04 Jan Salmon Bring Joy to San Geronimo Valley Residents
Residents Ecstatic Seeing Salmon in Backyard Creeks Throughout San Geronimo Valley
San Geronimo, CA – Throughout the San Geronimo Valley, creek residents are ecstatic and expressing amazement in seeing salmon in their tiny backyard creeks for the first time in decades. Heavy rains have allowed salmon to navigate into creeks that are often blocked by impassable road culverts under smaller storm flow regimes.
Just to enter San Geronimo Creek, coho salmon must first jump through a series of waterfalls called the Inkwells at the confluence with Lagunitas Creek. Here is a video illustrating coho jumping for joy at the Inkwells.
Another video posted on Nextdoor shows large red coho salmon spawning behavior, on an unnamed tributary of Woodacre Creek.
“In Woodacre this morning! First time we’ve seen them in the 15 years we’ve lived here, pretty rad!!”
The scores of comments included positive notes like “Amazing,” “Awesome,” “Fabulous,” “Very exciting – spawning is such fun to see. Bless our fish.”
In Forest Knolls, the view of salmon reappearing after a long hiatus was also experienced. A video posted on SPAWN’s Facebook page shared the first sighting of coho salmon for the first time in many years in Montezuma Creek.
Todd Steiner, a biologist and founder of SPAWN commented, “Salmon returning to their natal spawning grounds bring joy to those of us luckily enough to share our backyards with these beautiful giant red fish, and remind of us of the resilience of these endangered species. Their presence points out the importance of providing these fish with healthy creeks.”
He continued, “We need to double down on our efforts to give these fish a fighting chance at survival and recovery. We can do this by protecting their habitat through the passage of a science-based creekside ordinance, and encouraging Marin County to revitalize and expand their fish passage program by installing more fish-friendly culverts in the San Geronimo Valley, one of the most important watersheds for wild coho salmon in Central California.
SPAWN hosts walks that allow the public to witness endangered coho salmon at the peak of their spawning season, learn about native plants and animals, discover the history of the watershed, and anything encountered along the way. To learn about a biologist-led creek walk to look for salmon, visit here. To join and register for a creekwalk tour, please visit SPAWN’s Eventbrite page.