In the fall, Mt Hood is a beautiful time of year to get out and enjoy our cabins. This is also the time to enjoy one of natures reoccurring mysteries as witnessed by the spawning of the salmon. Along with all this beauty comes a deadly danger to our dogs in the form of the spawned out salmon dying on the banks of our streams. The carcass can be deadly to them.
This year we are seeing an above average return of spring Chinook in our streams for several reasons. According to Katherine Arendt a Fish Biologist with the Forest Service, the removal of the Marmot Dam has eliminated the opportunity to “sort” the native fish from the hatchery fish. This has allowed all returning fish to head up stream in the upper basin streams. Thus, we are seeing an increase in the arriving fish in the streams in the cabin areas. This season was set to be a record return of 150% over 2009 returns and adding in the hatcheries fish makes it a bumper run.
People have reported seeing dead salmon with their tales cut off. The cutting of the fish has been done by the crews who do the survey of returning salmon. When they find a carcass they inspect it to determine if it is native or hatchery and then cut off its tail to identify that it has been surveyed. All these data are recorded to determine the effect of commingling of the fish. Currently it appears that about ½ half of the surveyed carcasses are native fish.
They anticipate a larger than usual run of Coho to begin arriving mid October through the month of November. These fish seems to be less active and a smaller fish than the Chinook and therefore may not be as visible.
Please do not let your four-legged pal run unattended around the streams during this time. This organism can kill a pet within days. More information
These pictures were shot along Still Creek. The bridge on Rd 12 is an excellent spot to observe this annual occurrence. Double click to enlarge image.