Get Inside a School of Spawning Salmon

Russ Ricketts' money shot. Watch more river snorkeling videos here.

We all want to capture a money shot, whether that is literally a photograph, or a video, or a perfectly baked apple pie or a novel or a painting. Sometimes everything just comes together and diligence is rewarded.

It took Russ Ricketts, who wrote this guest post on river snorkeling for Adventure Ethics, about two years to land this video of a school of Chinook Salmon on its journey up the Wenatchee River, looking for natal streams to spawn. I asked him for the backstory.

Where were you? Was it a place you’ve shot before?
The footage was shot in the Wenatchee River, right behind my house in Leavenworth, Washington. This hole is famous for fish, and it's heavily fished because of that reason. I only swim when there's no fishermen. Otherwise it's just disrespectful.

How did you go about making the camera housing?
Nothing special, just a GoPro camera with the dive housing that corrects the fish-eye view. The real difference is the rubber-coated five-pound chunk of lead I attach the camera to. The currents are strong down there and a camera will just get blown off the rock you place it on. No footage then!

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