You can target them, but in my opinion they are better left alone. I live above the park and walk the dog down there to check out the chums doing their thing in the creek. I would doubt there is any natural reproduction going on in Pipers Creek due to water quality issues. It gets a very small run. Many folks in the watershed area take great pride in the returning adult fish. It's pretty cool thing to have a city park in Seattle with spawning salmon in it. Many folks have worked hard to get the few fish in the creek that do come back each year.
Now as far as searuns cutts go, there are some nice fish to be had there. Give it a try for them sometime.
I live right above the park as well and I really enjoyed watching the salmon try and make their way up the small stream. What do you mean when you say that there is little natural reproduction in Piper's creek? The ones that get up only spawn in the hatchery?
Anyway, I don't think I would ever have the heart to go out there and start casting given all of the folks that have put in the effort to get them to come back as well as all of the folks that are there to see them. I guess I'm curious as to how much impact it would have on the stream to have a few flycasters out in the sound near the estuary.
As far as the folks in shops, it was the owners themselves suggesting it as a spot.
I do look forward to many mornings out at the park in search of SRCs.
It also states that wild silvers, steelies or cutthroat trout use Pipers to spawn. I've never seen a steelie or cutt in there. I've seen very few silvers. Some natural reproduction must occur, but on a very, very limited basis. The water quality with all the urban run-off and the treatment plant certainly doesn't help. I would bet at one time that creek had a pretty good run of fish. Growth has eliminated allot of those small spawning creeks like Pipers that dump into Puget Sound. You can see why our salmon resources are in the state they are.
I agree with you, the chums are better off left alone. Maybe I'll see you down there chasing cutts.
Lee, If you want to catch some of the biggest and best fighting chums in the state, not to mention some of ther brightest, hit the Nisqually in a few weeks.
Great 8wt arm workout.
I would bet at one time that creek had a pretty good run of fish. Growth has eliminated allot of those small spawning creeks like Pipers that dump into Puget Sound. You can see why our salmon resources are in the state they are.
And you could say that for how many creeks in our state...at one time? too many is the answer I'm looking for. But then again I'm not an developer.
Very true. Figure if a creek like that supported only 50-100 fish per year. It doesn't seem like a large number. Now multiple that 50-100 fish by how many streams have now been degraded and the number becomes huge.
Up at the "source" of piper's creek (meaning roadside ditches and so forth) is an area in that part of Seattle known as the "Sea Streets" project. The City installed innovative new storm water mangement systems along a few blocks up there. Primarily they installed bioswales--shallow depressions that are acutally the surface of a few feet of high nutrient, high compost , well-draining soil. The idea is to catch run-off in these swales and slowly let the water percolate back into the water table. Organisms in the soil do a very good job of removing toxic chemicals, like the hydrocarbons and heavy metals present in road run-off. This can only help keep Piper's Creek filled with clean(er) water. The Sea Streets area is pretty small compared to the rest of the area that contributes to the creek, but it's these kinds of projects that help preserve our natural areas.
See the Seatte Public Utilities web site for more info.
Given how many great salmon rivers are within 45 minutes of Seattle, Carkeek seems like a giant waste of time if you plan on chasing salmon. I love trying (only successful once so far) to catch cutthroats there, but I also like heading to the Wallace for silvers...or the Willapa this weekend!!!:thumb:
I used to work as a volunteer Wetlands Steward at Carkeek when I lived across the street from it a few years back. It is one of the few watersheds within the Seattle city limits where people can go to have a reasonable chance at viewing returning salmon in the fall. The run is relatively small and I don't know the rate of natural system spawner success. I know that many of the fish originate from local "Salmon in the Classroom" releases each year into Venema Creek. I used to really enjoy visiting the release site every Spring near the confluence of Venema and Piper's Creeks to admire all of the colorful salmon drawings that students decorated the acclimation pond with.
Whether or not it's legal to target chum in the estuary my personal choice would be to let them be. There are far more viable and productive chum fisheries within a fairly short drive of the city. Places like Carkeek and Piper's Creek are special because for a lot of urbanites, particularly children, this is their first or only exposure to salmon spawning in a restored, though somewhat natural setting. If our children's children are going to get to share that kind of experience, it's going to take widespread involvement from a variety of interest groups. To me, sometimes having an accessible place where people can appreciate, respect, and value salmon in an urban setting is more important than going out and catching them.
Back in the hey day of coho fishing (and probably chum as well but we rarely fished for them), for me the 50s and 60s, Puget Sound fairly teemed with wild coho from July through November. Most of these fish were from native runs and arrived in such numbers to be called, "The Silver Hordes". Some very important spawning habitat for these runs was in the myriad small creeks throughout Puget Sound. The fishing was so good that there was even a locally made salmon plug called, "Silver Hordes", which may still be available.
As we lost the creeks we began losing our native coho. It is hard work to bring them back to a degree of health that will restore the runs to the extent of the remaining viable habitat. So, it really doesn't hurt those of us who cast into Puget Sound to voluntarily offer some of these small creek estuaries and adjacent beaches as a sanctuary of sorts. There is a lot of water out there to cast into.
I have a picture in my office of my mother holding a 15-pound silver taken when we went bucktailing in front of her Redondo home in about 1954. It is a great reminder of the great fishing we had back then. Can we have it again? Who knows?
Have you seen the Sea Streets project area? If you haven't, you should drive by and check it out. It is pretty cool how they designed the area.
You are right about how things used to be. I remember six fish limits and being able to use two rods. Back then I believe most folks thought our great runs of salmon would never end. I still have some of my dad's "Silver Horde"
plugs that he used to use.
Though these small streams shouldn't be fished, and it would be stupid to fish a run of 150 salmon, creek mouths in the Sound provide great cutthroat hangouts. Does anyone know if there is public access to the beach in Shoreline where Boeing Creek runs into the sound? I haven't scouted it, just used google earth, and it looks really good from space. I also noticed that nearby there is a street called "beach dr." and that often means public access, kind of like west seattle's "beach dr."