right in the metro area.

The City cleared out old concrete viaducts and other obstructions to fish movement so more fish can spawn when water is plentiful. It’s a wonder to me how these big creatures come so far up such a little streams but come they do when they intuit conditions are right for breeding.

1000px-ChinookSalmonYesterday I glimpsed three females slip upstream so quickly they looked like shadows. For the last two days a big, banged up male with a white tail has been beating up the rapids with his fins and then shooting like a torpedo into the pond. Excitement? Drumming up business? It doesn’t seen to bother the Mallard ducks (Anas platyrhynchos), dabbling away.

Sac-Sierra Trout Unlimited provides volunteer fish counters so if you want to count fish to assist the Dry Creek Conservancy with a survey of fall-run Chinook Salmon in the creeks of western Placer county, CA, click here.

Fish images courtesy wikipedia, wikia media and dailypaintersofpennsylvania.blogspot.com

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