Salmon Spawning/Salmon run observation best time and location near Corvallis
There is not much you can see very close to Corvallis. You will need to drive a bit into the cascade range foothills because salmon and trout prefer a slight gradient in the stream channel (as opposed to a totally horizontal level in the floodplain zone), where the current is strong enough to keep gravel beds clean of fine sediments and there are plenty of instream channel structures (e.g., logs and boulders). Perhaps the best option is the Alsea watershed. You may want to go donwstream of the Oregon Hatchery Research Center ( http://www.dfw.state.or.us/fish/ohrc/ ) to see some spawners making their way up to the fish ladder and also take advantage of the hatchery facilities to see some fish. You can walk along the stream above the hatchery and there you will see the wild fish that are allowed to spawn on there own (not taken by the hatchery).
When to go? There needs to be more water in the rivers (the situation is not good now). So, late October and November may be the best months and always consider going after strong rains that may have brought the stream levels up.
If you are interested in other more distant places let me know and I can try to find out more information about the best times for you. Sincerely, Guillermo Giannico