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Bear Creek salmon are due soon

Are the salmon in Bear Creek yet? I’ve been looking at the creek for them On my morning walks and have yet to see one. What gives?

— Greyson, via email

Well, Greyson, the fall chinook salmon don’t seem to have made it up Bear Creek from the Rogue River just yet, but you can bet the farm they’ll show up soon.

Jim Hutchins, a naturalist whose Oregon Stewardship program reaches out to hundreds of students annually, has done chinook counts on Bear Creek for well over two decades.

He hasn’t seen any chinook yet this year, but that’s not a concern, Hutchins says.

“I haven’t seen any yet, but I’ll check again next week, and if we get a little rain, I bet they’ll be there,” Hutchins says.

Bear Creek is low this year, but that doesn’t stop chinook from moving up the creek to spawn in the shadow of downtown Medford and even as far as Ashland.

Last year, the first chinook were spotted in Bear Creek Oct. 12. The peak count for Hutchins is typically around Oct. 20-21, so there’s still plenty of time for this intriguing migration to occur.

Look for them in the very near future, Greyson.

Send questions to “Since You Asked,” Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; or by email to youasked@rosebudmedia.com. We’re sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.