Oh My, What a Sight!

Report for October 31, 2012 by Rich Yarges

I visited Maloney Creek today during a brief respite from the rain. The weatherman is predicting possibly heavy rain tonight. The creek was actually lower than yesterday. This surprised me because we did have some rain last night. I guess it wasn’t enough to keep the creek high. The flow has almost ceased in the Sediment Deposition Zone.  I am glad I went though, because I got my best pictures yet.

I entered at Thelma Street and walked upstream from there. At the root wad  the hydrologist had planted just below the Staircase Fall I spotted some salmon. These salmon were Chinook (aka: Tyee or King) and they were definitely in spawning mode. There appeared to be a female tucked up under the root wad and I could only see her tail sticking out a little. There were three or four males cavorting (my unscientific description) around behind her. They appeared to be wrestling with each other to take up the position right behind her. There were also a few smaller salmon hanging back a little. I approached cautiously and got some very nice pictures. I was even able to get some underwater shots. The salmon were so intent on what they were doing that they let me get real close as long as I didn’t make any sudden movements. The smaller ones to the rear seemed more aware of me, as they would often disappear if I made any sudden movements. I was so close to the spawning males that I I kept getting splashed in the face by water they threw up with their tails.  That added a little extra challenge to taking their picture.  Here are some of my best photos:

Two Male Chinook Salmon spawning


Two Male Salmon Spawning


Salmon Spawning in Maloney Creek


Male Chinook Salmon Spawning


I also walked downstream from Thelma Street. I kept looking around the root wads carefully, but I didn’t see any more salmon. I also went to the bridge over the Old Cascade Highway, but I didn’t see any more salmon there either.

If you want to see some wild salmon spawning now would be the time to visit Maloney Creek. Maloney is a nice place to observe them because you can get really close if you are careful.

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5 Responses to Oh My, What a Sight!

  1. Joanne Elrod says:

    Sunday afternoon Keith and Joanne walked to the end of Thelma St. to observe the salmon in Maloney Creek….and to our disappointment did not see one fish. However, today Tues., Nov. 6th I was getting in my morning walk while the sun was out and not raining and decided to check out Maloney Creek on Thelma St.once again and hit the jackpot. Saw 5 salmon in the area where the falls trickle down into the creek and near the gravel bar. The larger salmon were chasing the smaller ones around periodically. Watched this activity for about 15 min.

  2. Madelle Quiring says:

    On November 1 and 2 we saw several salmon, including one very large one over two feet long, a cluster of about six, and two or three pairs by the bridge over Old Cascade West. Took a few pics, alas, none of the big one that got away.

  3. Bob Boggs says:

    I visited Maloney Creek on Friday, November 2. I observed 4 large male salmon on the north side of the bridge on the Old Cascade Highway. They remained stationary primarily on the right side of the main channel as you face north from and near the bridge. The males would occassionally jockey for position, facing upstream. I did not observe any female salmon in the area. Also, I walked the step pools upstream at the end of Thelma Street but did not observe any salmon. Those that I did see were in the main channel at the end of Thelma Street.

  4. JoAnne says:

    Went to Maloney Creek yesterday (when it wasn’t raining). Saw several salmon, both at end of Thelma St. and from the Old Cascade Bridge. Their numbers are definitely increasing. For anyone who wants easy access to an excellent view of salmon spawning, go to end of Thelma St. (by the Post Office). Walk straight to Maloney Creek main channel (where the old swimming hole used to be), where two small waterfalls trickle down near three large rocks on the opposite bank. There’s one clearly visable salmon redd (nest) in the middle of the creek, with a female and several large red males fighting for position. There are also several other salmon sheltered near the big rocks.

  5. JoAnne says:

    Amazing photos, Rich. I’m back in town and looking forward to getting out to Maloney tomorrow.

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