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35,000 salmon fry are hungry!

Watch for "Feeding Salmon Fry" sign.

On Tuesday, January 16th, the Suquamish Tribe’s Fisheries truck brought 35,000 Chum salmon fry to the Imprint Pond at Carkeek Park.  Fish are fed 3 times a day, 7 days a week.  While the fish are here, they eventually become imprinted with the mineral and chemical smell/memory of the park’s Piper’s Creek Watershed.  This process insures that they have the best chance of returning to their new home waters in 3-5 years as spawning adults.

This batch of fish is just the 1st of 3 batches that will be delivered and then eventually released into Venema Creek by CWCAP Salmon Imprint Stewards.  So beginning now, look for the Feeding Salmon Fry sign across from the 1st lower parking lot as you come down into the park (see photo).

There also have been 30,000 eggs hatching in the Egg Incubator/Self-release Tank.  There are lots of emerging alevin visible in the top tray right now, but they are slipping through the mesh all the time and will soon be at the bottom of the deep tank and therefore harder to see.  So visit soon if you can.

  • CWCAP volunteers feed and imprint 70-100,000 salmon fry every Spring for eventual release into Venema Creek.
  • Eggs and fry are provided each year by the Suquamish Tribe’s Grovers Creek Salmon Hatchery. Thank you!
  • These are the fish that will return to these home waters in 3-5 years to spawn in the fall. Get ready for that!
  • CWCAP and its partners help build Outdoor Classrooms across Carkeek Park.
  • Salmon Imprint Stewards can show you how to feed the fish, discuss operations, salmon life cycles, watershed improvement, and community stewardship. Learn, teach, participate, volunteer; let’s hear from you!

Salmon Search finds fish in an outdoor classroom

Each November, nearly 30 public and private elementary schools kick off their participation in Salmon in the Schools ( by visiting Carkeek Park.  Here they observe, discuss, and learn in a great outdoor classroom about water quality and salmon returning to spawn.

With organizational and educational programming support from Seattle Public Utilities (SPU), more than 2 dozen field trips are arranged for schools in the Salmon in the Schools program.  By the end of the fall Chum salmon run at Carkeek Park, more than 1,200 elementary schools kids understand, appreciate and are enthusiastically prepared to hatch 200-250 salmon eggs and raise them in their schools’ 55 gallon chilled aquariums.  What better way is there to get ready than to be so near so many salmon returning to spawn!  The adult fish swimming in these creeks were released 3-5 years ago here at Carkeek Park.  It is possible that some of them might have been raised by these schools —a possibility that astonishes these young minds!

Each of the schools in the following table took field trips to Carkeek  Park to participate in 3 educational stations:

  • Hooks & Ladders — Salmon Ecosystem Simulation, models, and variables
  • Creek Walk — salmon life cycle and habitat observations; stormwater and water quality education 
  • Salmon Dissection — biological systems, life cycles, and comparative anatomy