Coho salmon return to Lagunitas Creek to spawn

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It rained really hard the past two days, enough to raise the level of local creeks permitting the return of our beloved Coho Salmon to complete the next phase of their journey, spawning.

The following still images show what are likely two very large male salmon jousting to assert dominance in order to determine which of them will spawn with the nearby females.

If you go out to see the salmon, and I strongly encourage you to do so, please observe a few simple suggestions to ensure the fish are not disturbed and you are comfortable.

  • Wear warm clothing with layers, ideally in muted colors to blend in with the greens and browns alongside the creek. Wear rubber boots or sturdy hiking shoes.
  • Bring binoculars, polarized glasses to see through the water from a distance
  • Leave your pets at home, if they must join you, please keep them on a leash
  • Stay on the road, away from the creek. do not go down to the creekside, disturbing the fish
  • Keep your voices down, the fish can hear you.

Be patient as you walk along the creek and you will see the magic of these fish returning to the creek where they likely hatched 3 years ago, to lay eggs, fertilize them, then die.

The best places to easily view spawning coho are the Leo T. Cronin viewing pools in Samuel Taylor Park, Devils Gulch, both on Sir Francis Drake Blvd.

Be sure to wait a day or two after heavy rains to let the silt settle so you can clearly see the fish.

For similar amazing footage of coho spawning on Lagunitas, go here.

Stop the pebble mine in Bristol Bay Alaska – save Alaska’s greatest sockeye salmon run, go here.

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If you have a large screen, click the white rectangle-ish shaped icon to fill your screen with fish.
 
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Snowy Plover nesting time, please keep fido on a leash

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Here in West Marin we are so very fortunate to be a part of a delicate and diverse ecosystem.

Western Snowy Plovers, a small shore bird, attempt to nest here each spring, as they have for thousands of years.

With a total population of approximately 2000 birds along the entire Pacific coast (~5000 birds world-wide), giving them the room and time they need to court, build a nest, mate and raise their young is critical to the survival of the species. Each year at Point Reyes, no more than a dozen chicks survive longer than 28 days after hatching.

Please set a good example for the rest of the state that comes to visit and keep your dog on leash at all times in the National Seashore.

As I have learned the past few years, all local dogs are well behaved and do not chase birds.

So whether you are/were on the board of a prominent local environmental action group, a famous photographer, wrangler of all things radio, emporium owner, Tenured professor or anyone else that lives in West Marin, please set a great example and keep your dog on leash when visiting the seashore.

Not only is it the law, the survival of an entire species of birds depends you!

Three Western Snowy Plover eggs in a scrape (nest)

Three Western Snowy Plover eggs in a scrape (nest)

Three is a good number

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Sometimes I come across much more pleasant sights than a beach covered with plastic.

Here are three peregrine falcons on Kehoe Beach. The middle bird is a chick that has fledged.

Three peregrines

Three peregrines, one cleared for take-off

Three peregrines, one aloft

I imagine the other two are proud parents.

Here are the customary three chicks in a western snowy plover clutch on North Beach.

Three precocious plover chicks

Hagard plover dad and chicks

Happy father's day little plover

 

What I hope is a soon to be extinct plastic pink sea-horse.

If it has so little worth it can be left behind, as most of these cheap plastic toys are, why buy it in the first place?

WIth a little imagination, one can use sticks, kelp, and other natural items found on the beach to entertain a young child.

Sending money to China so petroleum can be turned into what will become poisonous trash makes no sense. To me at least.

I wonder if an iMagination app for the iphone is available?

coastodian