Project Managers for salmon-surveys in western Placer County, CA

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Salmon Survey Saturday
Volunteers are careful as they wade upstream.

We are looking for one or 2 people to be Project Managers for 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?)

The Project Management role is mainly done via e-mail, telephone and/or text. It also involves coordinating the volunteers on some Saturdays from 9AM to Noon in Lincoln, CA. We are looking for two people to manage this project so that they can back each other up. More on the role of the Project Managers can be seen below.

The volunteers will be walking/wading sections 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 out 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 California Department of Fish & Wildlife (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. Project Managers volunteers, parents, and/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), Cramer Fish Sciences and CDFW will provide training on DNA collection.

During the week, the Project Manager lines up volunteers to participate in the survey on the coming Saturday (weather and water conditions permitting), and kicks off the event 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


We'll work with your schedule.


McBean Park65 McBean Park DrLincoln, CA 95648


  • Organization
  • Project Management
  • Verbal / Written Communication


  • Teens
  • People 55+


  • Driver's License Needed
  • Orientation or Training
  • A few hours each week lining up volunteers plus 3-4 hours on the Saturday's when we actually do the surveys. We do not do surveys when the weather is bad, or the water is too high, or the odds of finding salmon carcasses are low.

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