by Eric Ettlinger, Aquatic Ecologist
It's official, in a preliminary, still-need-to-check-our-numbers sort of way... This year's coho run is the largest run in nearly a decade! So far this season 269 coho redds have been observed in the watershed, exceeding the total from three years ago. The average going back to 1995 is 250 redds.
Plentiful rains have allowed coho to spawn throughout the system, and in fact, 2/3 of the spawning this season has occurred in tributary systems. Folks in the San Geronimo Valley haven't seen this many salmon since the run of 2006.
Surveys this week found 42 new coho redds in Lagunitas Creek, San Geronimo Creek, and Devil's Gulch. We also saw fewer live fish and a sharp increase in carcasses, a definite sign that the run is coming to an end. Some fresh fish are still making their way upstream, so there's still time to see salmon spawning before the run comes to an end later this month.