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Indybay Feature

Salmon Spawning in Marin - Come on a Creekwalk

Saturday, November 22, 2003
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Event Type:
Salmon Protection and Watershed Network (SPAWN)
Location Details:
Lagunitas Watershed, Marin County Call to make a reservation and hear details of where to meet.

CHINOOK,CHUM and COHO SALMON SPAWNING IN MARIN’S LAGUNITAS WATERSHED SEE SPAWNING SALMON ON A NATURALIST LED CREEK WALK. 11/18/03 Contact: Reuven Walder (415) 488-0370 x102 We have observed three different species of salmon spawning in the Lagunitas Watershed this winter so far - Coho, Chinook and Chum.   Salmon could be seen from Samuel P. Taylor Park to below Lagunitas. Salmon were seen at Lagunitas Creek upstream of Irving bridge, Lagunitas Creek near Devil's Gulch, Lagunitas Creek Below Devils Gulch (read naturalist notes at bottom for more info). The public is invited to come on a creek walk with one of SPAWN's Creek Naturalists to view the spawning salmon.  Visitors will learn about the fascinating life history of endangered salmon, the stream ecosystem, and the impacts that these and other species face in the Lagunitas Watershed. (See information below). …………………………………………… ***Creek Walk Info*** WHEN: Saturdays and Sundays at 10 am and 1pm From November 22, 2003 – January 31, 2004 You must make a reservation for a tour - they fill up fast! CALL (415) 488-0370 between 9am and 5pm weekdays to make a reservation. WHERE: Lagunitas Watershed, Marin County - Call to make a reservation and hear where to meet. PRICE: MEMBERS -FREE - Plus priority reservations NON-MEMBERS - $2 (KIDS); $4 (ADULTS) NO ONE TURNED AWAY FOR LACK OF FUNDS **Contact SPAWN for More Information and To See the Salmon Spawning** BACKGROUND:  These salmon species spawn in the Lagunitas watershed each winter. The two to three foot fish leave the ocean and travel miles up local streams to lay their eggs. The Lagunitas Watershed, located in West Marin County is reported to have one of the largest populations of wild coho left in California. A number of sites in the watershed will be visited. …………………………………………… NATURALIST NOTES The Marin Municipal Water District as of late last week (11/6/03) saw 18 redds (nests) between Tocaloma and Devil's Gulch and 5 redds downstream of Tocaloma. They had only seen five live chinook so far. Two chinook were as far upstream of the campground bridge in Samuel P. Taylor State Park. They only saw two chinook actually on redds. One of them was on her redd for a week, right at the mouth of Devil's Gulch but she is no longer there. SPAWN naturalist Kaye Swafford, who was combing the watershed on Sunday (11/9), discovered a coho moving upstream on Lagunitas Creek below Devil's Gulch. Todd Steiner, SPAWN's Director, watched a chum salmon for hours while spawning at Irving Bridge on Lagunitas Creek Sunday. As of Monday (11/10) afternoon, he said the female was still over her redd there (see attached photos by Todd). The most unique and interesting observation was by veteran SPAWN naturalist David Ford. This salmo-phile was out at 10pm Saturday night (11/8) with his flashlight at the Inkwells on San Geronimo Creek in anticipation of seeing the first leaping salmon after the season's first big storm! However, much to his surprise he observed 4-5 lampreys working their way up the rocks and cascading water at the inkwells. Lampreys also spawn in these creeks and spend part of their life at sea as do salmon. Their nests are small (1-2 foot wide) pits that they excavate in the stream bed. The young live in the creeks for 2-7 years before heading out to sea. More salmon are likely congregating at the mouth of this watershed awaiting the coming rains which will enable them to reach their spawning habitat which extends as far as Woodacre, 33 miles from the Pacific Ocean. The return of these species marks the dramatic end of their journey which began in these creeks 3-5 years ago. Tell your friends and come on creek walk!
Added to the calendar on Tue, Feb 3, 2004 10:26AM
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