Winter run baby Chinook salmon shelter in river tributaries before before migrating to the sea.
The Sacramento Bee reported today on an ingenious study published in the journal Biological Conservation which used layers in the ear bones of salmon to link the salmon and the water they swam in during development. California waters run through many distinct geological areas which leave distinct isotopes in the water and then in the ear bones. Using this method, researchers were surprised that the baby salmon spent time growing in the tributaries of of the Sacramento River before migrating to the sea.
A study by California Fish and Wildlife’s Mike Healey showed that this is certainly the case for Auburn Ravine which is home to winter and spring run salmon.