Our natural history–spawning coho part 3
On Friday, November 25, 2011 we returned to the same stretch of creek and discovered five adults and several smaller fish. It takes a little practice to train one’s eyes to pick up the shapes of the fish; often it is only the splash of a tail when a fish makes a short spurt ahead that brings it to our attention. Much of the time they lie quietly resting. Since this was just a snapshot of a very short section of the creek over a few minutes we know that there were likely to be many more elsewhere in the creek.
This day was auspicious as the highest tide of the year occurred around noon pushing the sea far up into the creek giving the fish entering the creek deeper water and less force from the outflow. After checking out the section of creek along 2nd Street we headed for the shore in Rough Bay to the spot where the creek enters the ocean. In the old days a red wooden bridge, the Red Bridge, spanned the creek but it has now been replaced by a culvert. Check out the photos taken less than half an hour apart. A large lake had formed on the inland side of the road but quickly drained once the tide turned.
Over the years, chum as well as coho have been observed in this creek by long term Sointula residents. I will edit this post when I get more information.