Trip Reports

Salmon Spawning


The beauty of small children is how something small really catches their attention. We were driving on Sunday, when Kirk wondered if the salmon had started their spawning up Issaquah Creek, out of Lake Washington (and from there, the Pacific Ocean).


The creek was filling up with the first of the run, waiting for the fish ladders to open. The slaughter is behind the fish gates, figured the boys can wait a few years on learning that one 😉 The hatchery raises fry and releases them back to the wild every year, by this point of their return the salmon are close to death anyways.


The salmon were huge and varying colors. It was fascinating to look down and watch some of them attempting to set up a “nest” for their eggs, in the gravel of the creek.


It was very hard to pry them away (Alistaire and Walker) and go look at the creek downstream.


A polarization lens would have been nice – the creek was clogged with fish here.


They were excited to see the fish swimming rapidly upstream.


And then I saw something I didn’t know before – that mallard ducks eat dead salmon. The creek bed was littered with salmon who had made with that far but just missed their end by yards. These of course feed the animals and birds (hello the healthy black bear population!) A sea-gull had come inland, and was happily tearing at a salmon twice its size. The ducks would sidle over, grab a bite and run away. The gull was very dominate and crabby. “Mine!Mine!Mine!”

Now I have the urge to drive the boys up into the North Cascades in the next month, so they can watch the salmon spawn in the Skagit River – and watch the Bald Eagles and bears feast away.

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