I just got wind of the late winter return of several Coho salmon to their habitat in Marin County's Lagunitas watershed. This is particularly wonderful news because this had been a year of especially low sightings of this beautiful, endangered salmon.
This weekend is the last one of the season in which to take a Creekwalk to see the salmon, led by a trained naturalist. My family and I have done this 2-hour walk and it is terrific. You walk beautiful streams and learn a great deal about salmon, their habits and habitat.
There are two tours daily, at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m., Saturday & Sunday, January 30 and 31.
Creekwalks begin from the San Geronimo Valley Community Center, 6350 Sir Francis Drake Blvd. There is a small suggested donation. Plenty more information is available on the SPAWN (Salmon Protection and Waterwork Network) Creekwalk page.
Even with a low count, the salmon season has had its share of excitement. SPAWN has a great naturalist blog, which goes into vivid detail about salmon sightings and other activities in the creeks and on the trails.
This is a great explanation from Alaska fisherman Mark Glassmaker about how salmon spawn. U.S. Fish & Wildlife offers a no-frills page that has a lot of good information about salmon life cycle and spawning habits, as well as some information on various species and their rates of extinction.
Whether or not you take advantage of a Creekwalk this weekend, you can certainly celebrate the return of the Coho and what it says about the health and renewal of our ecosystem.
Photos: Public Domain, Susan Sachs Lipman