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Rain and Salmon on the Alsea River

As a friend described it, it is the “soaker-hose kind of rain” that we’ve needed so badly here.¬† Just a gentle, soak-the-ground-deeply, rain. ūüôā

Soaker Rain
Soaker Rain

It raised the Alsea River only a quarter of an inch.¬† But it was enough to bring the Chinook in!¬† 2 salmon, in the 20 lb class, were caught from the banks of Blackberry Campground this weekend.¬† It’s not that easy to¬†discover the¬†“truth”¬†about what brings the¬†salmon up a river when all you hear are fishermen’s (purported) truths or theories (sorry dear).

This I know: 1) Salmon come up the river to spawn;  2) Salmon return to their own hatching grounds.

Salmon Fishing
Salmon Fishing

But, as far as what role rain plays in the salmon spawn, I’m still listening to theories.¬† Maybe there is truth in all these theories?¬† I don’t think they contradict each other.¬†¬†Here are some I’ve heard:¬† 1) The rain¬†in the river carries¬†the scent to the salmon that they recognize from their youth.¬† 2)¬† The rain lowers the temperature of the river and it’s the right temperature that tells the salmon that it’s okay to come up.¬† 3) The rain raises the level of the river so the salmon can make it to their destination.

Blue Heron
Blue Heron

I know there are experts on the subject.  But, frankly, I like listening to the theories.  They are presented with such conviction!

We are getting more soaker-hose rain this afternoon.  We had the extra high tide (9.0) around noon today.  The minus tide (-.5) is around 6pm.  So the tide really moved in fast this afternoon.

Wood Ducks in the Siuslaw

I thought these were harlequin ducks at first.  But I did a little research and found that they are wood ducks.

Wood Duck Harem
Wood Duck Harem

These wood ducks are common in the Siuslaw National Forest rivers.

Wood Duck - 2 Males
Wood Duck – 2 Males

These males are in their breeding plumage now.

Wood Duck Harem - closeup
Wood Duck Harem – closeup

The females even have some of the iridescent green on their wings.¬† It reminds me of the traditional, human,¬†formal attire; where the woman is the colorful one and the man has a touch of the same color on his clothing….just so everyone knows who goes together!

Wood Duck Females
Wood Duck Females

As they were swimming up the tidewater area of the Alsea River, the females would take a detour.  Maybe they are looking for a good nesting area?  A few of them strayed up onto the bank, softly quacking to each other.

Learn more about the Wood Ducks here: http://www.birdweb.org/birdweb/bird/wood_duck

Blackberry Campground is a great place to observe wildlife on the Alsea River!