While salmon-watchers along Fauntleroy Creek watch for the next arrival of live fish – the ones who’ve visited so far are doing what come naturally – including dying. But while visiting the creek this morning, we learned from Dave McCoy of Emerald Water Anglers that the one you see above wasn’t a coho after all – but a blackmouth chinook. “Hatchery fish trying to get up here and mix it up with the wild ones,” he explained. We caught up with him, Denny Hinton and Judy Pickens while a class from the Providence Mount St. Vincent Intergenerational Center was getting a lesson about salmon – including the chinook carcass – and then a presentation from Judy (in the background):
Denny and Dave then headed off to check out a report of fish near the creek mouth on Fauntleroy Cove.
(Added Judy in e-mail after we first published this story: “Fauntleroy is a coho creek, so having this type of chinook (king) come in is a first. Instead of migrating to the ocean, blackmouth stay in Puget Sound all year and their black gum line is the reason for their name. This fish was under five pounds – small for the species – and it had no adipose fin, indicating that it originated in a hatchery.” She says the carcass “was returned to the creek where its nutrients will benefit the next generation” and adds an update on this year’s watch: “After several days of no fish, this year’s salmon watchers went home, having documented a total of 18 fish. But more were spotted this morning near the mouth and, with especially high tides through the weekend, spawning season may not be over!”) Great day to be out by the creek, despite the fairly heavy rain – and nearby streets are resembling creeks, like upper Fauntleroy Way north of the salmon overlook:
By the way, the wind advisory is still up, till midnight, and the forecast suggests it may kick up again before then.