The migration of wild salmon finale is one of nature’s greatest marvels and you can see this remarkable annual event during November at dozens of streams and waterways on the Kitsap Peninsula, the Natural Side of Puget Sound. Local organizations offer both guided and self-guided tours. Below are details and links to where you can find more information and maps.
SATURDAY NOVEMBER 9, 11 am to 3 pm
FREE Guided Kitsap Salmon Habitat Tours – Eight locations around Kitsap
The whole family will enjoy the thrill of watching salmon fight their way up stream to return to their natal habitat to build redds (nest for eggs) and spawn. At each of the eight sites, WSU Extension will be on hand with trained Salmon Docents and biologists to educate and explain salmon behavior along with community and education volunteers with activities, informational booths, and demonstrations led by experts. Some sites may also offer story time with Kitsap Regional children’s librarians, button or salmon puppet making, interactive salmon adventures, and live stream bugs, a favorite food of salmon. Click here for a map of the eight locations.
A FEW LOCATIONS TO ENJOY SELF GUIDED TOURS THROUGHOUT NOVEMBER
There are dozens of viewpoints around the Kitsap Peninsula to enjoy Self-Guide Salmon Tours throughout November, including the eight sites featured in the November 9, Guided Tours. Click here for a link to a PDF of the map shown at rightthat show other salmon habitat viewing locations. Visit the Kitsap Sun’s website to view their Interactive Map of Kitsap Peninsula Salmon Watching stops.
Below are a few location featured on the map.
Rhododendron Preserve – Old growth trees, rustic bridges and leafy trails make the Keta Legacy Foundation’s Rhododendron Preserve a magnificent hike year-round, but in autumn it’s the salmon run that draws thousands of visitors. This vital watershed with 68 miles of streams, many wetlands and two lakes is the most natural part of the Chico Creek and each year provides spawning and rearing habitat to tens of thousands of Chum, Coho, steelhead and cutthroat trout. Although the Rhododendron Preserve is not wheelchair accessible, most other salmon habitat sites are.
NOTE: On Saturday, Nov. 9, 11 am- 1:30 pm you can enjoy a biologist-guided walking tour of the 1.5-mile round trip down the Big Tree Trail. After the steep, dirt-packed hike, cozy up to the warm fireplace in the historic World War I era Kitsap Cabin and enjoy the refreshments.
Downstream from the Rhododendron Preserve is the most popular spot on the Kitsap Peninsula, Chico Salmon Park. This prolific place has been closed due to construction but a small section is now open to the public through the run.
In Port Orchard, the perfect place to watch the salmon run is at Etta Turner Park and bridge that overlook Blackjack Creek, one of Kitsap Peninsula’s longest creeks. There’s plenty of parking and the site is conveniently located next to Slaughter County Brewing Company, a local watering hole.
Poulsbo’s Fish Park is an urban nature park on Liberty Bay with walking trails that meander through a remnant forest, wetlands, and small ponds. Viewing platforms overlooking Dogfish Creek are a great place to view returning Chum, sometimes known as dog salmon. Directions. Across the street at the Martinson Cabin, celebrate Salmon Crafts & Cider from 11 am – 3 pm. Enjoy salmon crafts, cider, and explore the historic pioneer home.
At the Suquamish Tribe’s Grovers Creek Salmon Hatchery near Indianola, you can observe as tribal members net, measure, identify salmon, gather salmon the eggs and sperm, and then fertilize the eggs. It’s an educational experience about the entire natural end-of-life process of wild migrating salmon.
Make it a Weekend Getaway to Enjoy this Inspiring Annual Journey
At the Oxford Suites and Best Western Silverdale Beach Hotel you can book a room with a view of the salmon jumping, returning to spawn..and even go fishing on the beach..with a license! Another hotel with beautiful views of Sinclair Inlet is Comfort Inn On the Bay in Port Orchard.
Travel to VisitKitsap.com to learn about our great selection of lodging options for your spur-of-the-moment fall getaway. A mid-week or weekend getaway will give you plenty of time to take in some exciting salmon experiences or just unwind with a stroll along our creeks and trails.
The Kitsap Peninsula is just a short 30-60 minute ferry ride from the Seattle area or from Tacoma by bridge; the perfect place for a quick break from a hectic urban scene and all that traffic. Click here for a WA State ferry schedule.