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Environmental Services

working for clean rivers

Phone: 503-823-7740

Fax: 503-823-6995

1120 SW 5th Avenue, Room 1000, Portland, OR 97204

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Salmon Sanctuaries in Portland

Salmon and steelhead have been a vital part of the ecosystem in Portland for centuries. Salmon are an indicator of clean and healthy rivers, and help sustain nearly 150 species of fish and wildlife that depend on them. In the recent past, salmon were on the brink of extinction in Portland. Thanks to the work of Environmental Services and many partners, the salmon are returning to Portland’s rivers and streams.

The City is declaring the best salmon habitats in Portland as Salmon Sanctuaries. These locations represent the future success of salmon in the city and demonstrate that is possible to create urban sanctuaries for these threatened species.

A Salmon Sanctuary can be achieved when the certain criteria, developed by Environmental Services scientists, are met. For a Salmon Sanctuary, the local stewardship group will receive a one-time grant to invest in continuing restoration in the watershed.

Crystal Springs Creek

Crystal Springs Creek, pictured above, is the first stream to earn the Salmon Sanctuary designation. Recent work at this location removed barriers to fish access and improved the water quality of the stream. Click here to watch a video of salmon spawning in Crystal Springs Creek.

With continued investments by Environmental Services and partners, Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge, Tryon Creek, and Miller Creek (in Forest Park) could achieve the Salmon Sanctuary designation. 

Environmental Services gathers data and tracks change in watershed health over time with the Watershed Report Cards.


Proclamation: Salmon in Our City Day and Salmon Sanctuary

September 24 is proclaimed Salmon in Our City Day and Crystal Springs is declared the first Salmon Sanctuary

News Release: Announcing "Salmon in Our City Day" and Salmon Sanctuaries

Commissioner Nick Fish proclaims Sunday, September 24, the first annual "Salmon in Our City Day," and introduces "Salmon Sanctuaries," streams that City scientists and resource experts consider the best salmon habitat in the city.

Crystal Springs Restoration

The first stream to be named a Salmon Sanctuary. Learn more about the restoration of this important salmon habitat.