Local environmental professional Demian Ebert sent us this photo of a female coho salmon he spotted on Sunday, Nov. 15 just downstream of SE Tenino and SE 21st Ave. The previous day he had spotted a different pair spawning just south of Tacoma St. This is in addition to at least two pair spotted last month at Westmoreland Park.
If you spot any salmon or other interesting wildlife in the creek or elsewhere in the watershed please let us know- and send us your photos and videos too.
By Patrick Norton, CSP volunteer
River otters (Lontra canadensis) have been observed by CSP members in Crystal Springs Creek numerous times in the past, both in the upper reaches at Reed Canyon and also on the property of Westmoreland's Union Manor. At times they seem to maintain dens, usually in the stream bank under trees or stumps, but they are not apparently permanent occupants of any one location, and seem to be highly mobile as individuals and as family groups.
They seem to be spotted most often in the early morning hours or in the evening twilight, and a full-daylight observation is probably quite rare. Recently, sometime during the week of November 2nd, one of our members (Bob Federoff) spotted a pair feeding in the creek at Westmoreland Park and managed to get two excellent videos and a photograph (below). It isn't clear what they are feeding on, it could be fish, crayfish, or freshwater mussels. As Bob said, whatever it was it was something that "required a lot of chewing". CSP member Zac Perry reports that a family of four otters have been seen in Reed Canyon recently as well.
If you want to get a look at these marvelous creatures your best bet is to get up early or stay out late, and be sure to bring your binoculars and camera. Also be sure to not interfere with their activities- they are wild animals just living their lives and have been known to injure people who they considered a threat. Be sure to let us know where and when you see them if you do (leave a comment below).
Crystal Springs Partnership members, PSU Capstone students, and Special Guest writers all contribute to this blog.