Rafting Tours provide salmon viewing on the Yuba River

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SYRCL and ETC provide public tours to view wild Chinook salmon in our own backyard

Volunteer naturalist, Tina Pipes, holds salmon carcass in lower Yuba River.
Volunteer naturalist, Tina Pipes, holds salmon carcass in lower Yuba River.

Know & Go:

What: SYRCL Salmon Tours
When: October 25th and November 1st
Where: Lower Yuba River below Parks Bar
Who: South Yuba River Citizens League (SYRCL)
Cost: Rafting Tours: $80 for the general public, $75 for SYRCL members, and $50 for kids 8-16
Details: https://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.

Salmon Tours are a great way to see spawning salmon up close.
Salmon Tours are a great way to see spawning salmon up close.

“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.

You might get the opportunity to witness exuberant salmon jumping two feet out of the water, showing off their beautiful silvery coloration while many more dart around the rafts. You will be amazed by the spectacular journey of wild Chinook salmon having travelled over a hundred miles from the Pacific to their spawning grounds in the Yuba River.

Gary_Salmon“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 Salmon Tour 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. It is so important to go and see the beauty and feel the excitement of the salmon spawn. The experience will bring your understanding of the connections of life in the river full circle.”

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 four feet in length and often weigh 30 – 40 lbs. Guides will answer all your questions and will pass along knowledge about the fish’s life cycle and its history in the Yuba River.

Register today to secure your spot for a raft tour. Salmon Raft Tours (ages 8 and up) are a full day of rafting down the lower Yuba River. Tour dates are October 25th and November 1st. The cost of a raft trip is $80 for the general public, $75 for SYRCL members, and $50 for kids 16 and under. The Salmon 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.

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, please register or contact Chris Friedel, River Science Manager (530) 265-5961, ext. 211; chris@syrcl.org to learn more.

SYRCL would like to thank the Teichert Foundation for supporting our 2014 Salmon Tours season!

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