FOLLOWUP: Schools finish salmon releases at Fauntleroy Creek – next, it’s your turn

(This photo and next one by Tom Trulin. Above, Fauntleroy Children’s Center students)

By Judy Pickens
Special to West Seattle Blog

Salmon-release season for schools on Fauntleroy Creek ended Thursday when children from A Child Becomes Preschool put their coho fry in the water.

All but one of the 15 school releases coordinated by the Fauntleroy Watershed Council resembled field trips before the pandemic. Sizable groups of (masked) students and adults explored the park’s natural habitat while releasing their fish. Some groups also visited the lower creek.

(Holy Rosary students)

All told, 460 children released 1,460 fry reared through the Salmon in the Schools program. Many of the 167 adults who chaperoned also put fish in the water. Members of the all-volunteer release team were Dennis Hinton, Pete Draughon, Shannon Ninburg, and Tom Trulin.

(Photo by Deb Robbins. Above, volunteers Dennis Hinton, Tom Trulin, and Pete Draughon, who will host the June 5 community release)

Most schools did very well this year rearing their salmon from eyed eggs; as a result, about 200 of the “just in case” fish reared by volunteer Jack Lawless can now be used for a community release. All are invited to drop by the big bridge in Fauntleroy Park (map) on Sunday, June 5, 1-3:00 pm to put them in the water.

Also in late May, volunteers wrapped up the annual count of smolts leaving the park and lower creek for their two years in saltwater. The count was considerably lower than last year (11 compared with 49), likely because the pandemic reduced the number of schools that brought fry in 2021. Monitors also counted upward of 400 live fry in the lower smolt trap, most being “home hatch” from last fall’s robust spawning.

The next season of volunteer monitoring will start in mid-October, when salmon watchers will document spawners and spawning activity in the lower creek.

4 Replies to "FOLLOWUP: Schools finish salmon releases at Fauntleroy Creek - next, it's your turn"

  • Salmon May 27, 2022 (1:31 pm)

    So great

    • Lori May 28, 2022 (1:19 am)

      Best local news of the day!

  • Lori Hinton May 29, 2022 (7:10 am)

    So refreshing to see some good news out there! Thanks for your coverage of this incredible program. And huge thanks to the volunteers who put in such hard work and dedication each year. It inspires those of all ages!

  • MSW May 29, 2022 (7:30 am)

    This is a great feel good effort and story. Sadly, without addressing the creek to Puget Sound interface the salmon run will never sustain. Currently there is no passage through a giant driftwood pile and over a sand berm. Design of a permanent and viable interface for smolts and spawners to traverse should be included in any Fauntleroy dock project. Obviously this very likely will need to include condemnation of some adjacent private property. I doubt the micro local community is willing to support that. This run is virtually a no go without viable passage for the fish to and from the creek.

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