Coho spawning in Allen Canyon Creek

 

 

I’ve worked with Les Greear for several years with operating remote site incubators in Gee Creek and Allen Canyon Creek.  The photo above was taken yesterday morning and then this fish was released back into the pool where it was netted.  I’m positive it is a juvenile Coho.  The bars on the sides are typical of young trout and salmon.  The white leading edge on the dorsal fin and anal fin is characteristic  of Coho.  This fish is about four inches long.  This year, the Lewis River Hatchery did not have any eggs available for the incubator on Allen Canyon Creek.   I’ve been trying for most of the summer to ID the fishes seen earlier in this creek.  I was able to net this one as the pool it was in has been shrinking with the summer drought. It is strong evidence that Coho are returning to the creek to spawn since there were no eggs for the incubator.  I will send this photo to a state biologist for conformation.

I also took a picture of a fry from under the Division Street Bridge in Abram’s Park earlier this summer.  The state said it was also a Coho.  Last year, the incubator on Reiman Road was moved to a  tributary east of the Carty Unit of the federal refuge. This tributary drains into Gee Creek below North Main Avenue.  The state biologist stated that it was unlikely that the fry would move so far upstream as to be in Abrams Park.  Her conclusion is that Coho are also spawning in Gee Creek.  That is the goal having incubators; to get a self sustaining population in both creeks.  There are lots of problems with both creeks but if improvements can be made to protect the flow and water quality of both creeks we may see an annual return of these fish.

About Paul Snoey

I have a degree in Biology and Environmental Science from WSU Vancouver
I am very fond of Gee Creek and Allen Canyon Creek and do a lot of volunteer work to restore these creeks.

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