Alex Breitler, Record
In the fall, the Calaveras River hosted hundreds of Chinook salmon, which swam upstream through Stockton for the first time since 2006.
But the offspring of those fish will be lucky to get out of the river alive.
Virtually dry conditions in Mormon Slough and the Stockton Diverting Canal have left more than 100 salmon “redds,” or nests, without the water that the fertilized eggs need to survive, a biologist says.
One activist blames the sad ending of this success story on the perpetual delay of a plan to improve conditions for Calaveras fish.
“The tragedy of this is that everybody’s celebrating the fact that there’s fish on the river, but we don’t have things set up properly to steer them up where they can spawn,” said Jeremy Terhune, head of the environmental group Friends of the Calaveras River. “It’s the greatest irony of all.”