Adopt A Stream Foundation to survey Edmonds’ Shell, Shellabarger creeks
The Adopt A Stream Foundation (AASF) next week will present its plans to conduct ecological surveys of Shell and Shellabarger Creeks this winter. “These two small streams flow through the the heart of Edmonds into Puget Sound,” said AASF Director Tom Murdoch. “According to several local watershed residents, they used to support pretty good runs of salmon.”
The presentation will be on Wednesday, Feb. 20 at 7 p.m., in room 302 of the Edmonds Francis Anderson Center at 700 Main St. in downtown Edmonds.
Funded grant from the Rose Foundation, AASF will examine the current ecological health of these streams as part of its Puget Sound Coastal Streamkeeper Program. Everyone who lives next to Shell or Shellabarger Creeks or in their surrounding watersheds is invited to attend.
“Before we ‘get our feet wet,’ we want to learn more about these streams from the people who live, work and recreate in the near the creeks,” said Murdoch. “Then we plan to walk the creeks from their headwaters to Puget Sound.
Along the way, AASF will follow procedures it used evaluating other coastal creeks between Edmonds and Everett, he said. The first streams examined were Perrinville, Lunds Gulch, Picnic Point, Merrill and Ring, Japanese Gulch, Narbeck, and Powder Mill Gulch Creeks. “As you might expect in a very densely populated areas, the ecological conditions were generally poor, however, we also found some incredibly beautiful salmon and trout habitat,” Murdoch said. Problems discovered during past evaluations, such as pockets of pollution and man-made barriers to fish migration, can be solved, he added.
Ecologist Walter Rung said that the Adopt A Stream Foundation examined each stream following part of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Rapid Bio-Assessment Protocols. “We photographed each survey location and created maps of each watershed…now you can take a “virtual tour” of each stream by going to www.streamkeeper.org, Rung said, adding the field data is is available for viewing as well. “Fish habitat in all of these coastal streams was degraded,” he said, “but, we also found cutthroat trout in every stream we examined.”
The Adopt a Stream Foundation said it expects to find trout in Shell and Shellabarger Creeks as well. And Rung said that when trout are found in urban streams there is a lot of potential to restore salmon runs as well -imagine a salmon run in the heart of Edmonds!