EDITOR’S NOTE: Thanks so much to Fauntleroy Creek volunteer Dennis Hinton for sharing earlier updates as well as this wrap-up on the annual coho watch at the creek, restored a decade ago. Since no fish returned last year, this year’s returns were cause for celebration.
By Dennis Hinton
Special to West Seattle Blog
The first three coho spawners to come into Fauntleroy Creek this year were spotted by volunteer Jack Lawless and friends on Saturday morning, Nov. 19.
The last two spawners were seen by watcher Anne Samenfink on Saturday morning, Nov. 26. They were the first fish that Anne has seen in 10 years of watching.
All told, eight creek volunteers spotted 14 coho during the season, compared to zero last year.
Watchers also noted:
*Three spawning pairs (location of their redds marked)
*Three coho carcasses (examined by volunteer biologist Steev Ward)
*20 Alki Cooperative Preschool kids, plus chaperones, seeing two spawners on their Nov. 21 field trip.
*About 100 people checking out spawning activity from the fish-ladder viewpoint (SW Director and upper Fauntleroy Way SW, across from the ferry terminal). Note: The viewpoint is a treat to visit anytime but is especially interesting during spawning season (Halloween to Thanksgiving).
Local volunteers joined the county-wide Salmon Watch program in 2000. Since then, watchers have tallied 479 spawners (chart after the jump):
FAUNTLEROY CREEK COHO RETURN RECORD*
*Source: Fauntleroy Watershed Council