Friday, June 10, 2011

Rogue River

The Rogue River empties into the Pacific Ocean Estuary in Gold Beach, Oregon. A small city (more like a town or community) along the river is also named Rogue River. That's where Bridgegate RV Park is located even though it's address is listed as Grants Pass. Our campsite is right alongside the river; so near, in fact that I could throw a biscuit out the window into it.  Snow melt and spring rains have been plentiful so the river is high and fast moving and it is mesmerizing to watch. The campground is remarkably clean and nice and we are enjoying our time here.
That's us in the middle alongside the Rogue River.

The area is full of geese and no one feeds them, but they don't leave.  This is just one of the families.
 Their poop is bigger than Lexie's. Campground management cleans this area every single day.

Our thorough exploration of Rogue River City resulted in these photographs:
I don't know what's with the rooster in this mural.
The bridge is arched with cable supports.  It's real pretty.  Campground is about 1/2 mile downstream.
And you thought the Bee Gees were from Australia.

I've not seen any real bears, just a few of this kind 'round Rogue River

Dressed for success.

We came upon a nice riverside park with a pedestrian bridge where we took Lexie for a long walk. The Rogue River is among the nation's top rivers for "mild to moderate" and "moderate to wet" rafting and  businesses offering those services are plentiful. The Rogue River, it turns out, is also unique in that it provides an increasingly rare clean running river for the Chinook salmon to spawn.
Taken from the pedestrian bridge.  The Rogue River.
The Rogue River is one of the best "chain of life" rivers in the state of Oregon.  Federal law protects some 38 miles of the Rogue River as being a "wild and scenic" river.  The salmon spawn (lay eggs) in gravel beds with about 3" of water covering them. Those spawning areas are very good in the Grants Pass area of Rogue River. The threat of humans walking on the gravel beds when water is low is a danger to the survival of the salmon. 
Life size sculpture of a Chinook salmon.
Life size sculpture of a wayner.
Salmon are anadromous fish -- they survive in both salt and fresh water. The Chinook salmon who spawn in the Rogue River are wild fish -- not from hatcheries.  Indeed, their genes are wild.  Biologist estimate that anywhere between 30,000 and 120,000 Chinook salmon spawn along the Rogue each year.

When the Chinook salmon eggs hatch, the baby salmon slowly make their way downstream, eating tiny aquatic insects and growing to be 1" to 3" long.  When the young salmon reach the mouth of the river (the estuary) they go on out into the ocean where they will live 2 to 4 years.  Then the young salmon make their way back upstream to spawn their own eggs.

For every 1,000 eggs laid, approximately one adult salmon will survive to spawn. To return upriver, the salmon will navigate 70 rapids, conquer the 15' high Rainie Falls and high velocity canyons along the Rogue River.
Reading all about it.

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