Photo: Nancy Doran (PGE).

A Record High for Returning Chinook Salmon

Nov 09, 2022 by Jana Hemphill
We have some exciting news about fish reintroduction efforts in the upper Deschutes River region!

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One of the Deschutes Land Trust's long-term partners for the reintroduction of salmon and steelhead in the upper Deschutes River region, Portland General Electric (PGE), recently reported some EXCITING news!

A record high 714 Chinook salmon adults were released  above the Pelton Dam into the upper section of the Deschutes River and its tributaries—many to Lake Billy Chinook and to the Metolius River or Spring Creek, with a few dozen released in Whychus Creek.

Then, in August and September, PGE staff and local partners worked together to conduct surveys of redds (fish spawning nests) in the Metolius River and Whychus Creek. These surveys also produced some great news! In the Metolius River, two redds were found with Chinook visibly on them! While the redd surveys also noted a large number of bull trout spawning, they discovered at least five other redds that were likely Chinook redds, based on their size, depth, and position in the river channel. In addition, there were many reports of Chinook being observed in the Camp Sherman area.

Meanwhile, two redds that are believed to have been Chinook redds were found in Whychus Creek at Willow Springs Preserve. This is especially exciting after recent stream restoration work at the Preserve.

We look forward to seeing if these successes continue in future years. Stay tuned!