Wednesday, October 21, 2015
Eagle Creek is an outstanding place to see salmon spawning in the fall, and we consider it a must! It is a short drive from Portland, and the salmon can be viewed in the creek right next to the parking area at the trailhead. You can easily see them from the creek banks, so it's perfect even for small children. A Northwest Forest Pass is required for parking here, and you can purchase a $5 day pass online or bring exact change for the pay envelopes at the trailhead. We visited on a gorgeous fall day. There were lots of people there to see them. It was both thrilling and very sad, because the water level is terribly low. It is easier than ever this year to see the salmon, and they are making heroic efforts to move upstream although it often requires that they be half exposed to the air. I can't imagine that their numbers aren't greatly reduced due to the hardships they are enduring to get to their spawning grounds. Much larger numbers of dead salmon are lying exposed to the air this year that might have been submerged in previous years. I don't know if this is because they are dying as they try to make their way across shallow areas, or if they are being dragged off in larger numbers by predators (or both?) but it does make the atmosphere a bit stinkier than usual. The drama of their epic journey was palpable, with frequent splashes reaching high above the creek.