Rafting tours provide salmon viewing on the Yuba River | TheUnion.com

Rafting tours provide salmon viewing on the Yuba River

Know & Go:

What: SYRCL Salmon Tours

When: Rafting tours: Oct. 25 and Nov. 1; walking tour: Oct. 16

Where: Rafting tours: Lower Yuba River below Parks Bar; walking tour: The University of California’s Sierra Foothill Research and Extension Center

Who: South Yuba River Citizens League (SYRCL)

Cost: Rafting: $80 for the general public, $75 for SYRCL members, and $50 for kids 8-16; walking tour: $10 for adults and $5 for kids 16 and younger

Details: http://yubariver.org/salmon-tours/

Right now, Chinook salmon are swimming from the Pacific Ocean under the Golden Gate Bridge, through the Delta and back to the rivers of their birth to spawn the next salmon generation. The South Yuba River Citizens League (SYRCL) and Environmental Travel Companions (ETC) are offering public raft tours in October and November that will guide participants in viewing salmon spawning activity in the lower Yuba River below Englebright Dam.

“Registration is now open for 2014 Salmon Tours. This is an amazing opportunity for you and your family to adventure down the lower Yuba River to see spawning salmon,” says SYRCL’S River Science Manager, Chris Friedel. “Get your hands (and feet) wet while learning about the salmon life cycle, their ecology, and the impact humans have on these incredible and resilient fish.”

Join SYRCL River Science staff and river guides from ETC for this educational and fun day. You will learn about the Yuba River ecosystem, how mining has impacted the river, SYRCL’s work to protect salmon, and visit SYRCL’s habitat restoration project at Hammon Bar.

“I have been rafting the rivers of the Sierra Nevada for 30 years and have seen their degradation first-hand,” said Cindy Richards a volunteer naturalist. “It is so important for us to share with today’s youth the interconnections of life in our rivers. There is only a fraction of historic salmon populations left in the Yuba, and we need to do something to help them thrive now.”

Chinook salmon, also known as king salmon, historically came up the Yuba and many other rivers in California by the hundreds of thousands. Today, wild fall-run Chinook salmon return to the lower Yuba in the thousands, while the much rarer spring-run Chinook salmon are federally listed as a species threatened with extinction. Chinook salmon can measure 4 feet in length and often weigh 30-40 pounds. Guides will answer all your questions and will pass along knowledge about the fish’s lifecycle and its history in the Yuba River.

New this year, join SYRCL River Science staff for a walking tour of lower Yuba salmon habitat from the University of California’s Sierra Foothill Research and Extension Center. This tour is an excellent way to view superior salmon spawning habitat without a boat, and at a reduced cost.

Salmon raft tours (ages 8 and older) are a full day of rafting down the lower Yuba River. Tour dates are Oct. 25 and Nov. 1. The raft tours will take place on the main stem of the Yuba River from Parks Bar, just below the Highway 20 bridge, to Sycamore Ranch Park. This run is approximately 5 miles long and the tour takes approximately six hours.

Walking tours are a half day walking tour along the lower Yuba upstream from Parks Bar. The only public riverbank tour is Oct. 16. The cost of a river bank tour is $10 for adults and $5 for kids 16 and younger.

Individuals should bring a lunch, water, sunscreen, polarized sunglasses, and appropriate clothes for a brisk day on the river with a brief hike (no flip-flops).

To sign up for a tour, register at http://yubariver.org/salmon-tours/ or contact Chris Friedel, at 530-265-5961, ext. 211; chris@syrcl.org to learn more.

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