Nothing says “Pacific Northwest” like the annual return from the ocean of salmon, fighting upstream to spawn and die in the rivers of their birth. In October, witness this ancient, iconic phenomenon at Oxbow Regional Park along the Sandy River, one of the nation’s designated Wild and Scenic Rivers. During the annual Salmon Homecoming, naturalists are on hand at Oxbow to help you see the salmon and explore other aspects of this 1,000-acre wilderness of old growth forest, hiking and equestrian trails and river beaches.
All Salmon Homecoming events are free; registration is not required. $5 per vehicle ($7 per bus) fee. For more information, call 503-663-0238.
11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Join naturalists at the river’s edge; they’ll help you spot spawning salmon and tell you about the salmon’s behavior and life cycle. Borrow a pair of polarized fish-viewing glasses onsite. The trail to salmon viewing is unpaved and fairly level. Suitable for all ages.
Explore a salmon restoration site
2 to 4 p.m.
How do young salmon find food and refuge from floods and predators? Join Bill Weiler from the Sandy River Basin Watershed Council to learn the science behind a side channel restoration project at Oxbow’s Happy Creek. Restoring habitat lost in a 1960s road-building project, this year’s work creates deep pools, bubbling riffles and hiding places for juvenile Chinook, Coho and Steelhead salmon. Learn the characteristics of good habitat and tips on native plants and salmon-friendly practices you can incorporate into your life. Suitable for ages 8 and older. Meet at Alder Shelter (group picnic area A) at 1:45 p.m.