Instead of finding just a few hundred fish and very low flows, as anticipated, the run was one of the largest Chinook salmon returns in recent time and the flows were unusually high. An estimated 10,000 to 30,000 Chinook salmon spawned in the Eel River basin in 2010 and the report recommends speedy action to help sustain this level of return and maybe increase it to 100,000 fish. Read more...
While in the field for the Eel River fall Chinook monitoring project, Pat captured some video of these magnificent fish. Check out this underwater footage of Eel River Chinook salmon, in late October 2010.
Large school of fall Chinook salmon upstream of Fernbridge that forms a black cloud in the video as they draw together. 10/22/2010. Time 1:01. 54 Mb
Adult Chinook salmon and jacks circle me in the top of 12th Street Pool in Fortuna with half pounder steelhead clearly visible near the beginning. 10/22/2010. Time 1:02. 66 Mb.
Rolling Chinook salmon at the mouth of Outlet Creek. 11/05/10. 27 seconds. 35 Mb.
Spawning Chinook salmon in Baechtel Creek, a tributary of Outlet Creek above Willits. 12/02/2010. Time 1:30. 119 Mb.
First confirmation of spawning in the upper Eel on November 4. Time 1:34. 137 Mb
More spawning activity below the Hearst Bridge showing female Chinook completely white with fungus and defending nests. 11/17/2010. 1 minute. 63 Mb.
Thousands of California roach over Elodia bed as adult pikeminnow lurk in deeper water at Windswept Ranch near Hearst. 10/07/10. Time 2:30. (54 Mb)
Adult pikeminnow at the South Fork and mainstem Eel River convergence pool. 10/22/10. 23 seconds. 17 Mb.
CDFG biologist Scott Harris measuring and tagging Chinook salmon at Van Arsdale Fish station. 11/05/2010. 143 Mb.
Scott Dam and needle valve releasing Eel River water with the force of a fire hose on November 17, 2010. 1:30. 71 Mb.AVI
Pillsbury Reservoir upstream of Scott Dam just after sunrise on November 17, 2010.AVI