(This photo and the next by Tom Trulin. Above, students at Fauntleroy Children’s Centre)
By Judy Pickens
West Seattle Blog Special
Salmon release season for schools Fauntleroy Creek ended Thursday when the children of A child becomes preschool put their coho fry in the water.
All but one of the 15 school outings coordinated by the Fauntleroy Catchment Council looked like pre-pandemic field trips. Large groups of (masked) students and adults explored the park’s natural habitat while releasing their fish. Some groups also visited the lower creek.
(students of the Holy Rosary)
A total of 460 children released 1,460 fry reared in the Salmon in schools program. Many of the 167 adults who chaperoned also released fish. Members of the all-volunteer liberation team were Dennis Hinton, Pete Draughon, Shannon Ninburgand Tom Trulin.
(Photo by Deb Robbins. Above are volunteers Dennis Hinton, Tom Trulin and Pete Draughon, who will lead the June 5 community outing)
Most schools have done very well this year raising their salmon from eyed eggs; as a result, around 200 of the “just in case” fish raised by volunteers lawless jack can now be used for a community version. All are invited to cross the large bridge of Fauntleroy Park (map) on Sunday, June 5 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. to put them in the water.
Also in late May, volunteers completed the annual count of smolts leaving the park and lower creek during their two years in saltwater. The number was significantly lower than last year (11 vs. 49), likely because the pandemic reduced the number of schools that brought in fry in 2021. Monitors also counted over 400 live fry in the bottom smolt trap, most being “home hatchers”. from last fall’s robust spawning.
The next volunteer monitoring season will begin in mid-October, when salmon observers will document spawners and spawning activity in the lower creek.