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MMWD Blog: Think Blue Marin

Welcome to our blog! Written by staff at MMWD, “Think Blue Marin” explores all things water in south and central Marin—water supplies, conservation, new projects, watershed management, and more.

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Jan 16

Lagunitas Creek Spawner Update: 1/16/2019

Posted on January 16, 2019 at 4:02 PM by Emma Detwiler

The Headline
This year's coho run is officially the largest in 12 years! Over 300 redds and 700 coho salmon have been counted so far. And spawning continues...

The Details
Over the last couple of weeks wet weather and muddy creeks have hampered our ability to conduct spawner surveys, but we’ve now walked almost all of the stream segments we regularly survey. Coho are spawning pretty much everywhere.

On Friday we counted 29 new redds in Devil’s Gulch, bringing the season total for that little creek to 60. San Geronimo Creek has 75 coho redds so far, plus 39 redds in two of its tributaries that are monitored by the Salmon Protection and Watershed Network (SPAWN).

The San Geronimo Valley hasn’t hosted so many coho since the record run of 2004-05. National Park Service staff counted over 50 redds in Olema Creek prior to the government shutdown, but haven’t been able to conduct surveys in almost three weeks. Unfortunately the current storm may erase all signs of spawning from that period.

We continue to see some steelhead spawning, but turbulent and murky water have made these grey fish and their small redds difficult to find. We saw only eight steelhead this week, but the 45 steelhead and 35 steelhead redds seen to date is well above average. With dry weather forecast for next week we hope to survey all the streams and not miss a single fish.
coho
 A coho female (left) and male (right) in Devil's Gulch on January 11.

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