Catch a glimpse into the annual fall migration and life of a spawning salmon Sunday with the Redwood Parks Conservancy.
The Redwood Parks Conservancy and Redwood National and State Parks will offer free guided trips to view spawning salmon in the Mill Creek Watershed of Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park on Dec. 3 and Dec. 10, according to an agency press release.
A tributary of the Smith River, the Mill Creek Watershed is a top productive stream for coho salmon. Every winter these fish return to the streams of their birth to spawn. The National Park Service, California State Parks and other partners have been working to restore several watersheds in Northern California for more than 30 years, according to the Redwood National and State Parks press release.
Once the adult salmon lay their eggs in the gravel and die, the decomposing carcasses provide food and nutrients for numerous creatures and benefit the young salmon developing in the stream. Sediment and water quality, clarity and temperature and the absence of manmade barriers in these streams determine the success of salmon reproduction, according to the press release.
Outings will run from 12:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 3 and Dec. 10. Tours will be conducted as weather, water and fish conditions allow, according to the press release.
Participants will carpool in their personal vehicles on gravel roads to select viewing locations, according to the press release. Walking short distances over uneven ground may be required. Participants should wear wet weather gear and sturdy hiking shoes, according to the press release. Polarized glasses and binoculars are suggested for best viewing of fish.
The program will be cancelled if it rains or if water clarity is altered. Space is limited. To reserve a spot, call 707-465-6191.