As students return to their classrooms this fall, the Pacific Salmon return to our region’s rivers and streams—embarking on an arduous journey to spawn and complete their lifestyle. And you can catch a glimpse of these majestic water warriors and their extraordinary voyage home at locations all around the Seattle area. Click through the gallery for a roundup of the best places to take your small fries to view the spectacular salmon, plus special events that celebrate their fall homecoming.

Duwamish River, Tukwila

Make your way along the Green River Trail at North Wind’s Weir (psst… it’s right next to Boeing in Tukwila) or gaze from the footbridge above and spy salmon swimming up the Duwamish River. Be sure to keep a lookout for bald eagles, blue heron and osprey scouting for their next meal. Check out the salmon from the new Duwamish Gardens, a park and salmon restoration project that opened to the public in early 2017. This park was designed to provide critical shallow water habitat essential to survival of juvenile salmon.

Bonus: Also on the Duwamish River, Codiga Park was once a dairy farm and now is a terrific place for salmon spotting. Walk the short path from the parking lot down to the river’s edge where you’ll see chinook and coho during the months of August and September and chum from October through November. Attend the Tukwila Salmon SEEson Festival on Saturday, September 23, 2017 from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. at Codiga Park.

North Wind’s Weir
2914 S. 112th St.
Tukwila, Wa 98168

Codiga Park
12585 50th Pl. S.
Tukwila, Wa 98171

Duwamish Gardens Park
11269 East Marginal Way South
Tukwila, Wa 98168

photo: Codiga Park Facebook page

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Salmon Watching Tips:
1. Spawning marks the end of the line for the Pacific salmon and there’s a chance you and your brood might come across fish carcasses while visiting the rivers. Be sure to keep curious kiddos from disturbing their bodies, as they serve a valuable purpose for our environment.

2. Everyone knows that kids attract mud, water and dirt, so plan ahead and bring extra clothes. Make sure the minis also wear boots or shoes that can be easily cleaned.

3. Get up close and personal! Bring binoculars if you have them.

Have you taken your crew salmon spotting before? Where is your favorite place? Tell us in the comments below!

— Abbey McGee & Rachael Brandon