Thursday, September 04, 2008

mystery blog, part three: turn left at the dam!

Prologue: The BIG Dam

In 1968 the construction of the massive Oroville Dam in Northern California to backup the Feather River was completed. At 800 feet high and over a mile in width, it is the tallest earthen dam located in the United States.

Once this dam was in place the course of the Feather River was forever altered.

Part One: A Gathering of Vultures

Why are they gathered here? What do they want?
So the mystery begins ...

Part Two: Here They Come!

For eons the Chinook salmon have migrated from the Pacific Ocean to the upper reaches of the Feather River to spawn, lay their eggs and then die.

The building of the huge Oroville Dam on the Feather River forever separated the salmon
from their spawning grounds. So now the salmon gather at the base of a smaller dam on the Feather as the vultures wait.

part three: Turn Left at the Dam!
Just off to the left of the fish barrier dam is a fish ladder that runs about a third of a mile to the Feather River Fish hatchery. Most fish eventually find this ladder because
water flows at a constant rate that simulates the river current.

Epilogue: Preserving the Species

From holding tank #3 the fish are euthanized and the eggs taken and artificially spawned.
The eggs are then incubated and the fingerlings reared until they are ready to be let go
downriver. From there the fingerings make their way to the Pacific Ocean where they remain until it is time to return to their new man-made spawning grounds.

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