Every September, a Welcoming the Salmon Home event takes place at the mouth of the Salmon River in Knights Park on the Oregon coast. Its purpose is to honor the salmon as they return to their spawning grounds. The roots of this special event can be traced back to Native American culture, which for thousands of years has celebrated the return of salmon to show respect, and to make sure the salmon runs occur the following year. The community event brings people together to participate in activities and rituals, including boat and kayak tours of the spawning grounds, and an open-fire salmon bake.
However, just below the event’s surface lies the deeper story – and that is the story of the salmon itself. Salmon are an integral part of Pacific Northwest ecosystem. The reach of this amazing fish species extends well beyond the rivers and onto dry land. They serve as an important food source not just for humans, but for wildlife, too. After they die, their remains provide important nutrients to the soil that are essential to Northwest forests.
The Salmon River Estuary: A Special Place
The Salmon River Estuary is comprised of a mix of salt and fresh water, which plays a key role in the salmon life cycle. These waters act as nurseries or incubators for young salmon (called fry) and allow them to develop into mature salmon that head out to sea. Thus begins their amazing and arduous journey that ultimately leads them back to the very river in which they were hatched.
The Salmon River is also a salmon treaty river (it is studied to set policy to manage the species) and falls within the boundaries of Camp Westwind, a 529-acre wilderness area and a designated United Nations Biosphere Reserve. Our founder Duncan has close ties to Westwind, and is deeply connected to the organization and its mission.
When the salmon thrive, Fishpeople thrives
And finally, this area is also very close to Cascade Head – Fishpeople’s “boardroom.” A place of breathtaking natural beauty, Cascade Head is where our founders conceived of the idea for the company, and represents the seamless connection between Fishpeople and the coastal environment.
For those of us who work here, Fishpeople is more than just a job – it’s a way of life. We are fortunate to live in the Pacific Northwest – a place defined by abundant natural beauty and resources. This sense of place fuels our commitment to acting as stewards of the sea. It extends beyond the office walls and permeates our personal lives everyday.