Spawning

MONDAY

First off its another overcast day and a bit cooler in the 60s.  We had the alarm set for 8am so that we could get up for our new adventure.  Out plan for today was to get back down to the Spring Creek Federal Fish Hatchery to see how they spawn the salmon.  When we got there two bus loads of school children were already there.  Since we had been here the other day we knew where to go.  Our first stop was up in the gallery.  This is the fish elevator the salmon are lifted up in.  They receive a bath with a chemical in them that sedates them.

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Then this fellow feeds them one at a time thru a machine that we think euthanizes them then sends them down a tube.

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The tube is in the center and checks to see if they have a chip imbedded in them. If so it beeps. Then once they are on the table a large safety pin is put through a fin to mark them for later.  On this sorting table the males and females are separated.  On the left you can see one of the guys that samples the fish.  Today it was every 12.  They pull a scale and do measurements.

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This is the table where the males go.  They will have their milt (sperm) mixed with the eggs.

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The eggs are removed from the fish by opening their bellies, remember they are going to die anyway after spawning.  These fish have been in the ocean 4 or 5 years on average.

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There are about 5000 eggs in a female.  They are put in colanders to drain for a few minutes.  Then in to a bowl.

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Then they are fertilized.

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These eggs will then be mixed so that the sperm is distributed.

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A saline solutions is mixed in and this causes the sperm to enter the eggs almost instantly.  The eggs are then dumped into a bucket, eggs from three fish into each bucket.  In between the colanders, bowls, and buckets are dipped in an iodine solution to sanitize them.

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After the eggs and sperm are removed the fish ride another elevator over to were the scale samples and measurements are taken.  At another station 20 scales are taken to be used to age the fish.  A small circle is punched out of the fins and sent for DNA analysis.  Its all very interesting and they let you get right in close and talk to go.  You can also volunteer and help.

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Here are some of the kids moving to another spot.

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Then a lady on an electric cart hustles the eggs over to the incubation building. Here two guys take the buckets of eggs out of the cart.

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They rinse any remaining blood and sperm out.

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Then into these special trays.  About 7500 eggs go into each tray.  Their fertilization rate in in the high 90% range.  The eggs water harden for about 30 minutes and then about 30 days later they hatch.  Then they move from tank to tank as they grow until they are released back into the river to repeat the cycle.  Spring Creek raises and releases over 10 million salmon each year.  The hatchery salmon have a fin clipped so they can be easily identified from the wild salmon.

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Because of the solution to sedate them the fish are not good for human consumption.  This man buys them and uses them to raise maggots.  They are packed and frozen there and shipped to his farm.  The fish for the food banks are taken directly out of the ponds before the spawn takes place.

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We did catch a glimpse of Mount Hood today.

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We headed back to the coach to take it easy in preparation for our move to the coast tomorrow.  This campground is filling up with fishermen and is full for the next few weeks.

TUESDAY

The alarm woke us and got us going again at 8 this morning.  After breakfast we packed up and were on the road by 10:15.  We headed down the Washington side of the gorge until we got to the Bridge of the Gods.  No problem crossing this older narrow bridge with a $5 toll.  Then on to I-84 into Portland.  Then the GPS routed us out Route 26 instead of Route 30.  We ran into some rain going across the higher elevations but it only lasted 10 minutes.  Then it was sunny the rest of the way.  We hit US 101 and turned North.  As we approached Astoria the high bridge came into sight.

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The ship over to the left looked familiar.  I thought it might have been the ship we were on in Alaska.  So I checked the Port schedule.  Turns out it was the Crown Princess.  We had been on the Coral Princess, same cruise line.  But had we come yesterday it would have been the Coral Princess at the pier.  Small World.

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We have a friend that hates to drive across bridges and does not even like riding across them and this is a big one he has crossed.

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We wound around and crossed the bridge without a problem, no toll.  Soon we were in Long Beach.  Then a little north of town we pulled into the Pacific Holiday Resort.  Our home for the next week.

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Looking toward the office.

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Just over the sand dune is the Pacific Ocean, we have made it to the West Coast.

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After supper I walked out on to the dune to watch the sun set but I was just a bit late.  I did capture a few shots.  Guess I better be careful.

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Looking back at the campground.

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Path to the beach

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Sun is setting fast

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I wonder what these flowers are.

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Almost there.

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Well I almost made it

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I did see one couple walking there dog.  A car went by also as you can drive on the beach here.  The shore line is actually considered a state highway.

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When we went up to the office to register we spotted this sign, better be on the look out.

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Thats about it for tonight.

WEDNESDAY

Nice cool night for sleeping and we lingered in bed until the sun warmed up the coach.  Then we took it easy most of the day.  We had decided we wanted pizza so we hung around until late afternoon.  I caught up on Hulu TV using my T-Mobile account as there is no data charge for Hulu.

Bonnie took a walk down to the beach earlier today but we wanted to get out and explore a little.  So we decided to visit the Cranberry Museum.

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It is actually part of the Pacific Coast Cranberry Research Foundation.  This is a group of volunteer growers that bought the facility when the Washington State College decided to sell it.

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There are a few displays in the museum and it was interesting.

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The cranberries are raised on dry ground and harvested wet.  The fields are flooded and once the berries are cut off the vines they are picked up.  This is a small harvesting machine.  The red device with two handles is a hand harvester.

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This is an Ocean Spray Cranberry Color Meter.  It tells you how red the berries are.

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This is one of the research beds.  The berries will be picked in a couple of weeks. A one acre field normally yields about 10,000 lbs of berries.  Weeds are a big problem and a lot of hand weeding is necessary.  Herbicides are used for some types of weeds.  There are perches around the field for Raptors and Owls to help keep the mice in check.

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The vines are loaded with berries.  Wish we were going to be here to watch the harvest, we might find some early harvesters.

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Then we headed for Seaside to check out Awesome Pizza.  First a stop to locate the Post Office as I have ordered our mail sent there.  Then we drove out to check out the beach through one of the entrances to it.  I think there are about 17 miles of beach here that you can drive on.

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There is a huge kite festival here in August but today we only saw a few.  These three were learning to fly in formation.

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This rookie was down the beach by himself learning to fly his kite.

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Plenty of Sea Gulls this one drying and preening his feathers

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This one was not so happy that he had to move out of the road so we could pass.

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When we got to SeaSide Awesome Pizza was not open.  So back to Long Beach and Chico’s which is number two on the Yelp list.  Its huge and the waitress told me that in the summer at this time people would be out the door lined up to get in.  Tonight at 5:30 we were the only ones in there.  The pizza was so so.  Very thin crust which is not our favorite.  But it satisfied my taste for pizza for a while.  Then we headed back home so we could catch the national news.

Now its time to get this posted.  Thanks For Checking In!