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Celebrate the return of chum salmon to Swan Creek Park

December 2, 2015

Friends of the Swan Creek Watershed host 12th annual Salmon Saturday Dec. 12

Please note that parking will be limited at the Pioneer Way park entrance parking lot during the event. The overflow visitor parking area cannot be used this year due to hydro-seeding that has been done. A staff person will be at that entrance directing traffic and parking during the event to assist visitors. 

For those who wonder if flooding would affect the salmon viewing someone was there on Wednesday and reports that the creek and retention pond were so full of silt she couldn't see anything in the water. However, after checking today (Friday) the water has gone down to it's normal level, with the water clear again - and she saw two salmon just in the short time she was there.

Get a first-hand introduction to a pivotal point in the life history of salmon, the Pacific Northwest’s most emblematic creature, during Salmon Saturday in Swan Creek Park.

The free event runs from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Dec. 12 near the north end of the 373-acre park, which straddles Tacoma’s eastern boundary line. Metro Parks Tacoma manages 290 acres on the south end of the park. The rest is owned by Pierce County.

This is the 12th annual Salmon Saturday celebration, a kind of welcome home party, sponsored by the Friends of the Swan Creek Watershed, a volunteer advocacy group.

It’s a chance to catch a glimpse of the creek’s native chum salmon during the peak of its run, when mature fish return to their birthplace to spawn, or reproduce, and die.

Swan Creek Salmon

You’re invited to hike or stroll along the creek, where volunteer guides will be poised to answer questions. The emphasis is on conservation. Find out what homeowners and gardeners can do to protect the quality of our water and ensure salmon survival. You’ll even have the opportunity to test Swan Creek water.

“Everything’s hands on,” said organizer Sue Bernstein of Friends of Swan Creek Watershed. Activities are geared to both children and adults.

As an added treat, a Friends volunteer typically bakes salmon-shaped cookies to share with visitors. Greeters also offer cocoa to ward off expected cold temperatures.

In addition to Friends of Swan Creek Watershed, representatives from Metro Parks’ Tacoma Nature Center and CHIP-in! stewardship programs will be on hand. Also taking part are Tacoma’s EnviroChallenger program, Citizens for a Healthy Bay and the Pierce Conservation District.

Salmon Saturday

  • What: Welcome celebration for migrating chum salmon
  • When: 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Dec. 12
  • Where: Swan Creek Park. Enter at north end, 2820 Pioneer Way E.
  • Cost: Free
  • Information: (253) 472-7264 or

Learn about Salmon Saturday at Swan Creek Park.


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