‘Whatever happens to the salmon happens to us’

From the Los Angeles Times: California’s Chinook salmon haven’t been able to reach the McCloud River since 1942, when the construction of Shasta Dam blocked the fish from swimming upstream and sealed off their spawning areas in the cold mountain waters near Mt. Shasta.

After 80 years, endangered winter-run Chinook are about to swim in the river once again.

State and federal wildlife officials this week collected about 20,000 winter-run salmon eggs from the Livingston Stone National Fish Hatchery near Redding and drove them for three hours to a campground on the banks of the McCloud River.

Members of the Winnemem Wintu Tribe, who have long sought to return salmon to the river where their ancestors lived, held a ceremony as the eggs arrived in a cooler.

“This is history for California that we’ve done this,” said Caleen Sisk, the tribe’s chief and spiritual leader. “It’s a real blessing.”

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