chinook_smoltsSpring is the time of year a new batch of one-year-old salmonids start their seaward migration. They’re known as smolt, and they are about to begin an epic journey.

Salmon start their lives eating freshwater zooplankton and quickly grow into orca-dodging, fishing net-eluding, adults on a pilgrimage to nutrient-rich arctic waters. Salmon make this trek only to return home to their original streams, ready to reproduce.

SPAWN’s objective is to measure juvenile salmon throughout San Geronimo Creek and establish a baseline for how habitat restoration efforts are protecting and improving their population. And you can help!

On Saturday, April 8, SPAWN’s Smolt Monitoring Program 2017 begins with free volunteer training. Biologists will teach you how to be a citizen scientist, and we ask that you commit to this project for one to eight days in the months ahead. Our workshop is free and it will be held at the San Geronimo Community Center.

Smolt counts are important, because they tell biologists how the previous spawning class fared over the past year. This includes data on the health of the smolts, and serves as statistical analytics on how many fish as a whole are using this habitat.