We were treated to a beautiful warm day for our first autumn stewardship squad this year. The Green River in King County’s 922 acre O’Grady Natural Area was sparkling, which was gorgeous but made squinting for salmon challenging unless you had polarized lenses to reduce glare. Once we knew what to look for, we could spot rapidly darting shadows with the occasional silver flash; we think they were chum salmon–very satisfying to catch sight of!
King County lists two species– tansy ragwort / Jacobaea vulgaris and common tansy / Tanacetum vulgare as noxious. We saw large stands of common tansy and prioritized clipping seed-heads immediately adjacent to the river before the seeds could be wind-disbursed downstream. The seed-heads have to be thrown away in a trash bag rather than composted, to prevent spread. We also kept an eye out for noxious purple-flowering butterfly bush / Buddleja davidii.
While interesting to inspect fish anatomy close up, it was disappointing to find a butter wrapper and lemon rind next to a salmon head, in addition to ordinary litter. The gravel bar we worked on was a pretty spot to enjoy the river and to contemplate the water’s journey down into Elliot Bay, Downtown Seattle.