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Field Notes: a Northwest nature blog

One of the reasons many of us live in the Pacific Northwest is the natural wonders that amaze us all. On this blog Seattle Times writers and photographers will share their explorations of the natural world from snowcaps to whitecaps. Write us at fieldnotes@seattletimes.com with your own sightings, questions and wonders to share.


Selected Northwest animal webcams

October 12, 2012 at 7:00 AM

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Welcome home, salmon: time to get out and see returning fish

Now is our time when salmon are returning to the watersheds of Puget Sound. Even urban streams are showing the benefit of restoration work, with fish returning to their home waters.

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A chum salmon returns to Piper's Creek at Carkeek Park.

Photo by Alan Berner of The Seattle Times.

This weekend, celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Clean Water Act at Carkeek Park, with talks at the environmental learning center on water quality.

From 10 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. Saturday there will be tours of the facility, Seattle's first Gold LEED rated building, an opportunity to try your hand at water testing, and a children's activity table.

Beginning at noon Saturday, a scientific panel on water quality problems and solutions at Piper's Creek will be held until 2 p.m., with brainstorming on solutions invited from the audience.

The environmental learning center is at 950 NW Carkeek Park Road. For more information, call 206-363-4116

The 15th Annual Cedar River Salmon Journey also opens this weekend, at five sites along the lower Cedar River. More than 90 trained naturalists will be a designated observation spots along the river to answer questions every Saturday and Sunday in October from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

More than 145,000 sockeye were counted at the Ballard Locks this summer, and now is your chance to see them swimming upriver. You may even see chinook.

There are five Renton and Maple Valley sites, and it's even a chance to see Landsburg Dam, which is usually closed to the public. You can also learn about the new sockeye hatchery that opened on the Cedar in 2011.

To see the map of the sites, go online. To learn more, contact Friends of the Cedar River Watershed, at 206-297-8141.


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A word of caution: parents of young children may want to avoid the "spawning"... MORE

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