The Nature Conservancy invites the public to its two-day Fall Salmon Run Open House at Shasta Big Springs Ranch scheduled for Friday, Oct. 26 from 1 to 4 p.m.; and Saturday, Oct. 27 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The Nature Conservancy invites the public to its two-day Fall Salmon Run Open House at Shasta Big Springs Ranch scheduled for Friday, Oct. 26 from 1 to 4 p.m.; and Saturday, Oct. 27 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Fall Chinook salmon are spawning in local rivers, giving northern Californian families, photographers and wildlife enthusiasts a rare opportunity to see these majestic fish as they swim back upstream to spawn after spending several years in the ocean.

“We are opening the gates of Shasta Big Springs Ranch for a couple of days so people in the area can see these amazing fish up-close in a way that is rarely possible anymore in California,” said The Nature Conservancy Shasta River Project Director Amy Hoss.

“Salmon are icons of our natural heritage and important to California’s economy. This might be a record year for Chinook, so visitors will be treated to a sight not seen in many years,” Hoss added.

Shasta Big Springs is a picturesque working ranch with the peaks of Mt. Shasta visible in near distance. With thousands of salmon moving up a small, restored stream, visitors will be able to get a rare glimpse of female salmon guarding and building nests and males competing with each other for spawning opportunities. There is also an underwater camera for guests to get a fish-eye view.

Staff from The Nature Conservancy, National Marine Fisheries Service, Shasta Valley Resource Conservation District, California Trout, and Department of Fish and Game will be available to answer questions and lead short walks to see spawning salmon.

“There are not many places in northern California where you can see salmon spawning. This is a wonderful opportunity to both enjoy the beauty of Shasta Big Springs Ranch and see one of nature’s most extraordinary phenomena,” said Hoss.

Parking is available near the Louie Road Bridge over the Shasta River, north of Mt. Shasta and Weed, four miles east of I-5 on Louie Road.

Background information

At Big Springs Ranch near Mt. Shasta, The Conservancy is working with ranchers to create sustainable practices that improve water quality for salmon.

By keeping cattle out of streams, and changing the way irrigation water is managed, they have been able to decrease water temperatures during periods that are critical for salmon. The Conservancy is currently working with local ranchers and agencies as part of a valley-wide effort to improve conditions for salmon.

For more information visit online at http://www.nature.org/ourinitiatives/regions/northamerica/unitedstates/california/explore/shasta-big-springs-ranch-protected.xml