Fall Chinook Salmon coming up Lapwai Creek, near Spalding.

19 November 2005


The salmon seen below have successfully made their way from the Pacific Ocean, up the fish ladders at each of the massive dams along the Columbia and Snake rives, past the grasp of hunger seals and the lures and flies of fishermen, to return the the waters from once they were born.  They are up to two-feet or more in length, and weigh in excess of 20 pounds.  The females are creating redds (nesting beds) in the gravel to lay their eggs, with the red-colored males coming along to fertilize them.  Notice the whitish-discoloration on the fins and mouth of female in the water; it's the begins of body decay.  After they complete their singular mission, the exhausted salmon die and return their nutriments back into the riparian system.  The next generation of salmon have begun, to eventually make their way down rivers to the ocean's waters, where they will spend most of their lives, only to return to their original spawning waters to assure another generation to come.  A modern-day fish-weir is shown below, a half-mile or so up-stream from the mouth of Lapwai, Creek.



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