Carkeek Watershed Community Action Project

Salmon Spawning Surveys

Returning Salmon Spawners

Every year around November visitors flock to Carkeek Park to see the Chum salmon return to spawn and die. In addition to seeing salmon jumping up waterfalls visitors may also see CWCAP volunteers as we traverse the creeks to gather salmon run data.

 

Volunteer Salmon Survey

CWCAP volunteers run surveys that travel along the creeks to estimate the total number of salmon present. When deceased salmon are found volunteers will gather data such as length/width, species, sex and spawning success. The primary goal of the survey is to examine the health of the Carkeek salmon run and by extension the health of the ecosystem.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a typical survey like?

Surveys typically last 3-4 hours depending on the number of fish. Volunteers will be assigned one of two roles depending on their preference: processor or data recorder. Processors will be near or in the stream locating fish and taking measurements. Data recorders will be along the stream and are responsible for recording the measurements as well as helping spot fish.

How do we determine spawning success?

Spawning success can only be confirmed in deceased fish. In order to determine spawning success volunteers will cut into the belly of each dead fish to examine the gonads. The cutting of the belly serves an additional purpose in that it marks which carcasses have been processed by surveyors.

What do we do with the carcasses?

After recording data we return carcasses to roughly where we found them.

What data is recorded?

Metrics include length/width, status, sex, species, distance/GPS coordinates, predation, and spawning success