Tag Archives: fall creek

Fall Creek – Chinook Run

Fall Creek is a tributary of the Alsea River.  A well-maintained gravel road is between mile markers 26 and 27 on the Alsea Highway 34. We’ve been checking Fall Creek, every couple weeks, for salmon but hadn’t seen any at the falls until this week.

Fall Creek Falls
Fall Creek Falls

 There’s a really nice research center about a half-mile further up the road.  They use workampers and other volunteers seasonally.

Fall Creek Chinook Run - 2013
Chinook on redds

But we just like to watch the salmon jump the falls.  We only saw one jump so we walked down the river to see how many we could find on redds.  “Redds” are the gravel beds where salmon lay their eggs.

Fall Creek Chinook Run - 2013
No fishing!

But we were mostly excited to see the size of these Chinook this year.  They are probably in the 30-40 lb range!

Fall Creek Chinook Run - 2013
Some are sore backs

“Sore Back” is a nickname given to the adult salmon that are dying.  As their bodies deteriorate, they turn white and look like sores.

Fall Creek Chinook Run - 2013
Pretty beat up

  They’ll tend their eggs until they die.

Salmon lesson for the day:  We never stop being a parent.

Salmon Spawning on the Alsea

We needed to go “over the mountain” to Philomath today so we thought we’d check out our favorite salmon-viewing spots on the Alsea River.

Fall Creek
Fall Creek

We haven’t had time to check out the fish ladders on Fall Creek yet this year so we stopped there first.

We saw some salmon in the creek on the way to this point.  But nothing at the ladders.

There is a really nice hatchery and research center further up the road.  But we don’t have time for that today.  They hire workampers for the summer, by the way.

Salmonberry Campground on the Alsea River
Salmonberry Campground on the Alsea River

We packed a lunch today and decided to eat it at Salmonberry Campground.  The campground is closed but you can park in the Day Use area.

One year we stopped here and saw so many salmon you could walk across the river on their backs!

Someone was in our “spot” today though.  So we ate lunch on the bridge and studied the water.

Spawning Salmon in the Alsea
Spawning Salmon in the Alsea

As we watched the ripple upstream we noticed a salmon working a red.  Don took a bunch of pix and a couple had the salmon in it!

This one looks like he’s on his last leg.  We saw at least 3 salmon at one time on the reds and we counted 6 dead salmon under the bridge.