The event was created in 2002 by a group of students from Hoopa Valley High School who wanted to “raise awareness for environmental issues to affect the salmon” following a fish kill in the area, according to Josh Norris of the Yurok Tribe Planning and Community Development Department.
Two hand-carved wooden salmon serve as batons, handed off between runners in two-mile intervals. The route follows Klamath Beach Drive until turning north on Highway 169. Runners then cross the Klamath River before heading east on Klamath Glen Road.
Participants will follow the road to a boat run on the Klamath River. The boat will dock at the river’s intersection with Highway 169 and the run will continue to Weitchpec. From there, one salmon baton will follow California State Route 96 southeast to Hoopa while the other baton makes its way along Route 96 northeast to Orleans.
Runners or interested volunteers must register with Josh Norris today by calling 707-482-1350.
Participants are encouraged to “run at their own pace,” according to Norris, and run, walk or jog as long of a distance as desired. The batons are expected to reach the Klamath River boat ramp by 6:50 a.m. and arrive in Hoopa and Orleans late Friday afternoon, a journey of roughly 50 miles.
At 7 a.m., runners and volunteers will be served breakfast and a traditional blessing will be performed at the Yurok Tribal Office, 190 Klamath Boulevard in Klamath.