It is a seemingly simple idea that is having a profound impact on the survival of juvenile salmon.
Twenty-five shelters – massive root systems from old walnut trees, each one bolted to a 12,000-pound limestone boulder and sunk below the Sacramento River – are giving young salmon fry a place to hide from large predators.
Placed in the cold, deep waters near Redding, the shelters entice the young salmon to stay in colder waters longer, thus increasing their odds of healthy maturation before their journey to the Pacific Ocean.
Results reveal juvenile salmon are using the structures. It is an exciting development for a pilot project that had yet to be proven. We hope to soon see more structures placed in other locations along the Sacramento River, as well as in other California rivers.
River Garden Farms funded and coordinated the majority of this project with additional assistance from U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, Northern California Water Association, Sacramento Settlement Contractors, National Marine Fisheries Service, and Western Shasta Resource Conservation District.
See the video below to join us on site as our team builds a shelter for young salmon below the Sacramento river.