Chum salmon

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2019 Spring Imprinting Season is here!

The new year brings the beginning and the continuation of the salmon life cycle to Carkeek Park.  Salmon of many species around the region cycle similarly and differently.  For Chum salmon in the Piper’s Creek system, we join them once again in January as salmon eggs arrive here at the park and at many Seattle schools.

Here’s what’s happening:

Salmon, Matt, Priya, and Bonnie; Jan 5, 2017
Eggs are being distributed on trays that will be placed into Egg incubator/Self-release tanks.

January 9, 2019
CWCAP picked up 30,000 eyed (fertilized) Chum salmon eggs at the Suquamish Tribe’s Grovers Creek Salmon Hatchery.  This 1st batch marks the official launch of the 2019 Imprinting Season.

Eggs will hatch, develop and then self-release by about mid-March.  Grovers Creek Salmon Hatchery also provided about 220 Chum salmon eggs each to about 2 dozen local public and private schools participating in the Salmon in the Schools — Seattle program. 

End of January, 2019
Grover’s Creek Salmon Hatchery staff will deliver 35,000 free-swimming Chum salmon fry to the Imprint Pond.  The Suquamish have provided salmon fry to CWCAP and the Piper’s Creek system since 2004.

This will continue the annual Imprinting Season as 21 CWCAP volunteers provide public and educational access 3 times per day, 7 days per week to these maturing salmon.  We keep salmon in several batches through mid-May.

Please feel welcome to visit, feed the salmon, and share a good fish story.  Salmon Imprint Stewards will be there to positively add to your experience.

Annual Salmon Spawning Survey at Carkeek Park, data and tradition

2018 CWCAP survey crew (left to right): Tim (T.R.) Ricord, Lilli Hills, Alanna Sutton, Rick Henry (with male Chum salmon), Phil Kuhar, Matthew Kuhar, Spencer Fisco, Kat Krohn, Allison Bachner ; Carkeek Park, 11-24-18

Saturdays during the fall salmon run, a team of CWCAP citizen scientists collects data from salmon carcasses in the Piper’s and Venema Creeks, while another team systematically records live sighting and spawning activity data.  Each fall, CWCAP surveys each salmon carcass to determine whether fish are fully spawned, partially spawned, or not spawned at all (view salmon return numbers since 2014).  This is one measure of the heath of the adult salmon return. Through early-mid December, CWCAP will be conducting Saturday surveys (Nov 10, 17, 24, Dec 1, 8, 15) until no more un-sampled salmon carcasses are found.  Around Thanksgiving time has been within a few days of the actual peak of live activity for at least the several years.

Salmon carcasses are sampled for a variety of standard data measurements.

The following table summarizes the carcass and live results for Fall 2018.  For more details and survey results from 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018, please visit the Salmon Spawning Surveys page.