Last week we concluded our final Salmon Watch program of the year!
This year, over 650 Benton County students from 14 area schools joined us to learn all about riparian ecology, fish life cycles, macroinvertebrates, and more. Students observed Coho and Chinook salmon swimming, spawning, and building redds (nests) in the Alsea River. We also saw lots of other wildlife including Bald Eagles, Kingfishers, Crawdads, a Gopher snake, newts, and some super-cool fungi!
We’re so grateful to our 40+ volunteers who led the field stations this year, which included experts from OSU Department of Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation, Marys River Watershed Council, Oregon Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, and other partners. Our volunteer cohort also included college students, retired teachers, community members, and one very dedicated class of students from College Hill High School, who came out to teach several times.
We want to give special thanks also to Benton County Natural Areas & Parks for providing us a storage space for our gear, and to our regional Salmon Watch partners at Calapooia Watershed Council, South Santiam Watershed Council, and Marion Soil & Water Conservation District.
What a wonderful experience helping people of all ages to understand and appreciate everything their watershed provides. See you next year!