The Current Magazine Winter 2016/17 - Page 20

PARTNER PROFILE

Wild Salmon Center

Investing in California's Strongholds

BOB VAN DYK

Wild Salmon Center Oregon and California Policy Director

Bob has been with WSC since 2010. He has a Ph.D. in political science from the U of WA, and is a professor emeritus at Pacific University in Forest Grove. In his spare time, Bob tends a big garden, travels with his family and explores the Pacific Northwest’s fabulous public lands.

In northeastern California, Mill Creek tumbles clear and cold from 8,000-foot-high Lassen Peak and down to the mainstem of the Sacramento River. The creek’s headwaters provide some of the highest-elevation spawning areas for Chinook in North America. And Mill Creek has one of the last strong populations of wild spring Chinook in California, with up to 20,000 returning fish in a good year.

Mill Creek’s exceptional spring run is one reason it was selected as part of the Sacramento River salmon stronghold, during an extensive scientific process involving federal, state, local and conservation partners working throughout California. Our organization, the Portland, Oregon-based Wild Salmon Center, facilitated the stronghold identification process which was led by California Dept. of Fish and Wildlife, CalTrout, The Nature Conservancy, and Trout Unlimited. The goal was to identify wild salmon runs in California with the highest levels of species diversity and abundance, and promote the protection and restoration of the watersheds that sustain those runs.

Photo: Mill Creek Conservancy