Salmon return to Lagunitas Creek with holiday storms

Marin Independent Journal –

Despite the late rains, salmon have been making their way up Lagunitas Creek in their yearly return to their spawning grounds.

Fish monitors such as Greg Andrew of the Marin Municipal Water District said they have already observed several salmon species, including the return of pink salmon for the third year in a row.

“Prior to that, we hadn’t seen them in 30 years,” Andrew said.

Chinook and coho salmon, which are listed, respectively, as threatened and endangered, also have been observed beginning to make their way to the spawning grounds in Lagunitas Creek and eventually other tributaries such as San Geronimo Creek and Olema Creek when the flows are high enough.

While later than usual, this week’s rainfall signaled the salmon to push farther up the creek. As a result, this holiday weekend will be a good time to catch a view of the fish at popular viewing spots such as the Inkwells, the Leo T. Cronin fish viewing area and Samuel P. Taylor State Park.

“We’re really excited for the salmon to return,” said Todd Steiner, executive director of the Olema-based Salmon Protection and Watershed Network, or SPAWN. “It’s one of the incredible spectacles of nature that we get here in Marin that we get to see wild coho salmon spawning. It’s one of the few places left in California where the wild salmon are still doing their thing.”

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