Squad braved the pre-storm weather for some salmon and stewardship on the Cedar River and we were greatly rewarded! The beautiful red salmon were easy to see, we saw up to six swimming at once. Many others were perished on the shoreline after their long journey to spawn.
The Seattle Aquarium's Cedar River Salmon Journey program sent us a group of truly fabulous naturalists to explain everything salmon, complete with props and posters. The very popular polarized viewing glasses assist in spotting fish in the water by cutting down on glare.
Another handy learning strategy for remembering the salmon types was the hand mnemonic-hand (pictured below):
thumb - chum/Keta
pointer (eye poke) - sockeye/red
middle (largest) - King /Chinook
ring - silver/Coho
pinky - pink/humpie
We learned that the cut fins washed-up represent deceased fish that have been counted by salmon monitors so that they can keep track of which have been tallied already. The Aquarium's website has good information on opportunities for seeing and learning more about salmon.
The Cavanaugh Pond Natural Area, managed by King County Parks, is a unique site in that the river flows through a levee culvert which directs some of the salmon into the pond- a habitat they do not normally spawn in. The ponds are remnants of a former gravel mine which closed due to frequent flooding.
Restoration is well underway and will continue into the future. We performed some weeding around the young native plants, particularly digging up tenacious burdock roots. Let's hope the upcoming wind/rain storm has only a limited pollution impact on our salmon waterways due to roadway oil, sewage overflow, etc.
If you'd like to see salmon, come on out Thurs 11/10 at Carkeek Park for more stewardship and salmon viewing. We will also be on the Duwamish River just south of Downtown Tu 10/25 where we also hope to see salmon.