Salmon Return Upstream To Spawn In The River Etterick

The Royal Keystone Species

Salmon Run Descriptions: From the California Department of Fish and Wildlife The Sacramento-San Joaquin River system is the principal producer of Chinook salmon caught in California’s ocean fisheries. Its salmon runs also contribute to the ocean fisheries of Oregon and Washington. 

The fall run has been monitored since 1952, spring since 1960, and late fall and winter runs since 1970. The four runs are distinguished as follows: 

1) Late-fall run: These salmon spawn mainly in the upper Sacramento River and its tributaries near and upstream of Red Bluff. They arrive in this area beginning in October, with spawning occurring from December through April. Adults of this run are usually larger in physical size than fall- and winter-run salmon spawning in the same area. 

2) Winter run: These salmon spawn almost entirely in the Sacramento River and its tributaries upstream of Red Bluff, arriving as early as December, with spawning occurring from April through August. 

3) Spring run: Once widespread in Central Valley tributaries, this run has been extirpated from most of the streams in which dam construction has blocked access to upper watershed spawning habitat. Spring-run spawners return to the system from the ocean in late January through August; early arrivals to their natal streams over summer in holding pools. Spawning occurs from mid-August through October.

 4) Fall run: These are presently the most numerous and widely distributed salmon in the Central Valley. They return from the ocean during June through November and spawn from early October through late December. Monitoring of salmon escapement in Central Valley tributaries is an important component of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s fishery management function. The primary objectives of this work are to determine size and composition of salmon populations. Changes in salmon abundance, distribution, and habitat conditions that may reflect adverse effects on salmon are noted to determine if corrective action is necessary.

Much more needs to be done to protect the remaining salmon populations and to enhance the habitat on which they rely to survive and thrive.

December 2013 Update 

By: Diana Jacobs, BOD Chair 


(Total by Aug. 2012: 2,767)

The news is not good for the Endangered winter-run this year. This winter and spring hundreds of adult fish strayed off the river and ended up on the refuges, they were trapped and rescued but in bad shape.    It could have been almost half the whole run – (but we don’t have the final counts yet). 



(2012 Total: 22,249) 

For the Spring Run news is better.  Our Friends over at the Friends of Butte Creek have reported a preliminary county by CDFW of over 11,000,  which is huge. Hopefully these trends will continue over the three to five year return periods of Spring Run. 


(Aug. 2012: 341,759) 

Fall run, as usual, are doing much better.  This chart shows a total of fish harvested in the ocean and river, and the river spawning run for the state’s largest salmon stock, the Sacramento River Fall–run chinook. 


(Aug. 2012: 5,991)

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