Shell Creek residents: Please help us with survey | Guest View

By Malia Clark | Oct 16, 2016

Students from Edmonds-Woodway High School’s Students Saving Salmon Club are beginning a project to obtain data on salmon in lower Shell Creek.

The project will involve students contacting Edmonds residents along the creek to obtain observations of salmon in past years and during the current salmon-spawning migration, which begins this month.

The Students Saving Salmon club consists of students concerned about our environment, especially salmon and their habitat. We want to learn more about Edmonds’ watersheds and salmon, with the goal of reestablishing historic salmon runs in Edmonds and making our local environment better for both salmon and people.

For over a year, the club has participated in the Edmonds Stream Team citizen science project to monitor stream quality monthly in Shell Creek, Shellabarger Creek and the Edmonds Marsh.

In the coming weeks, club members will be going door-to-door to residences bordering Shell Creek, downstream of Seventh Avenue North and Glen Street, where spawning salmon are known to occur each year.

We will survey residents about their salmon observations, including timing of occurrence, numbers, species, spawning activity and habitat conditions, such as any barriers to fish passage.

Through contact with streamside residents, we aim to increase stewardship of salmon in the stream beside residents' houses, develop an information base of local knowledge on local salmon populations, obtain information needed to begin addressing habitat conditions that may affect successful salmon spawning, and begin assessing fish passage barriers in Shell Creek.

We’ll ask streamside residents to complete a survey form on their backyard observations of salmon in the creek, and whether they have seen salmon activity in the past several months.

It will also ask about any observed obstacles or problems for the salmon, and asks permission for future instream observations by club members. Edmonds residents having information on salmon in creeks on their property are asked to email Students.Saving.Salmon@gmail.com.

We’ll analyze data collected from the salmon surveys to establish baseline data on salmon in Edmonds, data that is lacking.

Data will also be used to develop future stream survey protocols and further outreach to the community. It will also help the club work with the community to begin developing community-based solutions to fish passage barriers in Shell Creek.

Thanks for helping out!

Senior Malia Clark is a member of the Students Saving Club at Edmonds-Woodway High School.

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