Salmon have always spawned in Auburn Ravine Creek, but biologists have been uncertain if salmon could get past the Chaparral Cascades. As a result, some people have flatly stated that those cascades are a total barrier to upstream migration. They have used that judgement to downplay the potential need to provide a way for salmon to get past the Gold Hill Dam which is about ½ mile further upstream.
The cascades are about 25 miles upstream from where the creek enters the Sacramento River near Verona. The cascades are steep, and the water runs fast there. Now there is proof that salmon can get through the cascades to spawn upstream. A local resident noticed salmon spawning about 375 yards upstream from the Chaparral Cascades on November 5, 2016 and preserved video proof of that.
This video includes that resident’s original video from November 5, 2016, and his “attestation” that he saw the salmon and made the video on that date. The date is also verified by the meta-data embedded in his original video file. The GPS coordinates have been verified by two different GPS units and Google Maps.
This is irrefutable evidence that salmon can reach the spawning areas above the Chaparral Cascades. Residents further upstream are on the lookout to see if salmon can get all the way to the base of Gold Hill Dam.
The upper reaches of Auburn Ravine must now be considered active salmon-spawning habitat.