Sierra Institute offers education tour of Deer Creek

Feather Publishing

The Sierra Institute for Community and Environment will once again offer a walk down Deer Creek, Aug. 13, one of the last free-running salmon streams in California.

Streams in Northern California use to be so thick with salmon that you could walk across the water and not get your feet wet. While some may have exaggerated how many fish there really were, today there have been huge population declines and — in many cases — a complete loss of salmon in California fresh water streams. The salmon season in the oceans off California and Oregon was canceled in 2008 and 2009 due to the limited number of fish.

Deer Creek, which runs along Highway 32 north of Chico, and its salmon are the focus of this outdoor educational tour. Research is currently underway in Deer Creek to monitor the small population of spring-run Chinook salmon and steelhead.

Participants will learn about status of Deer Creek salmon, their natural history and the impact of wildfires.

Ken Roby, a retired Fisheries biologist and Ryan Foote, the fisheries biologist with the Lake Almanor Ranger District will guide the tour.

The tour begins in Chester at the Collins Pine Museum at 8:30 a.m., where participants will enjoy morning refreshments and view a short introductory presentation about Deer Creek and salmon.

The group will then board the bus and head to Deer Creek, making a few short stops along the way to talk about recent fires. The tour will trace Deer Creek along Highway 32, allowing participants to enjoy the spectacular Deer Creek Canyon and learn about the salmon and recent fires.

Space is limited; call Lauri Rawlins-Betta, 284-1022, to reserve a place. Morning refreshments, lunch, and bus transportation are provided as part of the tour, which concludes by 3:30 p.m. Cost is $50 per person, $95 per couple.

For more information, visit



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