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The third annual Bear Creek Salmon Festival takes place Saturday, Oct. 7

Some of us may not realize it, but there actually are salmon in Bear Creek. "This is about the time of year we start seeing salmon in Bear Creek, typically Chinook," says Dorinda Cottle who is one of the people who is organizing the Bear Creek Salmon Festival this Saturday, Oct. 7 at North Mountain Park.

Salmon continues to play an important part of the culture and livelihood of the area. American Indians have long revered the red fish. At the festival there will be traditional Native salmon cooking around an open fire, acorn demonstrations, Native plant use as well as drumming and story telling.

"The Forest Service will bring a big inflatable salmon," Cottle says. "Kids dress up in colorful costumes that are provided and go inside and hear the story. The event, suitable for children ages — to 8 will be going on all day. Other events for children include puppet shows at noon and — p.m. for children ages — to 6; face painting, salmon print-making and a kids and bugs exhibit.

During the day people can observe wild salmon in Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife's 350-gallon salmon tank. There will be fly casting demonstrations and biologists will be on-hand to answer questions and point out scientific aspects of salmon and salmon anatomy.

There will be riparian or creek side habitat tours and restoration tours of the park.

Music will be provided by a number of bands. The popular Rutendo Marimba Band featuring Ashland Middle School students will play at 11 a.m. Also scheduled to play is the folk/rock band Prairie Chicken and the folk band Montana Soul.

Participants can purchase a wild Coho salmon barbecue plate with organic greens, bread, coffee, tea or lemonade for $10.

The point of the day's festivities and demonstrations is "to bring an awareness that we do have salmon in bear Creek and to encourage people to volunteer in restoration and conservation efforts" Cottle says.

The event's activities are meant for all ages and are designed to help show some ways in which people can help protect and enhance salmon habitat &

including water and energy saving ideas. This year's partners include Klamath Bird Observatory, Rogue Valley Audubon Society, Bear Creek Watershed Council, Rogue Fly fishers Art Now, Bear Creek Watershed Education Program/Healthy Waters Institute, Ashland Parks and Recreation, Oregon Trout's Healthy Water Institute Bureau of Land Management and Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

"There are still a lot of people who don't know about North Mountain Park," Cottle adds. "This brings an awareness to the Park."