How many coho will come to Fauntleroy Creek this year? Drummers, singers welcome them home

October 27, 2013 at 11:56 pm | In Environment, West Seattle news | 2 Comments

That “circle of life” included multiple types of new arrivals during the annual “drum to call the salmon home” event at the Fauntleroy Creek overlook tonight, the eve of the annual watch for coho spawners.

It’s always an all-ages affair, but this time the span included at least four babies. And it included newly arrived West Seattleites – as it wrapped up, a departing family revealed they had just moved here from Texas. Now, the wait is on for more arrivals – the salmon themselves, should they take up the invitation extended by more than 50 who came to drum, sing, and move:

They even came for humor – creek/watershed steward Judy Pickens, who emcees the event year after year, was among those with a joke to tell:

(Sample joke: Why did the salmon cross the creek? To make a deposit in the bank.) Early on, Judy recounted the story of the event’s origins 19 years ago, when “three of us ventured down to the mouth of the creek” and ceremonially made some noise attempting to imitate the slapping sound of the female coho’s tail, creating the space for her eggs. Last year set a record, with 274 spawners counted, more than 100 above the previous record, set in 2001.

2 Comments

  1. Loved the salmon dancers. And thanks, Judy.

    Comment by dennis hinton — 8:25 am October 28, 2013 #

  2. I volunteer each year as a Salmon Watcher on Longfellow Creek. It’s a program set up by King County. My spotting location is just 50 meters south of SW Genesee. Unfortunately I’ve only seen one dead 18-inch Coho this year. That’s a very disappointing year. This little Coho was missing it’s Adipose fin which means he/she was in the wrong creek. I continue to be amazed at the amount of trash I pick up daily at my location. The locals come to eat and simply leave all their trash there….sad. I’m sure some is thrown in the creek.
    It would be nice to daylight this creek the entire way to the Duwamish River. Unfurtunately the salmon have to begin their trip up Longfellow Creek by going approximately a quarter mile up a buried 54-inch concrete pipe.
    As long as we continue to overpopulate we’ll see fewer of all living creatures.

    Comment by cowpie — 8:57 am October 28, 2013 #

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