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Chinook # 9274

For nearly 20 years I have slipped below the liquid line in the icy melt waters of the Lostine River, capturing portraits and documenting the diversity of life that flows within her banks. In the foreground of this spawning pair is the male and slightly forward to him, the female. Also in the background/left, is another female actively digging and moving cobble to construct a redd (nest). Photographing spawning Chinook is difficult; the ideal areas to spawn are at the top or tail end of a riffle.  Typically this is fairly shallow water, 6 – 10 inches deep; insuring that eggs will receive continues flow and oxygenation, with little silt accumulation, both key to successful reproduction.  As you can see, the dorsal fin of the female is above the water surface. My goal always is to maintain a respectful distance and minimize disturbance.   Often the housing of my camera is resting in 8 - 10 inches of water and I have pretzeled myself into position so I can observe and wait.

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For nearly 20 years I have slipped below the liquid line in the icy melt waters of the Lostine River, capturing portraits and documenting the diversity of life that flows within her banks. In the foreground of this spawning pair is the male and slightly forward to him, the female. Also in the background/left, is another female actively digging and moving cobble to construct a redd (nest). Photographing spawning Chinook is difficult; the ideal areas to spawn are at the top or tail end of a riffle.  Typically this is fairly shallow water, 6 – 10 inches deep; insuring that eggs will receive continues flow and oxygenation, with little silt accumulation, both key to successful reproduction.  As you can see, the dorsal fin of the female is above the water surface. My goal always is to maintain a respectful distance and minimize disturbance.   Often the housing of my camera is resting in 8 - 10 inches of water and I have pretzeled myself into position so I can observe and wait.

The area around these two fish is part of a larger complex of sorted cobble and gravel comprising the nest or “redd”.  They use their powerful tails to move and sort the cobble, scooping out a shallow pit into which they will deposit their eggs and then cover them over with the surrounding cobble. The size of the cobble matters, too fine and it will suffocate the eggs, and too large leaves their eggs vulnerable to predation. My goal always is to maintain a respectful distance and minimize disturbance.   Often the housing of my camera is resting in 8 - 10 inches of water and I have pretzeled myself into position so I can observe and wait.

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Chinook # 9274

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