CHICO — We didn't want to leave Bend so quickly, but the road beckoned us to Chico, California. The drive through Central Oregon is quite a haul when you're pulling a giant fish, but the sites were spectacular. Hello Mount Shasta!
We pulled into Chico and set up for the Thursday Night Market, which turned out to be a great event. More than 100 people signed letters to Congress asking for solutions to our West Coast salmon crisis — starting with the removal of the four lower Snake River dams. With the collapse of their Sacramento River salmon run, this crisis is close to home.
On Friday, we spent the lunch hour at Durham Elementary, where the second grade students have been doing studying Salmon in The Classroom.
Three women from the Hoopa Indian Tribe drove several hours to Durham Elementary School to send Fin off to DC. The Hoopa Tribe fishes from the Klamath River, where in 2002, this river lost an estimated 70,000 salmon in a massive fish kill triggered by the Bush Administration's political manuvering and blatant disregard for protecting endangered salmon.
"We have to do something — one way or another, and let's hope it brings our salmon back. This is only going to get worse if we don't do something now," Dania Colegrove said. "It's not just the Sacramento, it's all of our rivers across the West. It's killing our culture. This is our way of life, and we're losing it."
To wrap up our Chico Adventures, Fin "migrated” up Butte Creek, along with a convoy of Friends of Butte Creek. We went as far as the winding road would safely allow, and Fin got to see her friends — the spring chinook, making their annual voyage up Butte Creek.