Northwest NEWS

October 2, 2000


The salmon are back

by Wendy Walsh
   Special to the Weekly
   This year, Bear Creek Basin streams are full of returning sockeye, which spawned originally 4-5 years ago in the same streams. There are also numbers of Chinook and some Coho entering the system. The run began in early September and continues through November.
   Earlier, these fish were seen at the viewing windows at the Ship Canal locks.
   Their cycle starts in the Sammamish Basin stream systems. Then the fish travel out to Puget Sound via the locks, and spend 3-4 years in the Pacific Ocean around the Gulf of Alaska.
   Then they travel back to where they hatched from the gravelly stream beds, and spawn and die.
   For the last 10 years, Water Tenders has sponsored streamside educational events so that people can learn and enjoy one of nature's most amazing life cycles.
   Each year, Water Tenders put signs out on Avondale Rd. directing the public to the streamside viewing site. Last year, over 400 people took advantage of the opportunity to hear Ray Heller, Bear Creek Basin Steward, and other experts explain what the fish are up to.
   Educational materials are also available. Many families bring their children to help them understand this important Northwest icon.
   This year there are still two opportunities to enjoy the Streamside Event: Thursday, October 5: 3-6 p.m., Saturday, October 7: 1-4 p.m. at Tolt Waterline: 148th St. off Mink and Bear Creek Road just east of Avondale Road.
   Another viewing site is at the Classic Nursery,on Avondale, where Leon and Linda Hussey have set up viewing sights, and also have educational material available.