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Salmon are found in almost half of Portland’s 300 miles of streams. And two coho salmon were captured on video spawning in Crystal Springs Creek.
Salmon are fundamental to our region. They are our history – integral to the life and culture of Indigenous people. And they’re our future – a key marker for how we’re treating our environment.
This afternoon, City Council proclaimed September 24th to be Portland’s first annual “Salmon in Our City Day” and declared Crystal Springs Creek to be the first Salmon Sanctuary.
Back in 1998, steelhead in Portland were listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. Salmon were added the next year. It was our wake-up call, and the City and community partners started working to bring salmon back to our city.
We’ve rolled up our sleeves and replaced culverts to improve fish passage, restored streamside habitat for fish and other native species, and built bioswales to dramatically reduce water pollution.
Our biggest success so far has been the restoration of Crystal Springs Creek. Salmon can now swim the creek’s entire length. The 8-year project was a unique partnership between the Bureau of Environmental Services, Portland Parks & Recreation, Bureau of Transportation, and 21 other public and non-profit partners, including the Johnson Creek Watershed Council and the Crystal Springs Partnership.
Today, Council also awarded the Johnson Creek Watershed Council and Crystal Springs Partnership a $5,000 grant to continue their stewardship of the creek.
We have more projects planned, including at Oaks Bottom, Tryon Creek, several creeks in Forest Park, and the Columbia Slough. You can learn more about how Environmental Services is bringing salmon back to Portland here.
Salmon in Our City Day coincides with the 4th Annual Salmon Celebration at Westmoreland Park this Sunday, September 24th. You can find more details about this fun, family-friendly event here.