Thursday May 15, 2014

Chico News and Review

May 15, 2014

by Howard Hardee

Each year, thousands of salmon and other migratory fish journey 250 miles from the Pacific Ocean to Butte and Big Chico creeks to spawn. “You imagine the challenges they face,” said Gabriel Kopp, director of operations at FISHBIO, “and have a great deal of respect for a species able to thrive through that.”

Kopp hopes Chicoans will take on a more modest trek aimed at calling attention to the importance of open waterways for migratory fish species. On May 24, or World Fish Migration Day, FISHBIO is hosting the Bidwell Park 5K Salmon Run. The event will serve as a capstone for a year of educational outreach efforts both in California and the Mekong River Basin in Southeast Asia, dubbed the Three Rivers Education Program.

Chico State grad Doug Demko created FISHBIO six years ago in the Stanislaus County town of Oakdale, subsequently establishing locations in Laos and Chico. The company uses state-of-the-art technology it manufactures in Oakdale to research and monitor fish populations—a measure of a river system’s overall health—working with water companies, irrigation districts and the Army Corps of Engineers.

FISHBIO has “a culture of being responsible and giving back,” Kopp said. He pointed to fish counts in Big Chico Creek conducted pro bono last summer, as well as company-organized volunteer stream cleanups as examples.

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