Did you know there are many different animals that live in and around rivers? Rivers provide water for fish, but many other creatures also call river habitats home. We are lucky to have a lot of rivers in our region, with a lot of different animals and plants that live in or near them. Summer is a great time to look for and observe some of the many birds, animals, and insects that live in and around our rivers. However, when enjoying rivers for summer fun, it’s important to remember that you are visiting other creatures’ homes. Be sure to clean up after yourself and leave all plants, rocks, and any animals you might find alone.
Look for some of these river creatures on your next river adventure!
Western Pond Turtles
Western pond turtles can be spotted on logs and rocks soaking in the sun near the river, but they dive quickly under water if seen! They eat fish and frogs.
Ospreys are one of the largest birds of prey in North America. They eat by snatching fish off of river surfaces and make nests in tall trees surrounding rivers.
There are five species of Pacific salmon. They begin life in rivers, travel to the ocean to become an adult, then return to rivers to spawn and deposit eggs.
River otters have dark fur and webbed feet. They usually eat fish, frogs, and turtles. They are very active and swim and play in rivers all year.
Commonly mistaken for eels, lampreys live underwater and have eel-shaped bodies. They use their mouth to suck on fish to eat and move in the water.
Western toads like to eat insects and worms. They can grow as big as five inches long! Look for frogs that are brown, tan, and have dark blotches, or spots.