Volunteers are needed for Community Salmon Investigation (CSI) for Highline, an organization that helps count salmon returning to Miller and Walker Creeks in Burien, Normandy Park, and SeaTac.

CSI is a community-driven monitoring program that provides important data on salmon abundance and stormwater induced mortality in coho salmon.

Community volunteers (in teams of two) survey local creeks during the fall migration period.

A CSI 2022 Volunteer Training Workshop will be held on Thursday, Sept. 22, from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. at Normandy Park City Hall (801 SW 174th Street, Normandy Park; map below).

Organizers will walk you through survey and safety protocols and practice identifying salmon species and measuring and dissecting salmon carcasses.

Email Iris Kemp, Basin Steward, for details.

As a volunteer, here is what to expect:

    • No prior experience required.
    • Sign up to survey on one day a week (e.g., every Tuesday).
    • Surveys take ~ 2-3 hrs. to complete.
    • Surveys must be completed during daylight hours.
    • Surveys routes can be rocky, wet and slippery.
    • Daily survey distance is about one mile.
    • Surveys occur rain or shine, but will be cancelled for high/muddy flows.
    • Volunteers work in pairs for safety and to ensure data quality.
    • Volunteers count and record information on live and deceased fish.
    • Volunteers need waders. Rubber hip waders can be purchased for around $45.
    • Click here to see the Volunteer Position Description for CSI

Learn more about COVID Safety Protocols.

For more information, email Iris Kemp or call 206-477-7680.

Here’s more from organizers:

How many adult salmon return to Miller and Walker Creeks in Burien, Normandy Park, and SeaTac each year? How many coho salmon are dying from polluted water before they have a chance to spawn? We are finding out, thanks to many dedicated volunteers. As we learn how many of these fish are stricken by pre-spawn mortality each year, we find out how many survive long enough to lay the eggs of the next generation. Coho pre-spawn mortality has been linked to polluted road runoff – and the good news is, filtering polluted stormwater through soils made of sand and compost makes it non-toxic to fish!

A better understanding of the numbers of fish returning to the streams in the Highline community and the extent of pre-spawn mortality is one of the top recommendations the community identified as part of coordinated monitoring of the streams (see the 2009 monitoring coordination recommendations). Adult salmon in our streams are the Pacific Northwest equivalent of the “canary in the coal mine” – they reflect the health of our lands and water. This important data is helping us make priorities for the watershed and track our progress.

The Community Salmon Investigation has collected salmon data since 2010 to help us learn more about this community resource.

rsz_livefish_forwebNumber of live coho and chum observed in Miller and Walker Creeks (2010-2021).
rsz_psm_forwebPercentage of female coho with observed pre-spawn mortality in Miller and Walker Creeks (2010-2021).

Stewardship of the Miller/Walker Creeks basin is jointly funded by the City of Burien, City of Normandy Park, City of SeaTac, King County, and the Port of Seattle. On behalf of the partners, this page is proudly hosted by King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks – Water and Land Resources Division.