Salmon Programs

Based on public survey data compiled by Amanda Lee, Seattle Parks & Recreation, using WordItOut.Carkeek Watershed Community Action Project (CWCAP) has been working to bring clean water and salmon habitat restoration to the Piper’s Creek Watershed since 1979. In the process, we help bring hands-on educational and community access to outdoor ecology and salmon rearing in Carkeek Park.

Let’s take a look at the specific activities that make it possible for salmon to return to Carkeek Park every year.

History of Salmon in Piper’s Creek WatershedRead about it…

Salmon Egg and Fry Deliveries — Each Spring 70-100,000 chum salmon eggs and fry are provided to CWCAP by the Suquamish Tribe’s Grovers Creek Salmon Hatchery is four (4) deliveries. Spring deliveries between January and March generally arrive as follows:

  • 1st Delivery → Early January
    • Carkeek Park delivery → Early January
      • Egg are delivered from Grovers Creek Salmon Hatchery
      • 20-30,000 eggs are introduced into the egg-incubator/self-release tanks in the Imprint Pond System
      • Eggs develop to fry stage in the egg-incubator/self-release tanks
      • Fry gradually self-release via outflow pipe into Venema Creek through most of March
    • Salmon in the Schools — Seattle (SISSeattle.org) delivery → Early January
      • 200-250 chum salmon eggs are delivered to each of 20-30 public and private schools
      • Eggs are reared in 55 gallon chilled aquariums to the fry stage
      • Science, Math, and cultural studies are engaged while the fry grow through the end of March to early April
      • SISSeattle coordinates a city-wide program for 70-80 schools that also raise Chinook and Coho salmon
  • 2nd Delivery → Late January to early February
    • 30-35,000 fry are delivered from Grovers Creek Salmon Hatchery
    • Fry are introduced into the Imprint Pond at Carkeek Park
    • Salmon Imprint Stewards feed the fish while they imprint the smell of Venema Creek
  • 3rd Delivery → Late February to early March
    • Fry are introduced into the Imprint Pond at Carkeek Park
    • Salmon Imprint Stewards feed the fish while they imprint the smell of Venema Creek
  • 4th Delivery → Late March – early April
    • 20-30 SIS schools move their fish from their chilled aquariums to the Imprint Pond over a 2 week period where they are imprinted and fed by CWCAP volunteers
    • Salmon Imprint Stewards imprint and feed salmon fry
    • Fry feeding and imprinting occur over a 3-8 week period
    • Many people visit the Imprint Pond to feed the salmon fry, learn about the salmon life cycle, and share stories

Salmon Fry Releases

  • 1st Release → Gradually over the month of March
    • Eggs that have hatched and developed into fry begin to self-release
    • By the end of March, all fry will have self-released into Venema Creek
  • 2nd Release → Late February to early March, typically, as it is getting dark
    • After feeding and imprinting for about one month, the fry are ready for release
    • To avoid visual predators, the fish are released as it is getting dark
  • 3rd Release → Late March to early April, typically, as it is getting dark
    • After feeding and imprinting for about one month, the fry are ready for release
    • To avoid visual predators, the fish are released as it is getting dark
  • 4th Release (SIS school fish) → Late April to mid-May, typically, as it is getting dark
    • After feeding and imprinting for about one month, the fry are ready for release
    • To avoid visual predators, the fish are released as it is getting dark

Adult Salmon ReturnRead about it…

  • Late October-early December, typically
    • Many activities are planned and implemented during this exciting time
    • World Water Monitoring Challenge (Clean Water Act celebration)
    • Salmon Spawning Survey on Saturdays
    • Salmon Stewards on Saturday and Sundays
    • Carkeek Park Salmon Stewards —Salmon Celebration
    • Salmon in the Schools Salmon Search field trips throughout the salmon run

Future of Salmon in Piper’s Creek Watershed → Coming Soon

  • Education. Demonstration. Outreach.
  • Storm water and water quality management
  • Programming cooperation among community and agency stakeholders

Imprint System → Coming Soon

Frequently Answered Questions & TerminologyFAQTerms

One Comment

  1. Jim Collins

    Hello. My wife and I and our 14-year-old son are looking for opportunities to do some volunteering, and we were wondering if we could be useful at all in the habitat/salmon work at Piper’s Creek. We are interested in protecting/restoring the environment in general and in salmon in particular. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to attend the Salmon Steward training on 10/22. We’re looking to spend 2-4 hours per weekend… Could we be any use to you?
    Jim Collins

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *