Today I co-led a fantastic Creekwalk with 3 groups totaling almost 50 people. We split up into small groups along the creek, with a trained Naturalist joining each group, and everyone saw coho and redds. A good time was had by all!
Because we haven’t had any significant rain for a few weeks, the coho we saw were holding in a pool in the campground area of Samuel P Taylor State Park. Last week, MMWD staff saw 22 coho in this pool! We saw about 10, including hook-nosed red males, females and what seems like a high number of “jacks.” Jacks are male coho that have returned to spawn after only 6-8 months in the ocean, meaning they are much smaller than the more mature hook-nosed males. There was also a very big redd under the bridge into the campground that is best seen from just upstream of the bridge. This redd may represent the work of more than one female, judging by its enormous size.
We also saw a carcass in Bike Hike Pool (visible from this pedestrian bridge) and a few jacks swimming around in this pool. Additionally, there were tiny little redwood seeds falling onto the parking area and picnic tables that I carefully gathered for our Native Plant Nurseries. People are always amazed to see these tiny seeds and imagine how they will soon grow to be the giant trees we all love and that the endangered coho salmon depend on.
So there are fish and redds to be seen… and the best place seems to be between Irving Bridge and the campground in Samuel P Taylor State Park. The Park is completly closed most weekdays, so be sure to register for a Creekwalk on the weekends to gain access!