Environment | World

California Watch: Winnemem Wintu travel world for salmon

"For nearly 70 years, the McCloud River in Northern California has been bereft of the Chinook salmon spawning runs for which it was once known. But for a few hours this summer, the Winnemem Wintu tribe revived the river’s memory of the lost, sacred fish.

“We Winnemem are a salmon people, but because of the Shasta Dam, the salmon can’t swim this river anymore,” tribal member Rick Wilson told about 100 Winnemem and supporters at the river's falls. “So we have to do it for them.”

Following the path the fish once took up the McCloud’s glacial waters, the ersatz salmon plunged from the rounded cliffs of the river’s Lower Falls, swam under the feathery cascade of the 50-foot Middle Falls, then at the Upper Falls dove into a chilly former spawning pool and fetched a stone from the bottom, just as salmon upturn the gravel to lay their roe."

Get the Story:
Tribe travels across Pacific to recover lost salmon species (California Watch 8/31)

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