A wet late September is bringing fall salmon back to their rearing grounds in the Sandy River and its tributaries. Reports of wild and hatchery salmon from Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife and other groups show signs of a promising fish run for the remainder of the season. To read more about the fall Chinook salmon runs in the lower Columbia River system, see The Oregonian’s article.
The Sandy River is home to three ESA-listed species: Coho, Chinook, and Steelhead. Strong salmon returns benefit our community and ecosystems and are an indication of thriving populations. As hatchery-raised salmon return to spawn, their bodies are then redistributed along the Sandy and its tributaries to return nutrients into the system. The Council is involved in the annual salmon toss, where we distribute salmon carcasses from the hatchery along natural waterways with the goal of enhancing in-stream productivity and benefitting native fish populations. Hatchery carcass distribution boosts ocean-derived nutrient loads in places where a healthy salmon run historically would have supported life in the forest.
If you’re interested in bringing a group out to toss salmon and learn more about the ecological benefits of distributing hatchery carcasses, please contact our stewardship coordinator. Salmon are starting to return to the hatcheries now, so we can coordinate events for anytime through mid-December, depending on your availability!