Chum Spawner Surveys 2016

Posted on by NOSC

Each August, Hood Canal Summer Chum return to Chimacum Creek to spawn and carry on this Endangered Species Act-listed population. Summer chum were totally eliminated from Chimacum Creek in the 1980s, and were reintroduced to the creek in the 1990s using hatchery stock. Since then, restoration, stewardship, and volunteer efforts have made major leaps in the recovery of the wild salmon population. Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife depends on volunteer surveys to track the numbers of summer chum returning to the creek each year. The Salmon Coalition has the privilege of organizing volunteers with funding through an Aquatic Lands Enhancement Account (ALEA) grant.

Chum escapement through 2016

Graph shows increasing numbers of wild Hood Canal Summer Chum Salmon in Chimacum Creek since hatchery stock was first introduced in 1999. Credit: Cheri Scalf, WDFW

We held our annual Chum Survey Training on Thursday, August 18th.

At the training we covered a summary of Salmon Coalition programs, survey and safety protocols, and asked volunteers to fill out questionnaires regarding their stretch preferences (no, not downward dog, at the training we’ll go over the different stretches of the creek) and availability.

No experience is necessary to join the survey team, but volunteers should be physically able to walk the creek over rough and slick terrain. We have many experienced volunteers who are very willing and capable of helping new surveyors learn the protocol.

 

Updates to come as the survey season progresses!

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