Salmon appear in the estuary every year in late October and through November, where they hatched 4 years prior, to lay their eggs in the pebbles and sand. It is amazing to see these fish beating themselves so that they can lay their eggs so the species will survive. Just imagine that these fish have travelled through the river system to the Pacific Ocean and when nature tells them they return to the same place where they hatched. After these salmon lay their eggs life is finished for them and they die.
After the salmon die the Eagles appear in the area to eat the dead carcasses. It is an amazing sight to see a couple of hundred Eagles in the area munching on these salmon. This event has created a time in November called Eagle Fest, where many curious people come out to view and photograph the Eagles.
Many times as I go down to the estuary I see people walking in the spawning area with no knowledge of what they are doing and the damage they can cause. I have to tell them that they actually are walking on an area where the salmon have spawned and that they are walking on salmon eggs.
Some of these people are polite and explain that were unaware and leave the spawning area, other seem to not care and just respond with comments like “where does it say do not walk on the area?”
To me it seems that we forget about our school years and how we learned about the salmon and how they spawn, I know when I first moved here I had forgotten and when told I felt terrible.
To me it is so strange that is more important to see an eagle then to appreciate the fantastic journey that the salmon take. The salmon is a very important food source and that needs to be appreciated and respected by everyone.
Living here and seeing the natural life cycle, The salmon spawning, swimming down the river, returning 4 years later, laying their eggs, dying and being eaten by the eagles is such a privilege. I never thought that I would be a nature lover, but living here and seeing the natural cycle of life of the salmon and eagles has made me realize how sensitive nature can be and how much harm man can do.
Please enjoy the area, but respect nature also.