A Grants Pass-based ecologist with the Siskiyou Project will lead a free, mile-long hike this afternoon along Bear Creek in Talent to view spawning fall chinook salmon and discuss their life histories.

A Grants Pass-based ecologist with the Siskiyou Project will lead a free, mile-long hike this afternoon along Bear Creek in Talent to view spawning fall chinook salmon and discuss their life histories.

Rich Nawa will lead the three-hour hike beginning at 1 p.m. at Lynn Newbry Park in Talent.

Visitors should bring a pair or Polaroid glasses to see into the water better. If spawning chinook are not present and visible at the park, the group could move elsewhere on Bear Creek, Nawa says.

Now is the peak spawning time for fall chinook in Bear Creek, which is a major spawning and rearing tributary to the Rogue River, and elsewhere within the Rogue River basin.

They key on shallow flats with slow water flows and good gravels to dig their egg nests, called redds.

Other prime spots to see chinook are near the boat ramp at TouVelle State Park and along the banks of the Rogue at Valley of the Rogue State Park off Interstate 5 near Gold Hill.

Spawning chinook also can be seen at times along the creek's downtown Medford reach, including areas behind the Rogue Valley Mall and at Hawthorne Park.

People who view spawning salmon are asked not to disturb the fish. Those wading in the water are encouraged to avoid stepping or standing in the redds because the fragile eggs can easily be squashed.