Cedar River Salmon Journey
Salmon are the vehicle through which we tell the story of clean water and healthy habitat.
Learn about the epic journey that takes place every year as salmon swim from the ocean, through the Chittenden Locks, through Lake Washington, and up the Cedar River to spawn. The Cedar River hosts Chinook, sockeye and coho salmon among other fish species. Cedar River Chinook and Puget Sound Steelhead are currently listed as threatened species.
If you're interested in volunteering, contact Charlotte
Cedar River Salmon Journey will run at Ballard Locks during the summer, and at the rest of the sites during the fall.
Each summer and fall, you can join volunteer naturalists at the Chittenden Locks and five sites along the Cedar River to see salmon. Join us next year for this fun, free, and family friendly program!
Learn about the natural and human history of the Cedar River, and the life cycle and habitat needs of returning salmon. Find out how you can help keep these special creatures coming back to the Cedar River!
Sockeye, chinook, and coho salmon, as well as steelhead, migrate through the ship canal back to Lake Washington and its tributaries. July through September are the best months to view adult salmon in the fish ladder.
At the Renton Library, stand directly above the salmon, and see many human changes to the Cedar River. The Cedar River’s flow was diverted from the Duwamish River to Lake Washington in 1912.
At Cedar River Park, see where some sockeye are removed for the hatchery at Landsburg. You may see Chinook and coho here too, as they pass through the weir to spawn upstream.
When you stand on the bridge, the armored banks of the river are visible. Watch salmon as they stop to rest or spawn near the bridge. You may even see a female Chinook guarding her redd!
At Cavanaugh Pond, take a 30 minute tour past wildlife viewing areas and habitat restoration project areas. Shortly after gravel mining ended in the mid-1970s, the Cedar River seeped through the levee and combined with groundwater to create Cavanaugh Pond. The gravel bottom of the pond provides excellent spawning grounds for salmon!
At Landsburg, take a 30 minute tour up to the Diversion Dam where you will learn about the greater Seattle area’s water supply and see how some salmon are allowed to pass into the closed boundaries of the watershed. Landbsurg Park also has viewing platforms where you can observe salmon spawning.
- Enrich your garden with compost instead of chemical fertilizers.
- Avoid pesticides. Instead use native plants, rotate your crops and learn about "friendly" insects.
- Conserve water in your home and yard. Water infrequently but deeply.
- Take your car to a commercial car wash that recycles water.
- Recycle used motor oil and fix oil leaks. Drive less.
- Dispose of pet waste properly and fence larger animals away from streams.
- Sweep your sidewalks and driveway instead of hosing them down.
- Plant a tree. Build a rain garden. These actions help control and clean water runoff.