Community event will highlight the importance of salmon and rivers for World Fish Migration Day
May 5, 2014
CHICO, CA – Young salmon and steelhead from Big Chico Creek must swim an impressive distance of nearly 250 miles to reach the ocean on their spring outmigration. On Saturday, May 24, FISHBIO will host Chico’s first 5k Salmon Fun Run & Walk to celebrate this epic journey and highlight the challenges facing salmon and other migratory fish. The date marks the first annual World Fish Migration Day, an international event intended to raise awareness about open rivers and migratory fishes.
The Salmon Run will cover a scenic 5-km (3.1-mile) loop through Bidwell Park, and passes by Big Chico Creek, an important local fish migration corridor. Check-in begins at 1-Mile Recreation Area at 7:15 a.m., and the run/walk will begin at 8 a.m., rain or shine. All ages and fitness levels are welcome to participate at their own pace in this family-friendly event. Prizes will be awarded to the fastest runners in a range of categories, and activities and games for kids will take place throughout the morning. All registered participants will also be entered in a raffle for prizes.
Registration is $25 for adults and $20 for youths 18 and under. Advance registration is encouraged, and participants can register online (http://www.fishbio.com/race.html), at Fleet Feet Sports at 241 Main Street, or at FISHBIO’s office at 180 East 4th Street, Suite 160. Registration includes race participation, race timing, and a raffle ticket. Participants who register at least one week before the race will also be guaranteed a custom designed T-shirt inspired by local student artwork.
“We wanted to host this event to give back to the community and raise awareness about salmon and steelhead,” said FISHBIO’s president, Doug Demko, a long-time Chico resident. “Chico Creek is iconic – when people think of Chico, they think of the creek and Bidwell Park. We want to celebrate this resource that makes Chico special, and recognize the important role it plays in protecting the health of salmon and steelhead populations in the North State.” The Salmon Run is also sponsored by a number of local businesses, including Fleet Feet Sports and Klean Kanteen.
Butte County is home to a number of important salmon and steelhead habitats and migration routes, including Butte Creek and Big Chico Creek. Butte Creek boasts the largest population of wild spring-run salmon in all of California, with 16,000 spring-run returning to the creek last year. Last August, FISHBIO conducted the first rainbow trout population survey in more than a decade at Big Chico Ecological Reserve, in hopes of better understanding the relationship between the fish’s resident form and the migratory form known as steelhead.
As part of World Fish Migration Day, FISHBIO has also launched the Three Rivers Education Program, a cross-cultural program that connects classrooms in California and Laos, and helps students appreciate the importance of fish and rivers in their communities and abroad. FISHBIO has presented lessons and hosted a letter exchange for classrooms in grades 2–6 in Chico, Oakdale, and Modesto, California, as well as international schools in Vientiane, Laos. More information about the program will be on display at the Salmon Run.
About FISHBIO: FISHBIO is a fisheries and environmental consulting company with offices in Chico and Oakdale, California, and Vientiane, Laos. FISHBIO is dedicated to advancing the research, monitoring, and conservation of fishes around the world.
Photos available at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/fish-bio
Education program photos: https://www.flickr.com/photos/fish-bio/sets/72157640660786253/
Race Registration: http://www.fishbio.com/race.html
World Fish Migration Day: www.worldfishmigrationday.com
Three Rivers Education Program: http://learnthreerivers.wordpress.com/