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COLEMAN NFH: Northern California Families Enjoy Return of Salmon and the Outdoors
California-Nevada Offices , October 27, 2008
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Brothers Whalen and Braden Alston enjoying the outdoors while looking for salmon redds by the Sacramento River in Red Bluff October 2008 (photo courtesy Naseem Alston)
Brothers Whalen and Braden Alston enjoying the outdoors while looking for salmon redds by the Sacramento River in Red Bluff October 2008 (photo courtesy Naseem Alston) - Photo Credit: n/a
Chinook salmon on redd in Battle Creek October 2008 (photo courtesy Kathy Bishop)
Chinook salmon on redd in Battle Creek October 2008 (photo courtesy Kathy Bishop) - Photo Credit: n/a

by Tricia Parker, Coleman NFH
Smiling parents and delighted children are celebrating the return of fall Chinook salmon at a no-cost local attraction here in the northern Central Valley/ Sacramento River area.  Hundreds of families are visiting the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Coleman National Fish Hatchery in Anderson, Calif., to see one of the wonders of nature -- the return of the salmon . 

The past few weekends, many families with young children watched salmon in the fish ladder and holding ponds at Coleman National Fish Hatchery. Young children and parents alike tend to squeal with delight when they see the adult salmon jumping in the ponds. At Coleman National Fish Hatchery, people of all ages and abilities can access salmon viewing areas to witness the phenomenal return of these magnificent fish.

The life cycle of Chinook salmon includes two amazing migrations. Born in freshwater streams, young salmon migrate to the ocean to live and grow for a few years. When they have grown to an adult they make another incredible journey and return to freshwater to spawn.  Although these adults will end up dying, their successful spawning will lead to a new generation of young fish and the cycle continues. 

Witnessing salmon returning to spawn is one of the highlights of the fall season here in Northern California. In addition to the salmon spawning naturally in the creeks and river, many salmon return to Coleman National Fish Hatchery to be spawned. Following the construction of Shasta Dam in the 1940's, Coleman National Fish Hatchery was constructed to help provide a place to make up for the lost natural spawning habitat that was blocked by the dam.

The easiest way to get to the hatchery, is to take the Factory Outlets exit off I-5 near the City of Anderson,  then follow the signs to Coleman National Fish Hatchery.  Specific directions to the hatchery can be found on the web at http://www.fws.gov/coleman/location.html

To view salmon in the natural environment, first be sure that you are on public land. Some possible areas are on the Historic Battle Creek bridge (Gover Rd and Jelly's Ferry Rd), or along the trails upstream of the Sundial Bridge in Redding http://www.healthyshasta.org/local_maps.php . 

Remember to bring appropriate gear (hat, sunscreen and/or rainjacket) while you enjoy your outdoor adventures.


Contact Info: Tricia Parker, 530-527-3043 x 248, Tricia_Parker@fws.gov



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