When you think of the greatness of California, it’s hard to pin down…
It’s not just the big mountains, or the hottest deserts, or the tallest trees, or the clearest lakes and the most beautiful beaches. Unlike many states that have one or two iconic features, our state has too many to list, from geological to biological and everything in between. At a recent retreat in San Diego, I spent every sunset looking past the waves for the Green Flash, hoping to catch a glimpse of fluorescent green skies. Somehow it always seems to elude me, but I keep looking anyway.
I can’t help but add the majestic redwood forests to the list – the tallest known trees on our planet, with General Sherman standing 275 feet tall with a diameter of 37 feet. Likewise, the upstate volcanoes, Mt Shasta and Mt Lassen, dominate the skyline of the I-5 corridor and help shape the hydrology and culture of Northern California. From a fishing perspective, the list is long and wouldn’t be complete without winter chinook salmon, a distinct member of California’s biodiversity found only in the Sacramento Valley. And you wouldn’t know it by looking, but the real beauty of California is that these features are all connected, from the highest mountains to the smallest fish in the streams. Read on as we explore the unique biology of winter chinook salmon and the efforts CalTrout and our partners are making to conserve them.
Cover photo: Pusher Studios