Salmon Cam, Daylight Hours Only

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Salmon returning to spawn in the Shasta River. Photo © Bridget Besaw.

We missed this when it was first published a couple months back, so a belated thanks to The Nature Conservancy for pointing us to the site where we can see underwater, in real time, and hopefully observe fish in their natural habitat. Salmon Cam is only visible during daylight hours so click on the website during California daylight hours:

Salmon Cam: Watch Migratory Fish Live

BY MATT MILLER, CHRIS BABCOCK

If you’re a fan of Salmon Cam, you may have noticed a change of scenery when you’re viewing.

As of October 11, the cam has been moved to a new location on Big Springs Creek, a major tributary to the Shasta River.  Here we hope to see spawning by adult Chinook salmon (also commonly known as king salmon).

These fish have recently entered the Shasta watershed and are now finding their way to the upper river.  The total run of Chinook expected to enter the Shasta this year is only about 3300 individuals, about half of the recent average return.  We hope that even with these reduced numbers, you should still have at least a few weeks of good live viewing of spawning behavior.

And even though this year’s returning salmon are down, consider this: In 2008, you could have watched this cam for hours and not seen a single fish.

The fish you see are benefiting from a unique collaboration between ranchers, water districts, agencies and conservation organizations. For years, these partners have worked to improve fish habitat.

Projects included fencing cows out of the streams, screening of water diversions to keep fish from accidentally ending up in fields and ditches and planting trees to stabilize stream banks.

The Nature Conservancy purchased two ranches in the late 2000s to demonstrate how working cattle ranches can support and enhance salmon habitat.

The latest success is due in part to water users voluntarily leaving water in the stream to provide fish the water they need for migration and spawning.

Many viewers enjoyed watching the near-constant action of the smolts during this summer and early fall. We hope you now enjoy watching the adults return to their spawning streams, which will also mark the end of their spectacular life journeys.

Please post your questions and interesting observations in the comments section below.

Original, August 9, 2016:

Welcome to Salmon Cam, where you can enjoy the underwater happenings of a California salmon river throughout the day, on your computer or device.

The Salmon Cam is located in a tributary creek on The Nature Conservancy’s Shasta Big Springs Ranch. The camera is powered on in daylight hours (currently between 7 am and 7 pm Pacific time). Throughout the season, it will provide a view of migrating Chinook and coho salmon and steelhead trout…

Read the whole original story here.

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