Mill Creek May 7th, 2009
This week’s heavy rain that began falling Monday May 4th through today (Thursday May 7th) made for some high flowing South Puget Sound creeks. After Monday night, 3 of the 4 weir smolt traps that Squaxin operates have blown out.
Luckily the traps are designed to blow out in high flow events. Each trap has “blow out panels”, a section of the panel is held together by zip ties that eventually “pops” under enough pressure. At least that’s what we hope happens. Sometimes the force of the creek will bend the T-post or snap the panels all together or even scour the creek bed under the panels. We are lucky with this rain event; we didn’t have a whole lot of logs or debris washing out the entire trap.
Even the screw trap on Goldsborough Creek is not functioning properly. We are getting logs jammed in the trap and the diversion panels have been washed out.
Shelton accumulative rainfall since Monday is 3.62″, that’s a lot of water raging down our little creeks.
Below it a snap shot of how much discharge Goldsborough Creek has had in the past couple of days.
Goldsbrough Creek Discharge
The rainy weather seems to be tapering off, so we hope to have the traps back fishing in a couple of days.
Friday May 8th-
As of Friday May 8th all of our traps are back to fishing for coho smolts, with the exception of Mill Creek. Water flow at Mill still is high and appears to be a couple days until it is back to fishing.
Schumacher Creek Smolt Trap
The Squaxin Island Natural Resources (SINR) is currently collecting data to estimate the number of coho salmon smolts outmigrating from Mill, Cranberry, Goldsborough, Schumacher and Sherwood Creeks. These five creeks empty in to Deep South Puget Sound, with in the Squaxin Island Tribes usual and accustom areas.
The project objectives include using weir panel and Screw traps to enumerate and monitor downstream migration of coho salmon smolts, providing data for estimation of natural coho production and for the formation of relevant spawning escapement goals for Deep South Puget Sound region. This will be the 10th year that SINR has conducted smolt trapping studies.
Goldsborough Creek Screw Trap
South Puget Sound coho smolt outmigration timing occurs during the spring from April through June. Peak outmigration of coho smolt in the region varies from creek to creek. The peak ranges from late April through the middle of May. All salmonids captured in the traps are enumerated and measured; non salmonid species are identified and enumerated. Species other than coho encountered in the trap are: cutthroat, steelhead, chum, lamprey, sculpin, dace, peamouth, shiner and threespine stickleback.
Schumacher Creek Coho Smolt
VIDEO: SINR Fish Techs Michael West and Danny Synder Schumacher trap
For more information, contact:Joe Peters, fisheries biologist, Squaxin Island Tribe, (360) 432-3813. email@example.com