Watch salmon heading up the Sacramento.

Salmon are spawning this month in the Sacramento River. At the salmon-viewing plaza just off Interstate Highway 5 at Red Bluff, you can occassionally see a fish Hurl itself up the 12-step ladder around the Red Bluff Diversion Dam as it heads to spawning grounds upriver.

Between 37,000 and 60,000 king (chinook) salmon, plus steelhead and other fish, make a trip during the fall run, usually from mid-September through mid-December. Most scoot up the latter underwater; you can watch them on TV monitors at the viewing plaza.

Two artificial spawning channels, birthplace for 1.5 million salmon, are on the other (southwest) side of the river. Between 7:30 and 4 weekdays, drop into the office near the channels to see a free 15-minute slide show on the facility.

To get to the channels from 1-5, take State 36 west to Main Street in Red Bluff; follow Main south 3-1/4 miles (it becomes County Road A8), then take Tyler Road east 3-1/2 miles.