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Tuesday, June 2, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Trail gives public close look at spawning chum salmon

A female chum salmon is pictured here in the last stages of its life after it returned as an adult to spawn in a Puget Sound stream. (Associated Press)
A female chum salmon is pictured here in the last stages of its life after it returned as an adult to spawn in a Puget Sound stream. (Associated Press)

FISHERIES -- It's November, the season of love for chum salmon, which are beginning to head into South Puget Sound streams to spawn.

The annual event is greeted by nature lovers who have numerous areas where they can watch the spectacle.

A good option is the Kennedy Creek Salmon Trail near Shelton High School.

By the time the salmon are spent in early December, more than 5,000 people will have visited the half-mile salmon trail situated between Olympia and Shelton just off U.S. Highway 101, the Tacoma News-Tribune reports.

The Kennedy Creek Salmon Trail, along with the McLane Creek Nature Trail off Delphi Road, are two of the best places in South Sound to see wild salmon spawn in the fall, Larry Phillips, a district fisheries biologist for the state Department of Fish and Wildlife, told the paper.

This year’s escapement to Totten Inlet streams is predicted to be approximately 14,000 fish, most of which will return to Kennedy Creek.  That's down from 40,000 in peak years, but still plenty to provide good viewing.

Some of the chum will fall victim to ocean predators, others will be caught by tribal and nontribal commercial fisheries and others will be hooked by sports anglers fishing for the still-bright fish at the mouths of their natal streams.



Rich Landers
Rich Landers joined The Spokesman-Review in 1977. He is the Outdoors editor for the Sports Department writing and photographing stories about hiking, hunting, fishing, boating, conservation, nature and wildlife and related topics.

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