MCKENZIE BRIDGE, Oregon (STPNS) -- VIDA: A pile of dead Chinook salmon caused concerns for residents along Gate Creek last week who observed them near a bridge on the end of a paved road. Among the worries were whether it was an act of a poacher of if there might be dangers involving water quality.

Kelly Reis, ODFW Assistant District Fish Biologist in Springfield, notes the carcasses were put in the creek as part of an on-going nutrient enrichment program that mimics nature by restoring the ocean nutrients to waterways that the bodies of salmon contain.

Currently, other salmon are being kept in a frozen state at the fish hatchery. They will be placed in the upper portions of McKenzie River tributaries at the end of October.

Reis cautions dog owners to be observant near streams at this time of year to keep them away from the carcasses. ODFW, she said, isn’t required to obtain permits from the Oregon DEQ, but doesn’t place fish in streams that have excessive nutrients in their water.