Hike a Creek & Collect Salmon DNA (October - February)

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Salmon Survey Saturday
Volunteers are careful as they wade upstream.

Salmon Carcass DNA Collection Project

We are looking for people to participate our Salmon Carcass DNA project during the coming salmon migration season in Auburn Ravine. By collecting DNA from salmon carcasses each season, we will be able to accurately estimate lineage percentages for fall-run Chinook salmon in Auburn Ravine. (How many are the offspring of salmon that spawned in Auburn Ravine, and how many are from hatcheries, or other streams?)

This volunteer activity involves walking/wading along a section of Auburn Ravine on Saturday mornings from mid-October until mid-February (weather and water conditions permitting.) Each section is 1 to 1.5 miles in length. Volunteers do not have to participate every Saturday, but are welcome to if they wish. For safety’s sake, we have the volunteers work in pairs. The volunteers look for salmon carcasses and if they find them, they collect a DNA sample by cutting a small piece off of the salmon’s heart. The heart is a much better source of DNA than a fin clip because the heart is usually the last organ to decompose after a salmon dies. We have a CDFW permit for this project. Young people age 12 to 17 are welcome to participate but must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. All volunteers, parents, or legal guardians will need to sign a waiver form.

It will be best if volunteers have their own wading boots (preferably the chest-high type), but some loaners are available. Volunteers should never wade deeper than waist deep. Friends of Auburn Ravine (FAR) will provide training on DNA collection.

The project manager kicks off the event on Saturdays at McBean Park in Lincoln at 9AM. The project manager hands out the DNA collecting kits, assigns volunteers to their stream sections and works out how they will get to and from their sections (who carpools with who to where?). When they are done walking their stream sections, the volunteers return to McBean Park, turn in the collecting kits, and the DNA samples to the project manager who will freeze the DNA and hand it off to Cramer Fish Sciences for analysis.

3 More opportunities with FRIENDS OF AUBURN RAVINE



PO Box 1197, LINCOLN, CA 95648, US

Mission Statement

People working together to improve fish and wildlife habitats in the Auburn Ravine and Raccoon Creek watersheds, by collaborating with all stakeholders, and balancing the needs of wildlife and people.


The primary objectives and purposes of this corporation shall be to promulgate the science of Reconciliation Ecology to protect and enhance natural habitats throughout the Auburn Ravine watershed and other watersheds in western Placer County and Sutter County in the State of California in such a way that human uses of the landscape can continue, the needs of wildlife and people are balanced, and sustainable solutions are implemented for the benefit of all.


Tue Oct 15, 2019 - Wed Apr 15, 2020
09:00 AM - 12:00 PM  


McBean Park65 McBean Park DrLincoln, CA 95648



  • Outdoor Recreation
  • Water Recreation


  • Kids
  • Teens
  • People 55+
  • Group


  • Must be at least 10
  • Orientation or Training
  • 3 hrs on some Saturday mornings (Oct-Feb)
  • Able to wade upstream in knee deep water for up to 1.5 miles.

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