1st Annual Spring-run Chinook Symposium
Salmonid Restoration Federation, in partnership with Pacific Gas and Electric, Friends of Butte Creek, Department of Water Resources, and Sacramento River Preservation Trust hosted the 1st Annual Spring-Run Chinook Symposium, July 27-29, 2006, in beautiful Butte Creek. SRF offered a three-day opportunity for local landowners, restorationists, fisheries biologists, and agency staff to participate in workshops on fish monitoring and identification techniques, to tour and understand restoration projects, and, through positive dialogue, to increase their capacity to positively impact the recovery of Spring-run in California.
This new symposium provided affordable technical and hands-on trainings for the fisheries restoration and water conservation communities to benefit Spring-run Chinook populations in California. Additionally, this event provided cooperative opportunities for landowners, agency biologists, and community restorationists to discuss issues and perspectives in Spring-run Chinook restoration and recovery in California. Located in the Northern Sacramento Valley, Butte Creek contains one of the last self-sustaining populations of Spring-run Chinook in California. The recovery of the Butte Creek Spring-run Chinook provided a unique opportunity to highlight the importance of collaborative watershed planning efforts in the recovery of other Spring-run populations in California.
The event began with full day tours on the upper and lower watersheds. PG & E led a tour of their hydroelectric facilities in the upper watershed. Olen Zirkle of Ducks Unlimited led a Lower Watershed tour that viewed and discussed recent and upcoming dam, diversions, and fish barrier modifications. SRF also hosted a wild salmon BBQ with Paul Ward and Tracy McReynolds of DFG who discussed Spring-run Chinook salmon and Tina Swanson of the Bay Institute who presented about the status of the Spring-run Technical Review Team’s recovery efforts.
Participants had the opportunity to tour the upper watershed to see roads and meadows restoration efforts. Kent Reeves of the California Native Grasslands Association, Roger Cole of Streaminders, and Geomorphologist Eric Ginney led meadow restoration tours. The Lower Watershed Workshop provided an overview of fish identification and counting techniques, weirs, snorkel surveys, and carcass counts. Doug Demko of SP Cramer discussed the fish counting weir on the Stanislaus and the Spring-run population model that they are developing. Mark Gard from USFWS taught participants about spawning gravel survey methods to assess the habitat relationships between water flow and gravel quality. Other tours included a visit to Big Chico Creek Ecological Preserve and a hike to Deer Creek Falls.