Fauntleroy Creek salmon update: Almost 100 so far!

November 1, 2012 at 10:15 pm | In Fauntleroy, West Seattle news, Wildlife | 14 Comments

The coho spawners returning to Fauntleroy Creek might make this “the biggest year since the fish ladder opened in 1998,” creek steward Judy Pickens tells WSB – as she reports that volunteer creek watchers have “documented 98 coho spawners in the creek. 98!!!” Her exuberance is understandable, given that just last Sunday, as three dozen people gathered for the drum-to-call-the-salmon-home ceremony, the tally was 7 spawners, all intercepted by otter(s). Then came news 10 had made it. And now suddenly, 10 times that. Judy adds, “We don’t have a good fix yet on the percentage of hatchery-release fish vs. wild, but whatever the source, all have sensed good habitat in Fauntleroy Creek.” Every spring she works with local schoolchildren who raise salmon fry in their classrooms (or hallways!) and then come to the creek to release them. (Photo courtesy “Jim of Fauntleroy“)


  1. C’mon salmon!! Thanks to Judy and to all the volunteers who help in raising the salmon fry and to those who are now counting those returning. If any of you are parents of the kids who have released salmon in the past, be sure to come to the fish ladder overlook with your kids and watch the salmon come back home!!!

    Comment by Nitro — 10:26 pm November 1, 2012 #

  2. I was at the little park there today and saw a dude in the creek below on the little bridge. Is there public access to the creek below 45th or is it private land?

    Walked around, didn’t see an obvious path down to the creek.

    Comment by steve — 11:16 pm November 1, 2012 #

  3. It’s private property. But further up the creek, there is a public bridge not far from the north side of Fauntleroy Park along SW Barton uphill a bit from Fauntleroy Church, Schoolhouse, etc. That’s where the salmon releases happen. With 100 salmon in the creek, somebody has to have made it up that far!

    Comment by WSB — 11:27 pm November 1, 2012 #

  4. Where is the best place to try and view the returning salmon at this creek? Also, does anyone know how far up Longfellow creek salmon are getting? While looking for Jessie one day last week, we saw a dead salmon in the creek beneath the footbridge near the dragonfly.

    Comment by B-squared — 6:57 am November 2, 2012 #

  5. Access to the spawning area is via our driveway. We don’t issue an open invitation because of liability concerns but, if you come down and knock – or speak to the watcher on duty – you’ll likely be granted a front-row seat on the spawners. I expect to be out there much of Saturday and concentrating visitors to that day would help us keep life reasonably normal here!

    Comment by Judy P — 7:04 am November 2, 2012 #

  6. Unfortunately the salmon can’t make it across Barton at the church. I don’t know the exact set up, but that culvert is not passable and so the salmon have to spawn below that point (Judy could give a lot more detail on this). They do release the fry above that point in Fauntleroy park and they live up there until they are ready to head to to the sound. A worthwhile walk through the park regardless.

    Comment by JordanP — 7:23 am November 2, 2012 #

  7. Thanks, Judy and Jordan!

    Comment by WSB — 7:36 am November 2, 2012 #

  8. Yes I agree. Thank you very much!

    Comment by Glenn — 7:57 am November 2, 2012 #

  9. The West Seattle Nursery has a holding lot for plants behind Fauntleroy hall near the creek and this is one of the reasons they pay to weed the lot by hand instead of spraying herbicides all over.Go salmon!

    Comment by DaveS — 9:17 am November 2, 2012 #

  10. Thanks! I’ll try to sneak down saturday for a peak:-) Great job, Judy!!! I hope all the kids who recently set some fry loose have been given a chance to see the possible outcome of their efforts. Major teaching moment:-)

    Comment by B-squared — 9:48 am November 2, 2012 #

  11. wow is that more than the past years it seems like I can’t wait to go do some salmon watching

    Comment by Nick — 10:43 am November 2, 2012 #

  12. Right on Judy! Love to hear about the great news.

    Comment by Woodsman — 5:39 pm November 2, 2012 #

  13. So exciting! Wow…I am happy about this.
    Thank you to all involved.

    Comment by Mary Mitchell — 9:05 am November 3, 2012 #

  14. Thanks, Judy and Jordan for all the time and energy you folks put in to allow us to view such a spectacular sight as the salmon coming in from the sound and spawning in the Fauntleroy creek.

    Comment by Carl Tipton — 5:23 pm November 3, 2012 #

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