Life in the Nestucca River, April 2015

Wild Juvenile Chinook in Nestucca River during April, 2015.
Wild Juvenile Chinook in Nestucca River during April, 2015.

Much of the time when we are fishing our focus is very narrow.  Sometimes, it is startling to see what is going on in our coastal rivers.  The photo above, not so very good an image, taken with cell phone last week, shows (I think) a dozen juvenile chinook salmon suspended in a little pool at the river’s edge.

The Nestucca and all of our coastal rivers are alive right now with these tiny little salmon, and soon the coho and steelhead fry will join them as they continue to emerge from the gravels.  To be sure, there could be a few steelhead fry out already but I’m pretty sure that most of these little fish were chinook, but of course I can’t be sure.

Just wanted to share this image and the thought, in hopes that our rivers may  always support vigorous runs of wild salmon, trout, and steelhead. Let’s hope that those who follow us in fifty and a hundred years see as many (or more) little fish in the rivers as I did just recently.

I noticed a steelhead carcass in the water near the Three Rivers boat ramp. I expected that crawfish would be picking on the meat at night, but I was surprised to see a cloud of Chinook salmon fry hovering above the carcass with little fish picking at the meat. This is not something I expected from juvenile chinook here in Oregon, and I was really pleased to be able to see it first hand.

If you are a salmon conservation advocate, student of the historical record of salmon conservation, or simply a person passionate about the future of wild Pacific Salmon, you might find Conversation With A Salmon of interest.


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