Event Title

Bringing chum salmon back to Cooper Creek: expected and unanticipated consequences for fish and people.

Presentation Abstract

In 2009, the Bainbridge Island Watershed Council, in partnership with the Suquamish Tribe and the City of Bainbridge Island, undertook a four-year supplementation program to re-introduce chum salmon to Cooper Creek, a small lowland Puget Sound stream at the head of Eagle Harbor on Bainbridge Island, WA. Cooper Creek was the site of a restoration effort in 2001 to remove a fish-impassable culvert and impoundment. Following this removal, volunteers monitored the stream for 5 years and recorded only a single adult returning salmon and a handful of juveniles and cutthroat trout. Seeking to create a return of spawning salmon to this stream, we installed a stream-side incubator/raceway and raised and released fry originating from a local west sound watershed. Each spring during the 4-year program, volunteers spent hundreds of hours caring for the fish. The project also involved students from a USAID exchange program from across eastern and southeast Asia, many of whom had never worked on a stream or seen a salmon in their lives. In 2013, we recorded the return of dozens of salmon to Cooper Creek, signaling the beginning of what we hope will be a self-sustaining run of fish that has probably not been seen in this stream in more than half a century. In addition, the experience that our local volunteers and international students took with them that expanded this local restoration program into a project with community-wide and international effects.

Session Title

Session S-08D: Salmon Recovery: Implementation and Progress I

Conference Track

Species and Food Webs

Conference Name

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference (2014 : Seattle, Wash.)

Document Type

Event

Start Date

1-5-2014 5:00 PM

End Date

1-5-2014 6:30 PM

Location

Room 6C

Contributing Repository

Digital content made available by University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Rights

This resource is displayed for educational purposes only and may be subject to U.S. and international copyright laws. For more information about rights or obtaining copies of this resource, please contact University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA 98225-9103, USA (360-650-7534; heritage.resources@wwu.edu) and refer to the collection name and identifier. Any materials cited must be attributed to the Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference Records, University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Type

Text

Language

English

Format

application/pdf

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May 1st, 5:00 PM May 1st, 6:30 PM

Bringing chum salmon back to Cooper Creek: expected and unanticipated consequences for fish and people.

Room 6C

In 2009, the Bainbridge Island Watershed Council, in partnership with the Suquamish Tribe and the City of Bainbridge Island, undertook a four-year supplementation program to re-introduce chum salmon to Cooper Creek, a small lowland Puget Sound stream at the head of Eagle Harbor on Bainbridge Island, WA. Cooper Creek was the site of a restoration effort in 2001 to remove a fish-impassable culvert and impoundment. Following this removal, volunteers monitored the stream for 5 years and recorded only a single adult returning salmon and a handful of juveniles and cutthroat trout. Seeking to create a return of spawning salmon to this stream, we installed a stream-side incubator/raceway and raised and released fry originating from a local west sound watershed. Each spring during the 4-year program, volunteers spent hundreds of hours caring for the fish. The project also involved students from a USAID exchange program from across eastern and southeast Asia, many of whom had never worked on a stream or seen a salmon in their lives. In 2013, we recorded the return of dozens of salmon to Cooper Creek, signaling the beginning of what we hope will be a self-sustaining run of fish that has probably not been seen in this stream in more than half a century. In addition, the experience that our local volunteers and international students took with them that expanded this local restoration program into a project with community-wide and international effects.