A tradition unlike any other

By Triplicate Staff June 03, 2013 06:08 pm

From left: Patty Gensaw of Klamath, Teresita Gensaw, 11, of Klamath and Yurok Tribe Planning and Community Development Department member Josh Norris carry a pair of wooden salmon batons during the 11th Annual Klamath-Trinity Salmon Run on Friday.
From left: Patty Gensaw of Klamath, Teresita Gensaw, 11, of Klamath and Yurok Tribe Planning and Community Development Department member Josh Norris carry a pair of wooden salmon batons during the 11th Annual Klamath-Trinity Salmon Run on Friday. Del Norte Triplicate / Robert Husseman
Salmon make their way to Hoopa, Orleans

As the Friday morning sun began to burn off the fog enshrouding the hills flanking the Klamath River, a pair of salmon took a short dip in the mouth of the river.

The salmon — both carved in wood, both approximately one foot long, one painted — had been blessed for the journey that awaited them.

The Yurok Tribe’s 11th Annual Klamath-Trinity Salmon Run would eventually split the salmon up along two distinct paths, ushered through the forests and waters by tribe members and employees.

Students from Hoopa Valley High School began conducting the event in 2002 to raise awareness of various environmental impacts on the Klamath River salmon.

The run started as dawn broke over the spit at the mouth of the Klamath River.
The run started as dawn broke over the spit at the mouth of the Klamath River. Del Norte Triplicate / Robert Husseman
 

Six people participated in the Del Norte County leg of the Salmon Run, with two participants boarding a boat from Klamath Glen to Weitchpec to continue the journey.

Once arriving on land, the salmon split up as each completed the last leg of an approximately 70-mile journey — one to Hoopa, one to Orleans.