The Upper Sacramento River is featured in the new ebook, Wild Trout. Price: $3.99
From I-5 Near Dunsmuir
The upper Sacramento River ecosystem is the 37.3-mile segment of the river upstream of Shasta Lake, and downstream of Box Canyon Dam at Lake Siskiyou, in northern California. It is a highly productive, cold-water mountain stream for most of its length. Its varied habitats include pools, runs, riffles, cascades, and pocket-water. The river flows south, through Siskiyou and Shasta counties into the northern end of Shasta Lake, a large, fluctuating storage reservoir.
A biologically diverse and complex system, the river supports a wide array of aquatic plants and animals, from algae and phytoplankton to aquatic insects, mollusks, crayfish, amphibians, and several species of fish. However, the most prominent aquatic resource is the area's internationally renowned wild rainbow trout fishery.
The river directly, and indirectly, supports a wide variety of terrestrial resources as well. Vegetation most closely fits the White Alder Riparian Forest natural community type (Holland 1986), but is variable and includes riparian forest, riparian scrub, and gravel bar. Terrestrial wildlife species interact in a complex web of interdependence with each other and their habitat, including the aquatic environment.
The California Department of Fish and Game's (DFG) California Wildlife Habitats Relationship Program (WHR), which lists all native and introduced wildlife species known in California, indicates that the watershed supports up to 247 species of terrestrial wildlife, including 76 mammals, 17 reptiles, 14 amphibians, and 140 birds.