Salmon Watch

Volunteer educators teach local students about salmon and watershed ecology

Salmon Watch is an experiential, environmental education curriculum centered in salmon ecology.

Our Program

Local middle and high school teachers use in-class curriculum covering the salmon life cycle and ecological needs of salmon to teach everything from science and math to literature and history.

In the field trip component of this curriculum, volunteer educators teach local students about salmon and watershed ecology through the use of four education stations. Focusing on water quality, riparian ecology, fish biology and macroinvertebrates, students perform field-based activities and experiments, and then record observations.

Through hands-on stream-side participation, the Lane County Salmon Watch program instills deeper understanding of each person’s relationship to their local watershed, reconnecting communities to the natural world.

Fun Fish Facts

  • Salmon are anadromous. This means they live in both fresh and salt water. They are born in freshwater, where they live for a few months to a few years (depending on the species) before migrating out to the ocean. Once in the ocean, salmon feed on small fish, plankton, shrimp, and other invertebrates. After 3-5 years in the ocean, they return to freshwater to spawn.
  • Oregon has 5 species of anadromous salmon: Chinook, Chum, Coho, Pink, and Sockeye.
  • Chinook are the largest of the Northwest salmon species and Pinks are the smallest.
  • Chinook salmon make up 80% of the summer diet of killer whales in the Pacific Northwest.
  • Salmon are considered a First Food. First Foods are types of food that Oregon tribes have depended on for thousands of years.

Chinook Salmon Field Trips

Lane County Salmon Watch centers field trips around the migration of Chinook Salmon. Spawning generally occurs from August to early November for spring Chinook and from September to early January for fall Chinook.

Field Trips

Salmon Watch Shorts

In partnership with the World Salmon Council and Freshwater Illustrated,
click to enjoy an overview of the Salmon Watch Program and previews of each station.

Thank You to Our Supporters

Contact Salmon Watch

Dassy Smolianski: Education Project Coordinator