野田川のシロザケ Noda River's Chum Salmon
- It's chum salmon that go up Noda River.
- They run and spawn from October to the beginning of December.
- The Noda river is the southern limit for salmon. ( Acquaintances told me that salmon also go up the Ote River in Miyazu and Takeno river in Kyotango.
- Tango salmon was a local delicacy in ancient times. A wooden tablet showing that Noda River salmon was offered to the emperor 1,300 years ago was excavated from Heijo Palace site in Nara.
I thought, "That looks interesting! I want to go and see them! But it's probably too late!". Nevertheless, on December 5th, I went to explore. I parked my car at Aso Seaside Park and then headed up towards the Ushirono district in Kaya by mountain bike.
I rode up the Kaya-Iwataki Bicycle Road to Tankai Bus Head Office and then from there I rode along the river bank keeping an eye in the river to see if I could see any salmon.
When passing through the Ushirono district, I noticed several kites perched in trees along the Noda River. Just as I was thinking that they might be eating the salmon, I saw a big fish lying dead in the river. It was a chum salmon. Chum salmon grow to about 60 to 80 cm, so they are easy to spot. After spawning, both male and females die and the kites and other animals feast on them. Around that area, I also saw bear poo smack in the middle of the path. Asiatic black bears apparently don't jump in the water to fish for live salmon like brown bears do. But if they find a dead salmon, they might go 'Oh! Lucky!' and eat it for nutrition for hibernation. I wonder what it was doing in this case.
I want to see the live chum salmon. If I remember next year, I want to go earlier to see them.