It’s Salmon SEEson again at Carkeek Park!

Salmon by any other nameSalmon are here!  To celebrate, come out to Carkeek Park and get to know the salmon!

The first chum salmon of the season were sighted and reported on Thu. Oct 27, 2016 by Andrea F. on Piper’s Creek!  Last year the first chum salmon were sighted on October 26, 2015.

Remember, please stay on the trails and use the viewing areas to watch for salmon. Keep all of your dog friends leashed and out of the creeks and away from the creek banks.

Here are some of the activities you might want to know about:

Carkeek Salmon Search Program
November through the beginning of December; outdoor workshops each year bring Salmon in the Schools classrooms to the park to learn fish dissection, creek walk discoveries of returning salmon, and the detailed salmon life cycle as it applies to human and natural obstacles to survival.  Seattle Public Utilities and local Naturalists partner with teachers to share the exciting salmon run and park resources with hundreds of local youth.  Some of the returning adult fish the students see may have been released by their schools 3-5 years earlier as small salmon fry, also part of the Salmon in the Schools program.

Salmon Stewards
Each Saturday & Sunday in November and the 1st weekend in December, 11AM—2PM; Carkeek Park Salmon Stewards are a community of local volunteers trained to welcome, engage, educate, and inspire park visitors drawn by the annual Piper’s Creek salmon run.

Salmon Spawning Survey
Each Saturday in November until the end of the salmon run in December; trained CWCAP volunteers collect data from deceased salmon to determine their numbers and spawning success. This annual survey follows the story of these fish after they are released from the Les Malmgren Imprint Pond 3-5 years earlier.

Salmon egg delivery
Early January; the Suquamish Tribe’s Grovers Creek Salmon Hatchery provides 20,000 chum salmon eggs each year to CWCAP where they are reared in the Imprint Pond’s Egg Incubator/Self-release tanks. At the same time, nearly 30 local schools participating in the Salmon in the Schools – Seattle program will each get their 220-250 eggs (see April fry deliveries below).

Salmon fry deliveries

  • February; the Suquamish Tribe’s Grovers Creek Salmon Hatchery provides 70,000 chum salmon fry each year to CWCAP. The first batch of 35,000 are delivered to the Imprint Pond where they are imprinted, fed, and later released into Venema Creek.
  • March; the Suquamish Tribe’s Grovers Creek Salmon Hatchery provides 70,000 chum salmon fry each year to CWCAP. The second batch of 35,000 are delivered to the Imprint Pond where they are imprinted, fed, and later released into Venema Creek.
  • April; after rearing 220-250 salmon eggs provided by the Suquamish Tribe chilled aquariums, 29 local school field trips bring salmon fry to the Imprint Pond where they are imprinted and fed by CWCAP volunteers. They are released into Venema Creek during a great release party on Saturday evening during Carkeek Park’s Annual Earth Day Celebration.

Join the World Water Monitoring Challenge!

World Water Monitoring Challenge2016 World Water Monitoring Challenge at Carkeek Park
Wednesday, October 26, 2016, 10AM—Noon
This event is FREE and suitable for ages 8 to adult
No experience necessary

Please RSVP (or for more information):

The Clean Water Act’s anniversary is October 18. To celebrate, CWCAP hosts the World Water Monitoring Challenge (WWMC) each year at Carkeek Park to “build public awareness and involvement in protecting water resources around the world by engaging citizens to conduct basic monitoring of their local water bodies.”

The results from this event are compiled and shared with EarthEcho International where the data is tracked. Depending on the number of participants, groups of various sizes are formed and sent to sampling stations along the established trails in the park to perform water temperature, turbidity, pH, and dissolved oxygen tests with the simple kits that are provided.

The Clean Water Act (CWA) establishes the basic structure for regulating discharges of pollutants into the waters of the United States and regulating quality standards for surface waters. The basis of the CWA was enacted in 1948 and was called the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, but the Act was significantly reorganized and expanded in 1972. “Clean Water Act” became the Act’s common name with amendments in 1972.

This outdoor activity takes about 2 hours. Everyone gathers for about a half hour to talk about the program and the plan for the sampling. Once the groups are sent on their way, there’s time to discuss and share since the actual sampling includes a bit of waiting for tests to finish. The park is beautiful and conversations are extraordinary.

The first returning salmon in 2015 were seen on October 26. There’s nothing to stop them from returning even earlier this year! In any case, there is lots of excitement in the park as the entire community anticipates the fall return of salmon in the park. Returning salmon are celebrated each year for many reasons, but clean, safe, and healthy water is among the best reasons.

If you’d like to join us, you’ll learn about basic water quality testing while sharing a great curiosity and love for our natural systems.

Leave a comment or email CWCAP@carkeekwatershed.org (call|text 206-235-7431) for more information or to participate.