FAIR OAKS, Calif. - With temperatures unseasonably warm on New Year's Eve, many families spent time along the American river, but a rather unpleasant odor has taken over portions of the river in Fair Oaks.
At Sailor Bar in Fair Oaks, Chinook salmon carcasses lined the rocky river bank Tuesday. It's due, in part, to low water levels and Mother Nature taking its course.
It's almost the end of the "Salmon Run," which is when salmon migrate up-stream to spawn on gravel beds. In most cases, the fish die shortly after.
Over the past few weeks, salmon along Sailor Bar made their way to their final resting place, and now that the water levels are lower due to the dry winter months, their carcasses have surfaced.
"It smells like it's in the ocean, not like the river," 10-year-old Fair Oaks resident Julia Pruett said.
Department of Fish and Wildlife spokesperson Patrick Foy said this is all part of the natural life cycle of the salmon. The smell is a naissance people will have to deal with for another month or so, but there is no harm to people or wildlife.
"There are going to be thousands upon thousands of these dead salmon carcasses that are literally rotting away and being scavanged upon by these scavenging animals," Foy explained. "It smells really, really bad. There's really not anything we can do about it."