Find Posts By Topic

Salmon Return to Pipers Creek! 

By Todd Burley and Giovannina Souers

The rain has brought the return of salmon to Pipers Creek in Carkeek Park. One of three salmon-bearing streams in Seattle, Pipers Creek is a great place to see these anadromous fish complete their life journey and spawn in their home creek. Their usual season to return and spawn is November and they are right on time. 

Looking to see the action? Seattle Parks and Recreation’s Environmental Education team partners with Seattle Public Utilities staff to train and host Salmon Steward volunteers at Carkeek Park every Saturday and Sunday starting in November until the Salmon are done spawning (usually the beginning of December). These volunteers are trained in the salmon life cycle, ecology, and much more. 

Salmon Stewards will be at Carkeek Park from 11-2pm to answer questions the public might have about the salmon returning to Pipers Creek. You can also find more on the Carkeek Park Salmon Stewards Facebook page

A silver striped fish thrashes in a shallow creek bed
Spawning salmon in creek

Seattle Parks and Recreation also invites you to join in the Salmon Celebration Day on November 19th from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at Carkeek Park. We will have music, coffee and doughnuts, and community booths to learn about the nature of the park, the salmon and more. 

Beyond just viewing and learning about salmon, there are other park volunteers from the Carkeek Watershed Community Action Project who will be counting the returning salmon – last year there were 939 Chum and 66 Coho that retuned – this was an all-time high. See their site for lots of good information from this community science project.

Looking to expand your salmon viewing beyond Seattle? Check out the King County Salmon SEEson webpage for more locations. 

Seattle is blessed to welcome these amazing animals every year to our parks and creeks. We all have a responsibility to ensure their habitat is welcoming so they can continue returning. Please stay out of the creek beds and keep your dogs out as well. Salmon return to spawn and lay their eggs in the gravel beds in these creeks, and one misplaced foot can damage hundreds of salmon eggs. Avoid the use of pesticides in your yard and do your best to conserve water and power so the water in our rivers and streams is available for salmon in all parts of their life cycle.  

We hope you’ll get out this autumn to see these amazing fish swim upstream to their destiny. Join us at Carkeek Park! 

Whimsical illustration of a mustachioed cat riding a fish bicycle. Text includes sponsor logos and the name, date and time of the celebration.