Capital Region Cares Capital Region Cares 2017-2018 - Page 46

n Success story f o y t n e l p fish in the creek SPAWNING CHINOOK SALMON HAVE RETURNED TO DEER CREEK FOR THE FIRST TIME IN NEARLY A DECADE p h oto : co u rt e sy o f l i s a co u p e r 46 CAPITAL REGION CARES 2017 | comstocksmag.com BY Robin Epley PHOTO: Joan Cusick I n order for spawning Chinook salmon to return to Deer Creek this autumn, they first had to swim against the stream from the San Joaquin River to the Mokelumne River, east of Rio Vista. Then, the deter- mined fish had to make their way up to where the Mokelumne meets the Cos- umnes River, and finally, migrate sever- al miles more to get to the shady shores of Deer Creek. They found that respite thanks to a multi-year environmental restoration project from the Sacramen- to Valley Conservancy in coalition with Teichert Construction. The creek has been historically mined and thirsty ranchland placed nearby, says SVC Stewardship Director Lucie Adams. With the help of a Nation- al Fish and Wildlife Foundation Grant, “Our goal was to restore the habitat and landscape.” The project was for a small section of the conservancy’s 375-acre Deer Creek Hills North parcel, just east of Scott Road, along the El Dorado County line, Adams says. A mile of the creek runs di- rectly through their preserve lands, and their goal has been to restore the area in general — the spawning salmon return- ing to the creek for the first time since 2009 was a big, big bonus, she says. “We planted over 300 trees and shrubs along the creek corridor to re- store the shade and enhance these areas,” Adams says. Even though the