The warmer spring weather has been drying up the small streams and ditches that only run during the wet winters.
The ditch along the blackberry patch that Mike cleaned out with the bulldozer last year is still running, but the water level in the river has dropped enough to cut off direct access for the salmon parrs (baby salmon that have just grown out of their ‘fry’ size and before ‘smolt’ size when they head to the ocean). About 20 of these one to two inch cuties were land-locked and needed a little help to get to the river.
I had the pleasure of spending a beautiful afternoon dipping and scooping the little fish first into a cup then into a bucket before finding a shallow eddy where they were released back into the Nehalem. They are amazingly agile and can zip back and forth through the puddles quicker than I can focus, which is why it took me several hours.
I was able to get all the little creatures I could find moved to the river, but I will keep an eye on the ditch for the next couple of days to see if I missed any. Hopefully, the little swimmers will grow and continue into adulthood in the open ocean, it will be a long wait because they won’t be making that journey until they are about 4 years old.