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Crystal Springs Creek Coho Salmon

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In fall 2014, wild coho salmon were spawning in southeast Portland’s Crystal Springs Creek for the first time in decades. Salmon can find their way farther upstream because of recent projects to remove culverts that prohibited fish passage. Since 2008, Environmental Services has worked with several partners to remove seven Crystal Springs Creek culverts. In October 2014, Environmental Services fish biologist Melissa Brown used an underwater camera to capture this video of a pair of salmon spawning just upstream from one of the culvert removal projects.

Crystal Springs is an important tributary to Johnson Creek, which flows to the Willamette River. Its naturally cool and steady year-round flow provides ideal salmon and steelhead habitat. Native salmon have also been found in Johnson Creek as far upstream as Gresham.

Steelhead trout, coho and Chinook salmon spend part of their life cycle in the creek. They migrate to the Pacific Ocean then return to their original spawning grounds where they lay and fertilize eggs, then die.

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