2018 Salmon Imprinting Season Summary at Carkeek Park, Venema Creek

Each spring, 4 batches of Chum salmon are delivered to the Imprint Pond at Carkeek Park to be imprinted by CWCAP Salmon Imprint Stewards.  21 lead Imprint Stewards and 13 regular Imprint Stewards, care for, feed, and oversee the Imprinting System from January to May.  With fish provided by the Suquamish Tribe’s Grovers Creek Salmon Hatchery, CWCAP releases nearly 100,000 imprinted salmon fry into Venema Creek.  Imprinting will give these fish the best chance at returning to their home waters in the Pipers and Venema Creeks in 3 to 5 years to spawn.  Below is a table that summarizes CWCAP‘s imprinting activities for 2018.

For more information, visit the Salmon Imprinting page.

2018 Imprinting Season ends on May 12

Saturday, May 12, 2018 at a little after 8:00 PM saw the release of about 37,250 3-4 inch Chum salmon fry into Venema Creek where they will make there way to Piper’s Creek, to Puget Sound, and eventually to the Pacific Ocean.  These very fit fish have a chance to return to these home waters in 3 to 5 years to spawn.  Having been imprinted with the smell (chemical/mineral signature) of the water from Piper’s Creek Watershed, some of these fish will return to Carkeek Park creek waters in 3-5 years to find good habitat and mates after all the challenges they will have survived since their release.

For CWCAP, this May 12th release represented our 3rd and 4th combined batches of Chum salmon (CWCAP‘s fish plus Salmon in the Schools fish).

168 parents, teachers, kids, and other visitors brought well-wishing anticipation to the these plump and frisky fish as they were released to continue their fascinating and challenging life cycle.  After feeding these fish 3 times per day, 7 days a week from January through May, CWCAP Salmon Imprint Stewards were on hand to enjoy conversations with visitors as everyone mingled before the final release.  Seattle Parks SUNGuides were on hand to join the conversations and give great care to the creek banks and vegetation as the many visitors vied for a place along the creek to view the release of these tens of thousands of salmon fry.  

For the entire 2018 Imprinting Season, Chum salmon were raised, fed, and imprinted by 21 CWCAP Salmon Imprint Stewards beginning January 9th with the 1st batch consisting of 30,000 eggs and continuing through May 12th, 2018 with two more batches of 35,000 fish each and 4,115 school fish.  This long-term commitment from 21 amazing volunteers is part of what makes this educational, demonstration, and outreach effort by CWCAP a success to the community and habitat & wildlife restoration since 1979.

Please come back to this page as numbers, trends, and future outlooks are added to summarize this Imprinting Season’s efforts.