FOLLOWUP: 33 ‘CSI:Highline’ Volunteers report latest salmon findings


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A coho in spawning colors in the stream. Photo by Erik McDonald.

Volunteers searching for spawning salmon in Miller Creek. Photo by Elissa Ostergaard.

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A volunteer measures a dead salmon as part of Community Salmon Investigation for Highline. Photo by Elissa Ostergaard.

A dedicated group of 33 Community Salmon Investigation (CSI) Volunteers has been out in all kinds of weather, counting live and dead fish in Miller and Walker Creeks since early October.

The latest report is good – chum are still coming in to spawn in good numbers.

Here is the tally so far, courtesy Miller-Walker Basin Steward Elissa Ostergaard:

  • Total live fish seen – 223:
  • 94 live coho
  • 80 live chum
  • 49 live unidentified adult salmon
  • 60 coho carcasses counted, 11 pre-spawn mortalities
  • 24 chum carcasses found
  • 9 redds

“The surveys will continue daily until it has been at least 7 days since the last live fish was seen,” Elissa said. “Most years, surveys continue until almost Christmas, but sometimes they continue into January. After we tally the results, we will do some data quality assurance checking, then calculate escapement estimates – the estimated spawning population of coho and chum. You will also be invited to hear about the results in person this spring, time and place to be determined.”

For more info:

http://www.kingcounty.gov/environment/watersheds/central-puget-sound/miller-walker-creeks.aspx

“Thanks to all the volunteers – stay warm out there!”

 

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Comments

4 Responses to “FOLLOWUP: 33 ‘CSI:Highline’ Volunteers report latest salmon findings”
  1. Out here on the edge says:

    Oh Yes! Thank you volunteers!!! What a great service you are providing us with. Wishing you warm fingers and toes!

    I am wondering if there is a way to determine which fish are hatchery fish and which are wild?

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    • Lee Moyer says:

      Hatchery fish (Coho) are missing the adipose fin, a small useless fin just ahead of the tail. A large number of the Coho are from a hatchery on the Green River. We know that because when a hatchery fish carcass is found, the snout is saved to see if it is one of the 10% or so of hatchery fish that are chipped in the snout before release.
      Coho and Chum salmon are spawning in these creeks but we don’t know if the non-hatchery fish were from those spawning salmon or strays from other river systems that are more healthy.

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  2. Feisty says:

    I was at Hoodsport Salmon Hatchery last week and they were filling up large Totes with Chum. The State worker said they were trucking these to the local creeks. Can we do this to enhance the Miller / Walker System ? More Dead Fish Happy Holidays to ALL !

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