These past few weeks we’ve been bracing the cold and getting in the stream to conduct eDNA surveys to detect for the presence of Chum Salmon in Abernethy Creek! Fish shed DNA particles into the water through skin, waste and decomposition. This survey technique allows us to detect specific species’ presence using the DNA in the water! Chum Salmon are a large species of salmon native to the Columbia River Basin. Since the 1930’s Chum Salmon have seen a decline in population to the point of their official listing being threatened under the Endangered Species Act. Little is known about their local spawning locations, making it hard to monitor and survey using traditional methods. The lack of Chum Salmon present in streams create an ecological void that can harm the greater ecosystem. Partnering with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and their Program to Restore Oregon’s Chum Salmon, the Greater Oregon City Watershed Council has conducted two eDNA stream surveys to detect Chum Salmon spawning and/or presence in Abernethy Creek. This is part of a larger effort to re-establish Chum Salmon in the Columbia River and its tributaries. If you’d like to learn more about this project you can visit