Winter, 2005

Edited by Judith Williams


We are very excited about the 2004 fish return. Due to the early rain, chum and coho salmon began entering Lagoon Creek in early October and the runs have continued into December. Most of the coho are the adult descendants of the very first smolts we put in the lagoon. These imprinted on creek waters, returned to spawn, the young salmon fed well in the lagoon, exited and have now returned. Heh! The system works!

Chum salmon spawned both above and below the dam and coho were seen at all creek mouths. We are woefully short of manpower to monitor our streams as the Refuge winter population is down to a handful, but Scott and Delia, with the help of Dee , have kept as close tabs on returns as they could. They repeatedly noted the fine condition and large size of the spawners. The salmon and DSSES are extremely grateful for their devotion to the project.

The intense bird and critter predation on spawned out carcasses makes our counts haphazard, but Catherine sent the following report after a November 24th visit she made with Scott and Delia to six Lagoon creeks. Salmon were noted for the first time in a pool at the bottom of Thompson Creek, there were 26 coho outside Coho Creek, several carcasses upstream and two coho above a small waterfall a biologist assured us they could never jump. A number of salmon had gone up Beaver Creek but a steep falls there blocked them from further territory. Fish were nosing around Miner Creek which still needs work. Two, twenty-eight inch carcasses were found near the dam, there were fish in Kyte Creek and the remains of many creatures’ sashimi snacks decorated stream banks. A subsequent minor modification at Beaver Creek rewarded Scott and Delia with the sight of coho above the falls in previously unused gravel beds.

We are pleased to announce that DSSES has received a $6050 grant from the Pacific Salmon Foundation. These funds are earmarked for repair of the Lagoon Creek boardwalk, gravel placement in Lagoon Creek chum spawning area, and for smolt transport boxes.

A private $2000 donation, and a continuing stipend from the Refuge Cove Land and Housing Co-op, will be used for the rearing and transport of the 2005 coho smolts arriving in January.

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