The rains have returned, and so have the salmon! Our volunteers this week are reporting their first sightings of adult salmon returning to Bainbridge Island streams to spawn. The picture above is of a beautiful male coho salmon on Murden Creek spotted just this week. Stay tuned for more fishy news as we get it!
You can dispose of expired and not needed medications at the police department on April 30 from 10am to 2pm. Read the City's press release with more details about the event.
The Watershed Council is strongly supportive of any efforts to properly dispose of medication. We should never flush medications down the toilet where they can enter our sewer or septic systems. Most pharmaceuticals are not addressed in any way in our sewage treatment systems; unfortunately we have plenty of evidence of this, including a recent study showing a wide range of pharmaceuticals detected in puget sound waters and fish tissue.
On September 15, approximately 30 participants braved less than stellar weather to attend the Walk your Watershed: Eagle Harbor Edition! Attendees circumnavigated North Eagle Harbor, learning along the way about storm water, salmon and their food, our City's Wastewater Treatment Plant, native and invasive plants, and shoreline ecology, geology and bird life.
Watershed Council gives a huge thank you to Rose Eppers for organizing the walk, and to volunteer experts Cami Apfelbeck from the City of Bainbridge Island's water resources program; Greg Geehan, geologist, Regina Spoor, ornithologist, Deb Rudnick, aquatic ecologist; Jeannette Franks and Jeanne Huber for their invasive and native plants expertise; Wayne Daley, fish biologist; Steve Pyke and staff of the Wastewater Treatment Plant for opening their doors and providing tours of the plant; and Beach Naturalists Maradel Gale, Jean Hannuksela, and Gerlind Jenkner.
Yes folks, its that time of year again! With the return of the fall rains, our salmon are swimming back to their spawning streams, and this is a great time of year to go see live fish!
Bainbridge Island is unfortunately not an ideal salmon watching venue. We have very small streams, mostly on private properties, with very small salmon runs so that your likelihood of seeing a salmon if you're making a quick stop is pretty low. Fortunately, there are several streams a short distance away on the Kitsap Peninsula that are great for salmon viewing and have public access and significant enough runs to make salmon viewing at the right time of year a likely success. Here are some links to upcoming viewing opportunities and spots - we'll post more as they become available.
The Kitsap Sun's salmon map: Please note comment above that the streams on Bainbridge noted on this map have limited public access and very small salmon runs- but its of course worth a try to see if you can find some of our local returners!
Chico Creek Salmon Tour, November 14
Sunday, September 13
Walk begins at Waterfront Park (see map below)
Walk your watershed is back for 2015! Walk/Bike your watershed events are regularly hosted by the BI Watershed Council and are a great way to learn more about our Island's watersheds.
This year we will be exploring the North Eagle Harbor watershed. Participants are invited to start this approximately 2-mile roundtrip walk at Waterfront Park beginning at 10am or later (but don't delay too long- see below for special touring opportunities!). The walk will take you across Ravine Creek to learn about storm water and streams, up past the Ferry Terminal and down past the City's Wastewater Treatment Plant -more on that in a moment. After the treatment plant the tour will take walkers past Hawley Cove Park and along the beach to learn about our shoreline ecology, invasive plants and local geology.
Every half hour starting at 10:30 and going until 12:30, Wastewater Treatment Plant staff will be offering a special tour of the plant as part of the Walking Tour to learn all about how Bainbridge takes care of its sewage. Its a rate opportunity to get an inside look at an important component of how our City works! Participants wishing to participate in the tour must sign a waiver (available at the start of walk and at the plant) and no unaccompanied minors are allowed in the plant).
CLICK HERE for a map of the walking route. We look forward to seeing you on the Walk!
The Bainbridge Island Watershed Council is Teaming up with the Bainbridge Island Beach Naturalists to coordinate a team of folks who are interested in helping with a water quality monitoring program for our shorelines.
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is conducting a Puget-Sound-wide water quality monitoring program using caged mussels to evaluate contaminant loading in our nearshore waters. Up to 6 sites on Bainbridge Island shoreline will be included in this study. Although the areas are statistically pre-selected, WDFW will need assistance reaching out to landowners in the targeted area to see if they will partner in having the mussels placed on their shoreline. Volunteers will be assisting with this outreach as well as working on the deployment and retrieval of the cages on two low-tide evenings in the Fall and Winter of 2015.
If you are interested in volunteering to help with this study, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or use our contact form. Thank you!
Watershed Council volunteers have just commenced their 10th year monitoring returning spawning salmon to our Island. Above are pictures of our first returnees to our streams! With the increased rains and water levels, we will be expecting to see salmon arrive across our monitored streams throughout the rest of October and into November.
Can you see salmon on Bainbridge? If you are lucky, you might! However, our streams are very small, our returning numbers are correspondingly small, and we don't have many spots where our streams are easily accessible for public viewing. For better chances at seeing returning spawners, there are several larger stream systems in Kitsap County on which you'll have a much better chance of seeing returning fish, including Chico Creek and Cowling Creek.
The weekend of Nov 8/9 there will be several salmon docents out on Kitsap streams giving tours and offering great opportunities for viewing these beautiful returning fish. Check out the Kitsap Sun article for more details on fall Kitsap County salmon viewing opportunities.
In September the Bainbridge Island Watershed Council hosted Walk Your Watershed: Schel-chelb estuary and watershed. This event was the latest incarnation of the Walk Your Watershed series that introduces the public to an in-depth tour of the ecology and environment of a Bainbridge watershed.
Walk Your Watershed Schel-chelb took place on an extraordinarily beautiful afternoon on Sunday, September 14. Over 70 participants completed the 1.5 mile loop on which experts and interpretive displays were stationed to talk about multiple aspects of the watershed, including the history of the Schel-chelb estuary restoration project; invasive plant species; aquatic invertebrates in the Schel-chelb stream; and stormwater infrastructure. Our participants ranged in age from toddlers to seniors, and included many Bainbridge school students.
Participants were also treated to coupons for local businesses on the completion of their walk. We would like to thank Joe Raquer at Island Cool for donating coupons before and during the event, and Robbie Wright at Pleasant Beach Village who arranged for Hammy's coupons for participants.
Have an idea or suggestion for future Walk Your Watersheds? We’d love to hear from you! Please Contact Us Here.
Local environmental filmmaker and director of Sea Media John Williams has recently completed three lovely, short films about Kitsap County watersheds. The films describe local streams and student and community efforts to protect and restore them. The films can be found at these links:
Who Uses the Rain?
Is This Where Puget Sound Starts?
Who Swims in the Rain?