VIDEO: Fauntleroy Creek’s salmon-smolt research gets a boost from Eagle Scout project

(Photos/video by Tom Trulin)

Shown above is the first outbound salmon smolt of the season spotted in one of Fauntleroy Creek‘s new traps this morning, and released to saltwater moments later. This year’s smolt research will use traps designed, built, and installed as part of an Eagle Scout project. Judy Pickens of the Fauntleroy Watershed Council tells the story:

Every spring, coho smolts leave Fauntleroy Creek to feed in Fauntleroy Cove before heading farther afield for their two years in saltwater, and every year since 2003, volunteers have been counting them as they leave.

This annual research requires designing two soft net traps, building them, installing them in the upper and lower creek, and monitoring them twice daily to count and release the smolts.

Ben Vornbrock ably accomplished three of these tasks for his Eagle Scout project, and being from a family that builds helped (Vornbrock & Sons Construction). After consulting with creek volunteers Dennis Hinton and Tom Trulin about trap design, he reviewed it with dad Dan and granddad Greg and assembled the materials. Other Scouts from Troop 284 joined them creekside last Wednesday (March 13) to assemble and install the traps.

Monitors will check the traps twice daily into mid May. The upper trap will catch smolts from school releases last spring in Fauntleroy Park. The lower trap will catch those coming out of the middle reach of the creek, as well as home hatch from fall 2022 spawning in the lower creek.

“Because this is important research, we ask everyone not to tamper with the traps,” Dennis advised. “If you happen to see one of us checking a trap, we’ll be happy to explain what we’re doing and why.”

4 Replies to "VIDEO: Fauntleroy Creek's salmon-smolt research gets a boost from Eagle Scout project"

  • lucy March 18, 2024 (3:57 pm)

    Nice work, young man.  Thank you for you love of the outdoors and willingness to get your hands dirty!

  • WSOwl March 18, 2024 (5:07 pm)

    Good luck everyone!

  • Eric March 18, 2024 (5:16 pm)

    Ben is a remarkable young man who is showing you bright future of community service he and his troop know so well.   Well done, Ben and Troop 284!

  • ACG March 19, 2024 (12:12 pm)

    This is wonderful!  Thank you to Ben and his troop for building these and to the volunteers for checking in monitoring them!

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