Preserve Old Growth

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Mountaineers Foundation Rhododendron Preserve

Chico Creek Watershed Habitat

Spawning salmon fill Wildcat and Lost Creeks each fall. The adults tirelessly dig redds, or nests to protect their eggs, then guard their fertilized eggs for the last few days of their lives.

The young salmon emerge from their protective gravels each spring and feed on the abundant food in the streams. They swim downstream into Chico Creek, the Chico estuary, and Dyes Inlet to the Pacific Ocean where they spend the next three years before returning to spawn.

Bears, eagles, and raccoons feast on the salmon carcasses. The animals’ messy eating habits benefit the forests surrounding the streams. The nutrients contribute to the lush growth and tall trees.

Recently beavers have begun colonizing the Preserve, too.