Chum Surveys on Chimacum Creek
If you haven’t stopped by Chimacum Creek during the Chum run, it is worth a look. This year, you might even see Salmon Coalition volunteers participating in spawning surveys.
Volunteer surveyors walk right through the thick of it with hundreds of hook-nosed, snaggle-toothed salmon swarming their feet as salmon fight to their spawning grounds. Surveyors walk the creek during the Hood Canal Summer Chum salmon run, counting live and dead fish, taking scale samples, and having a blast. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) use data collected by Salmon Coalition volunteers to evaluate important parameters of the run such as fish age and total escapement (the number of salmon that escape commercial and recreational fisheries to reach their native spawning grounds) and to estimate the size of the run, which they calculated at over 1,000 fish last year!
There is no better way to feel the pulse of the earth than to walk a creek with hundreds of salmon swimming around your feet. Stay tuned for updates on the chum run this year.
Photos by Charles Espey