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The Watershed

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Snowmelt from Mount Lyell forms the headwaters of the Tuolumne.
The headwaters of the Tuolumne River begin at 13,000 feet in Yosemite National Park in the Sierra Nevada mountains. As the river gathers strength, it carves out canyons that provide 27 miles of world-class whitewater for rafters and kayakers.

150 miles downstream at the river's mouth, thousands of Chinook salmon return each fall to spawn on the lower river. The Tuolumne watershed supports many species of wildlife, including bald eagles, spotted owls, prairie falcons, and a healthy wild trout fishery enjoyed by anglers.

In addition to providing excellent wildlife habitat and recreational facilities, the Tuolumne River has been extensively developed to deliver water and electricity to San Francisco and other Bay Area cities. The river also provides water for farmers in the Central Valley.

More about the watershed...