Suquamish Tribe donates fry for release in Carkeek Park

Source: Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission

In its 10th year of a successful partnership, the Suquamish Tribe has donated 50,000 chum salmon fry to the Carkeek Watershed Community Action Project, supporting the effort to teach the public about salmon and why it’s important to keep streams clean.

“A few years ago, we released 70,000 fry and 164 came back last year, which is a good return for us,” said Bill Hagen, the volunteer coordinator for the community group.

Ben Carkeek Park Transfer April 2013 web

Suquamish natural resources technician Ben Purser takes a dip net of chum salmon fry from the tribe’s Grovers Creek hatchery near Indianola. The fry were transferred to Carkeek Park’s Piper Creek in Seattle. More photos of the transfer can be found on NWIFC’s Flickr page. 


“We appreciate volunteers all over Puget Sound who are excited about the salmon life cycle and teaching others about it,” said Jay Zischke, the tribe’s marine fish program manager. “These types of programs are key to helping stress the importance of clean water, for both fish and people.”

The fish were donated in March and kept in a large swimming pool at the end of a trail on Piper’s Creek until released in April. Volunteers, from retirees to entire families, feed the fish three times a day until they are released.

The creek and trail are popular with school groups learning environmental science and the salmon-watching public, especially in the fall.

About 700 people came up this trail last year, Hagen said, so it gets a lot of traffic and is a good place for both kids and adults to learn about salmon.

“This is enjoyable for everyone who comes up here and if it weren’t for the tribe, we wouldn’t have it,” Hagen said.