PHOTOS: Over 100,000 Coho Salmon Fry Introduced Into Local Streams

This past Saturday (Jan 22) volunteers gathered at the Miller Creek plant of the Southwest Suburban Sewer District. Equipped with coolers of all shapes and sizes, their mission was to transport the more than 100,000 salmon fry hatched here to creeks in the local area.

The tiny salmon arrived at the hatchery here in mid-December as eggs from the Soos Creek Hatchery operated by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.

For the last month they’ve been watched over by volunteers under the guidance of members from the local chapter of Trout Unlimited, who manage the local hatchery operation. During this period these volunteers combed through incubation trays looking for dead and diseased eggs.

Eventually the fish hatch and absorb their yolk sacks. Now they’re ready to be introduced into local streams.

Compared to other hatchery operations, these Coho salmon fry are being released into the wild earlier in their life cycle. The benefit is that this causes them to be exposed to many of the same environmental pressures as their wild counterparts. While up to 90% of the newly released fry will perish, those that survive will be stronger and healthier.

Photographer Michael Brunk took part in this weekend’s event and shot these photos. You can click on individual photos to view them larger.

Miller/Walker Creek Steward Dennis Clark gets assistance while testing water from a local creek as part of the out-planting operation

Coho salmon fry are transferred from an incubation tray into coolers for transport to their release point

Dennis Clark briefs a volunteer on where they’ll be transporting their cargo of salmon fry

David and Caroline Bobanick, their son Ethan and friend Brenda Sullivan hiked upstream of the hatchery on Miller Creek to release their Coho salmon fry in a secluded spot

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