Perhaps more than any other creature, salmon define the Northwest. From a legacy in Native American culture to a role in the development of the Washington Territory, salmon are a vital link to the region's history and the health of its eco-systems and natural environment. To observe salmon spawning in the wild is to watch the wondrous beginnings of life and the final stages of nature's cycle. The best time to view spawning salmon is mid October through November and a few days after a big rain. Below are maps and information about local tours. Read our blog for details.
There are many areas around the Kitsap Peninsula where you can view salmon habitat from bridges and trails. Shown below is a map of locations around the Kitsap Peninsula that offer places where you can view this remarkable annual event up close and person. Click here to view or print a larger version. Visit the Kitsap Sun's website to view their Interactive Map of Kitsap Peninsula Salmon Watching stops.
Bring family and friends to celebrate the return of salmon to Kitsap streams at the locations listed below on November 3. It may be raining, but we’ll be there rain or shine. Please dress for the weather, wear comfortable waterproof shoes, and exercise caution when parking and/or crossing roads. Some sites involve a hike to the stream (especially the Rhododendron Preserve). Click here for more info.
The following locations are also available for self-guided salmon migration viewing mid October through November.
Poulsbo's Fish Park - 288 NW Lindvig Way, Poulsbo, WA 98370
Chico Creek Mouth - 4270 Kitty Hawk Dr. NW, Bremerton
Clear Creek Trail - Ridgetop Pavilion, 9228 Ridgetop Blvd, Silverdale
Cowling Creek - 20325 Miller Bay Road, Poulsbo 98370
Dickerson Creek -Taylor Road off Northlake Way, Bremerton
Otto Jarsted Park - 4230 W Belfair Valley Road, Gorst
Chico Salmon Park - Chico Way at Golf Club Hill Road, Bremerton 98312
Keta Legacy Rhododendron Preserve - 2401 Seabeck Highway, Seabeck 98312 - Tours: 10 am & 1 pm
Salmon Haven at Dickerson Creek - Northlake Way NW and Taylor Rd, Bremerton 98312
Brought to you by Chico Salmon Park Stewardship Group, City of Poulsbo, City of Bremerton, Clean Water Kitsap, Great Peninsula Conservancy, Kitsap County, Mountaineers Foundation, Suquamish Tribe, Washington Sea Grant, WSU Extension, Clear Creek Task Force, Hood Canal Salmon Enhancement Group, Keta Legacy Foundation, Kitsap PUD, Kitsap Poggie Club, Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife.
Respectful Salmon Viewing Tips
Approach a stream slowly and stand quietly at the edge. If you move quickly salmon may assume you are a predator.
Look for a "tail out" pool where gravel is about an inch in diameter.
Observe females scooping out a depression in the gravel while one or more larger males fight for position.
Wear polarized sunglasses to cut down on glare.
Stay out of the stream to avoid damaging salmon eggs.
Maintain control of pets, which have been known to kill spawning salmon.
Be respectful of private property by staying next to roads or on public property.
Stay on trails where they exist. Never trample streamside vegetation.
Don't mourn for dead salmon or worry about carcasses in the stream. Decaying salmon release nutrients that become a critical part of the food chain.