Salmon are some of the more common fish
inhabiting forest streams in certain areas. Every year, the population of mature salmon migrates from the ocean into rivers in northern
temperate zones. Here they lay their eggs when they find a suitable location with clear, silt-free water and the right sized stones on the
riverbed. The water quality of streams, and salmon habitat, is linked to the health of the forest. Trees' roots keep river banks from eroding
and prevent the water from being clogged with silt. Fallen trees which occasionally become lodged in streams make the habitat more
diverse by creating pools which are ideal for insects and water plants: fish food.
Right: Salmon are capable of swimming up streams with very rough water. Below: Ideal spawning streams have very clear water and pebbly bottoms. Photos courtesy Al Walters.
|Fish themselves become food for all sorts of animals in the forest. Bears are especially well known for attempting to catch the salmon which are trying to swim upstream to lay their eggs. Spawning is the last part of the salmon's life cycle, and soon afterwards they die naturally. As their bodies are gradually washed downstream, they become food for many other species, including birds such as ospreys, eagles, and ravens.|
[water] [tree roots] [erosion] [birds]
view the condensed version of the fish article for faster printing/reading
return to the forest life article