Scene in Edmonds: Young coho arrive at marina

On Tuesday morning, two Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) trucks arrived at the Edmonds Marina with 30,000 coho salmon smolt, to be transferred to the coho fish pen moored in the marina.

Puget Sound Anglers Association volunteers offloaded the fish into the pen and placed two nets over the top to protect the salmon.
This is the first time these fish have been exposed to saltwater. In a week or two, the pen will be moved and moored below the fishing pier, where the coho will naturally become imprinted to their location.
In the May timeframe, the fish will be released. Some will stay local, and some will head out to the Pacific Ocean. The hope is that when they mature, the salmon will return to this location for the local fishermen and to spawn.
Organizers offered thanks to the Puget Sound Anglers Association (Sno-King chapter), the Issaquah Fish Hatchery, the WDFW and the Port of Edmonds for supporting this activity.
— Story and photos by Doug Parrott
  1. Just curious, why do these smolts travel from Issaquah when Willow Creek Hatchery, located in Edmonds, is yards away from Puget Sound? Different species in these hatcheries? Different management organizations? Where do the Willow Creek smolts grow up?

    1. Hi Sandra, Thanks for the question. I’m not an expert on the comings and goings of Coho salmon but after a little research this this my best guess. The Willow Creek fish Hatchery is a micro fish hatchery with a small pond. The hatchery is owned and operated by volunteers from Salmon Solutions. It is primarily used for Salmon education in the local schools. They only hatch about 80,000 Coho a year. I do believe they release some of the salmon into Willow Creek which runs through the hatchery property. URL for Willow Creek:
      The Issaquah fish hatchery is a very large hatchery that hatches hundreds of thousands of fish a year. It is owned and operated by Washington State Fish and Wildlife Department and has the equipment and structure to support activities like the one that took place in Edmonds with the Puget Sound Anglers Association Sno-King chapter (a local non-profit). URL for Issaquah fish hatchery:

  2. A similar hatchery model has been used in the Westport boat basin for years. They even have a derby for dock based coho. Fun times for the family and or handicapped coho angler.

  3. For many years the Willow Creek Hatchery has released the Coho raised there from eyed eggs into Swamp Creek that flows thru east Lynnwood. The fish are transferred in groups as they grow bigger in a trailer mounted tank by volunteers. This allows remaining fish to reach larger size until all are released. For many years there were about 100,000 Coho raised. The first 4 years of operation of the hatchery, Chinook were raised. The eyed eggs came from the Soos Creek Hatchery near the Green River. All Chinook in the pond had to be transferred at one time. They were weighed in metal buckets to record the poundage as they were being transferred into a large tank truck that took the fish to the Green River. The hatchery was built and operated with money raised by volunteers from the Edmonds Trout Unlimited Chapter who ran the hatchery until a few years ago on property owned by the Union Oil company that had large storage tanks in the area where the condos are now up on the hill above the water. The hatchery property is now owned by the City of Edmonds. If fish raised at the hatchery were released into Willow Creek many would be eaten by the variety of predator birds that inhabit the shallow water that flows thru the Edmonds March Wildlife Sanctuary before going into a pipe that begins by the train tracks and goes under the Port of Edmonds Marina parking lot. The pipe ends into the saltwater at Marina Beach.

  4. Thank you, Brent Tugby. What are your thoughts about net pens in the Salish Sea that hold thousands of Atlantic salmon, I believe? Farm raised fish.

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