The Return of the Salmon!

The salmon have returned to Bear Creek!

It’s that time of year again where the Salmon return from the ocean to begin their more than 100 mile journey to spawn in the streams and rivers where they were born. Spring chinook salmon that have survived the summer move into shallower waters where they can build their redds (nest) to lay their eggs to begin the salmon life cycle anew in September to early October.

Once the rain began in early September, that signals the Fall Chinook to start their journey to their natal streams. We have been seeing Fall Chinook in Bear Creek since the middle of September. If you want to learn more about salmon, healthy streams and watersheds, or have never witnessed the return of the salmon, we encourage you to participate in programs offered by Stream Smart partners. Examples of programs include Salmon Watch, Salmon Walks, bike rides, and more. Check our events page for more information.

When do fish spawn in the Rogue Basin?

Spring Chinook (Sept-early Oct)
Fall Chinook (Oct-January; spawning later with distance downstream)
Coho Salmon (roughly late November through mid-January)
Summer Steelhead (mid-Dec through mid-March)
Cutthroat trout (similar to summer steelhead)
Winter steelhead (mid-March through June)
Suckers (April)
Pacific Lamprey (roughly April-June

Information courtesy of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW)
Chinook photo courtesy of River Design Group

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