Migrating Chinook salmon have entered Lagunitas Creek (through Tomales Bay from the Pacific Ocean) and are now spawning.

These Central California Coastal Chinook Salmon were spotted at the Leo T. Cronin Fish viewing area in Marin County, Calif. by SPAWN members on Nov. 3rd.

The sighting of Chinook salmon in the Lagunitas Watershed marks the start of the fall run of the Central Coastal Chinook Salmon, which have been listed as  ‘threatened’ under the U.S. Endangered Species Act since 1999 according to the Department of Fish and Wildlife.

The Chinook salmon will run up Lagunitas Creek located in Marin County, California during the months of October, November and December. Their run will be followed by a winter run of endangered coho salmon during late November and running until February. The best population of California Central Coast Coho Salmon left occurs in Marin County in the Lagunitas Watershed, but remains critically endangered.

“These Chinook salmon mark the start of the spawners arriving in Lagunitas Creek,” said Preston Brown, watershed biologist with SPAWN. “We hope it will be a good year for spawning Chinook and coho salmon, but the burden is now on the Marin County Board of Supervisors to safeguard these ancient species, and save Marin’s creekside habitat from destructive development.”

“It is exciting to see the first salmon of the season,” said Joanna Nasar, communications manager of Turtle Island and SPAWN. “We hope the community will come out on our creek walks to view and appreciate these fish in their natural habitat,” she added.

SPAWN will lead creek walks to view coho salmon beginning in about a week.  To find out about creek walks, call the SPAWN hotline at (415) 499-1090, or visit https://seaturtles.org/events/dec-creek-walk/