Thanks to the ongoing efforts of Sound Salmon Solutions, the Edmonds Stream Team, Willow Creek Hatchery staff and various community volunteers, more than 5,000 baby salmon were released into Edmonds’ Shell Creek Saturday morning as part of the effort to enhance salmon runs in local streams.
“These baby coho were hatched right here in Edmonds at the Willow Creek Hatchery,” explained Joe Scordino, retired fisheries biologist and long-time advisor to the group. “They all hatched from eggs we received from the Issaquah hatchery last December. At the time, some were planted in hatch boxes and deposited directly in the streams, and the rest – the fish we’re releasing today – were reared in the Willow Creek Hatchery holding pond.” (See My Edmonds News story here)
The Edmonds Stream Team had its beginnings more than seven years ago as the Edmonds-Woodway High School Students Saving Salmon Club. It has now grown to include students and faculty advisors from Meadowdale High School.
“We now have almost 100 students on the Stream Team,” said Scordino. “It’s been fantastic adding Meadowdale to the effort – with more students we can do so much more to help restore, enhance and foster salmon runs in our local streams.”
The salmon released today will eat and grow in the freshwater environment where they will imprint on the unique chemical signature of the stream’s water. They will eventually migrate downstream to Puget Sound, where they will mature in the marine environment. After spending up to three years in saltwater, those that have survived predation, fishing and the many other hazards will return to Shell Creek to spawn, literally sniffing out and following the chemical signature right back to where they were released.
— Story and photos by Larry Vogel