Russian River | KALW

Russian River

Angela Johnston / KALW News

Every summer fish biologists across the state suction snorkel masks onto their faces. With scuba diving flashlights in hand, they crawl, swim, and slither up the tributaries of rivers literally counting the number and species of salmon they see to measure the health of the population. This method to monitor the salmon and steelhead populations is effective and low tech and it hasn’t changed much over the years. But the salmon population in California has changed.

Angela Johnston / KALW News

 

One of the main reasons for the decline of the salmon population in the Russian River is the simple fact that humans live along it, work along it, growing marijuana, growing grapes, building houses . . . the list goes on. So, conservationists believe part of the solution is working with the people who live right along the water to create a better environment for the fish.

Just over 100 miles north of San Francisco, residents of Lower Lake are cleaning up their devastated community. The Clayton Fire, a suspected arson, destroyed nearly 300 structures. It’s the second time in less than a year that people living in Lake County have suffered from a blaze.