Wednesday, September 16, 2009

"Salmon at the Heart of Nature", Placer Nature Center’s 4th Friday Lecture - September 25, 2009


Placer Nature Center’s 4th Friday Lecture - September 25, 2009

Salmon at the Heart of Nature

Get tickets Now! Season Passes available!

Sweeping changes are coming for endangered populations of winter and spring run Salmon. Dams built decades ago without fish ladders and creating still waters that block access to hundreds of miles of historic spawning grounds must be adapted to ensure species survival under a ruling by the National Marine Fisheries Service. At the State level – Governor Schwarzenegger signed legislation banning dredge mining in California rivers. Have these rulings come too late? Is the situation for Salmon so dire that we’ve passed the tipping point?

We’ll find out on Friday, September 25th at Placer Nature Center’s 4th Friday Lecture Series. The 5th season of the popular Lecture series makes a splashing opening with Dr. Tim Horner, Internationally recognized expert on the salmon species, fish ecology and habitat issues. While Dr. Horner will discuss broader issues of fish populations globally, he will concentrate his comments on our local fisheries and the American River.

“Best news of all.” According to Leslie Warren, Executive Director of Placer Nature Center, “is that two of Auburn’s finest restaurants are creating special meals for 4th Friday Lecture goers and 20% of the meal proceeds will be donated to Placer Nature Center to support environmental learning projects.” “Dine at 5:00 PM at Tsuda’s or Latitudes – enjoying a special themed menu and delight in science learning at 7:00 P.M.! What a great night out! It is an easy walk between the restaurants and our venue at 1212 High Street too,” Warren said.

“It is kind of ironic that our restaurants cannot serve local wild salmon because our species are so depleted. We’ll see what creative menu is offered even as we bemoan the disappearance of our favorite entre!”

“Salmon have long been considered a key indicator species. It is almost as if the salmon swims at the heart of the web of life on earth. Orca whales’ survival, maintenance of nutrient rich soils in the northwest, sustaining Native American and Inuit culture – the salmon is critical to these and so much more,” Warren explained. “We are so very pleased to kick off our Lecture series with such an esteemed scientist and educator!”

The American river has changed significantly in the past 150 years, and salmon and steelhead populations have decreased and whole seasonal runs have disappeared. This decrease could be related to ocean conditions, global warming, commercial or recreational fishing, delta water demands, mining, sediment input, water diversions, water quality, dams and water releases, water temperature, hatchery practices or habitat reduction. All of these issues will be reviewed to help put the problem in context for the American River, and identify the stressors that are responsible for the population decline.

Tickets are available securely on line at, by calling 530-878-6053 or at the following businesses Tsuda’s Café, Latitudes Restaurant and Newcastle Produce. Tickets are $10 general, $8 for members and $5 for full time students. Season tickets are only $55 for the general public and $45 for members – making one Lecture in the 6 Lecture Series FREE!

About the Speaker:

Dr. Tim Horner graduated from The Ohio State University in 1992, and joined the Geology Department at CSU Sacramento in Fall 1993. He specializes in groundwater/surface water interaction, and teaches undergraduate and graduate classes in sedimentology, field geology and hydrogeology.

He received the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics Distinguished Teaching Award in 2008. Much of Tim's time is devoted to habitat assessment and in-stream monitoring work on local rivers, with special emphasis on salmon and steelhead spawning gravels.

Tim and his students are frequent partners on local stream restoration projects, and have collected information about the health and habitat suitability of the American River system. CSUS faculty and students have helped to characterize the physical conditions that are ideal for salmon and steelhead spawning. This set of physical conditions can then be used as a target to guide restoration projects. Several restoration projects have addressed the problem by creating more habitat or restoring degraded parts of the river.

Leslie Warren
Executive Director, Placer Nature Center
Placer Nature Center

No comments: