Ready to get WILD? Your adventure into the wild starts here
Spring is officially here and that means a lot is happening on the Rogue River. With the abundant variety of wildlife that inhabits both the river and its banks, there is always something wild to see on your adventure!
Here in our river, you will find a wide array of aquatic life. We have anadromous fish like the Steelhead which is born here on the Rogue, spend most of its adult life in the Pacific Ocean, and then returns as fully matured adults to spawn. We know these are a particular favorite for you Fly Fishermen out there.
Rogue River Steelhead draws quite a crowd and, aside from you fishermen, there are many wild things that come to hunt them! We often see the American black bear, bald eagles, ospreys, great blue heron, green heron, and kingfishers, If you have a keen eye and are lucky you might even see some golden eagles, river minks, and river otters.
This crowd of hunters can put on quite a show!
A few years back one of our rafting crews was passing through the river just as an epic scene unfolded. The rafters were still buzzing after seeing an osprey snatch a Steelhead right out of the river in front of them when a bald eagle swooped down and went for the catch. You see, bald eagles tend to be scavengers, and he was looking for an easy lunch! As the silvery prize lay waiting on the north bank of the river, the osprey and the eagle faced off over the heads of the rafting group. It was anyone’s guess as to which of the two mighty birds would win and collect the silver treasure below. The osprey had a wingspan of about 5 feet (1.52 meters), and the eagle had about a foot more on each wing. Where the eagle has the size, the osprey has speed and dexterity. As the rafters were placing their bets on how the scene would unfold, a few of them noticed a new contender that had emerged on the river bar. A witty black crow hopped onto the bank, snatched the free lunch, and made a speedy getaway across the river. The two circling above didn’t even seem to notice!
Stories like these are what make memories, and we know this season has some epic stories waiting for you.
Here on the Rogue River, we have a thriving bald eagle population and these natives are a common sighting on most trips. The eagle eye is among the strongest in the animal kingdom. With a wingspan of up to 7 ½ ft. and eyesight that is 4 to 8 times stronger than humans, they can spot their prey from almost 2 miles (3.22 km) away; making the bald eagle one of the most qualified hunters on the Wild and Scenic Rogue River.
If you look closely along the river’s edge, you may see the great blue heron wading belly deep with long, deliberate steps through the reeds. Up to 4 ½ ft. tall with a wingspan of up to 6 ½ ft. the heron often stands motionless as it scans for prey hunting with a dagger-like beak. Being an avid fisherman, the great blue heron knows where the good fishing holes are, which is why he spends his summers on the Rogue River.
Ospreys are quite common on the Rogue, being the only hawk species in North America that eats almost exclusively live fish, there’s plenty for them to eat. A natural-born fisher, the osprey has unique characteristics such as nostrils that can be closed during dives, an outer toe that angles backward to better grasp fish, and even diving as deep as 3 ft. into the water! Here on the Rogue you can watch them locate their prey from high overhead, feel the anticipation as you watch them dive into the water, then wait to see if they hooked a fish! It’s very exciting!
You might also spot a fun furry creature frolicking along the banks of the Rogue River. No, we don’t mean Bigfoot, although he is said to make his home here in the Pacific Northwest. These water lovers are much smaller and belong to the weasel family. The mink is a playful creature that spends much of its time in the water hunting for food and the Rogue River is perfect for their lifestyle. After all, if you love fishing and playing in the water, just like all of us here at Morrisons, then you know the Rogue is the perfect place to be! In the spring and summer, you can see baby minks playing and learning to hunt. Once they are mature, they can dive as deep as 16 ft (4.88 m). You probably won’t get close enough to hear it, as they startle easily, but when the mink is happy it purrs like a cat.
Will you be there on the raft to see the clever crow steal the fish? Or will you be the fisherman who snags the Steelhead? Maybe you will be hiking along the river and see a family of mink playing in the shallows, or catch sight of an osprey making its lethal dive. Perhaps you’ll look up at the precise moment that a great Bald Eagle soars directly over your head.
Come join us on the Rogue River…your adventure into the wild starts with your next click!