West Seattle wildlife: School-salmon release season begins

May 1, 2012 3:05 pm
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 |   Environment | West Seattle news | Wildlife

In Fauntleroy Park this morning, Westside School (WSB sponsor) second-graders were the first to visit Fauntleroy Creek this spring to release salmon fry they’ve been raising. The students arrived in vans; the salmon, in a bucket:

Another bucket nearby held a few of the smolt that had been released into the creek a year earlier; watershed steward Judy Pickens explained that they have been transporting smolt downstream that way because last year, so many of them died somewhere between the park and the fish ladder near Fauntleroy Cove. She joined teacher Laura Holmes (center) for a briefing at the park’s north-central entrance before everyone headed down to the creek:

Judy was presented with student art and poetry about the fish, and read the poems aloud before they were tacked up in the kiosk nearby:

Back to that first fish – as was the case with each student in turn, the boy in the black/white hat was instructed to hold his hand over the cup once volunteer Dennis Hinton had scooped up a fry to set free – then to carefully empty the cup into the creek, by a small footbridge a short walk from SW Barton … and then, off went the fry:

Each spring, Judy, Dennis, and other volunteers watch for smolt heading outbound – this spring, 105 so far – and then each fall, they watch for salmon returning home after about 3 years away.

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