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Here I am kayaking in Coeur d’ Alene, Idaho with a dear family from Tennessee. The Coeur d’ Alene river flows 37 miles. It is full of curves and twists. It’s a stunning trip down the river, we even came across wild horses! It is a warm memory for me, it was an amazing adventure for the whole family.

I couldn’t find out much about the river itself, so I’ll tell you some of the fish species: cutthroat Trout, Sockeye Salmon, Bull Trout, and the Chinook Salmon.

Did you know Chinook Salmon is Oregon’s official state fish? WOW! It’s also the biggest of all the salmon.

Life cycle in brief: The salmon start as eggs in freshwater and remain in gravel throughout the winter. As Fry, they begin their journey to the sea. They grow big and strong along the way having to protect themselves as youngins. And finally, they make it to the ocean. On their long journey, the now smolts are silvery all over and fatty. They spend 1-7 years in the ocean. Then it is homeward migration for spawning; it is said that most return to their natal streams (which is a curious discovery on its own). The journey back home is arduous; they draw from their fat supply and males develop hooked noses to remain dominant. Finally, the salmon lay eggs and the cycle begins again. The salmon die and supply the river habitat with nutrients and seeds – and all the cycles continue on together.

 

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1. Salmon eggs, 2. Alevins, 3. Coho fry, 4. Smolts, 5. The Elwha River draining into the Strait of Juan de Fuca, 6. Coho migrating to spawn, 7. Sockeye spawning, 8. Dead salmon after spawning

(NPS.GOV).