RUE Episode 62 Salmon Life Cycle

One of the superb privileges  of living in the Pacific Northwest is witnessing the Salmon Life Cycle! Each fall, Chinook salmon make their spawning migration up the legendary Rogue River and many of them even swim up Bear Creek to lay their eggs among the most populated area of Southern Oregon. We look at a lot of fish in this episode, including the salmon and steelhead that bless the Pacific Northwest and nurture our great forests here.

A sketch of the salmon life cycle from Enchanted
These students have researched the population trends of a salmon species on the Columbia River over time from 1900 to 1980. Can you see what’s happened to the number of salmon during that time?

Viewing Episode 62

You can watch Episode 62 as seen on RVTV Voices. Click here to see the entire episode ad-free on

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Segment 3

Episode Overview

Episode 62 is a wet one, or at least a watery one. We begin the episode with a video about fish – just what characteristics these animals have that allow them to be classified as fish. Then we take a close, more detailed look at a type of fish called a salmon. We feature a video about salmon migration and the importance of this spawning migration to the incredible life cycle of salmon – an indispensable and iconic animal in the Pacific Northwest. After all this input about fish, we look at another water-dwelling category of animal – the amphibian. Specifically,  we learn about the unlikely life cycle of frogs. Here’s where we go to work on language production – discovering words and phrases that can link together facts about the various parts of an animal’s life cycle. We find that we’re sequencing events again, nly this time the events are the different phases of the frog’s life cycle. See the learning materials below.

Language Objective

Use transition words and phases to sequence events.   Describe a multi-step natural process. Describe physical changes that occur during complete metamorphosis.

Academic Content Objectives

Science: Trace the changes that occur during complete and incomplete metamorphosis.  Explain the difference between complete metamorphosis and incomplete metamorphosis. Give examples of animals that go through complete metamorphosis. Give examples of animals that go through incomplete metamorphosis. Trace the sequence of changes that salmon go through in their life cycles. Describe the nitrogen cycle as it relates to salmon in the Pacific Northwest. Sequence the life cycle of frogs. Explain how amphibians are similar to Reptiles and fish, and how they are distinct from reptiles and fish. Name the salmon species that live along the Pacific Coast in the American Northwest.

Geography: Locate the Pacific Northwest on a map. Explain how rivers are important to salmon spawning migrations. Describe the range of salmon throughout their life cycle along the North Pacific Coast. Describe the physical features of Salmon habitat. Name two countries where salmon live in the Pacific Northwest.

Videos used in this episode

Here’s the video about fish

The same video is on Click here to see or download it there.

Click here to see the Salmon Migration Video.

To see the same video without ads, Click here.

Links to related videos

Return of the Salmon Award Winning Documentary

Life Cycle of Salmon by Oregon Sea Grant

Bald Eagles and Salmon Spawning

Watch bears feeding on migrating salmon

We hear so much in this country about conflict between ranchers and government agencies and environmentalist groups that it helps to be reminded that there’s actually a lot of cooperation. As a result of that cooperation, plus the power of the Endangered Species Act, some very good things happen. Watch this video about Ranchers Welcoming Salmon.

In 2021, I found a great Video about salmon entitled Salmon Forest. It’s about the Tongas National Forest in Alaska. Click here the enjoy the video.

Books Used in this Episode

The book entitled Baby Animals is from Zoobooks. Visit the website for Zoo Books at

Tadpole to Frog by Melvin and Gilda Berger from Scholastic books provided the research source for the lesson on Frog Life Cycles. This book was produced for the school market, but you may be able to find a copy. the ISBN is 0-439-57484-6.

The poster we used is on a flip chart published by McGraw-Hill  Children’s Publishing. The chart is entitled Animal Kingdom and its ISBN is 1-58845-179-8


Learning Materials

This poster is from a flip chart published by McGraw-Hill. This page features the frog live cycle.
This shows a close-up of the top of the page.
Here we can read the text describing the frog life cycle. As the host reads, read along an see how many words you recognize.
This book is the source we use for describing the life cycle of frogs.
Life Cycle of frog First step
This page shows the first step in the frog life cycle.
Here’s the second step in the frog life cycle.

Next Episode

If you found this episode a bit too fishy for your taste, move on the Episode 63 Page.