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Protecting Salmon and Steelhead 
 

Adult and/or juvenile Chinook salmon and steelhead are present in the North Santiam River year-round. These species are listed as threatened under the Federal Endangered Species Act and need protection.

Through partnerships, steps are being taken to maintain minimum flows that support migration, spawning and rearing necessary for the species’ long-term survival and recovery. A lack of sufficient flows could result in adverse biological effects, including increased fish mortality, delayed migration, reduced spawning, loss of preferred food, slowed growth, altered habitat, competition, population decline, and decreased productivity.

The City of Salem is committed to helping protect and restore salmon habitat. Fish ladders at Upper and Lower Bennett dams near the City’s water intake will be replaced this summer and in 2005 to enhance fish migration.

Citizens can help protect salmon and steelhead by limiting summer water consumption, especially during dry periods. Water customers are encouraged to use water efficiently by stopping leaks, planting low water landscaping, and installing low flow plumbing fixtures.

To find out more about ways to save water, call the Water Conservation Hotline at 503-361-2212.

Chinook Salmon
Steelhead Trout
Chinook Salmon
Oncorhynchus tshawytscha

Chinook salmon are the least abundant of all salmon species, but can grow to the largest size–sometimes 100 pounds or more. Chinook salmon lay eggs (spawn) in the North Santiam River between August and October. Juvenile fish feed and grow larger (rear) for several months near the place where they were born, then migrate to the Pacific Ocean, where they grow rapidly. When they are three to six years old, adult salmon return to the stream where they were born and spawn on gravel bars. The adults die within a few days after spawning.

Steelhead Trout
Oncorhynchus mykiss

Steelhead migrate throughout the year. Typically, four-year-old adult steelhead leave the ocean and swim up the Willamette River from February through May. They spawn soon after they reach their birthplace. Juvenile steelhead usually rear for one to two years, then migrate to the ocean where they grow and become adults. Unlike salmon, steelhead do not die after spawning; some repeat the process a second time.

Spring Chinook (native)
Juveniles
Juvenile to Adult Phase
Migrate from the Ocean
Spawn
Stay in the North Santiam River for several months
2-4 years in the ocean
Spring
Fall
Winter Steelhead (native)
Juveniles
Juvenile to Adult Phase
Migrate from the Ocean
Spawn
Stay in the North Santiam River for
1-2 years, then migrate to the ocean
2-3 years in the ocean
Winter
March- May, may return to the ocean
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