You Mon Tsang February 12th, 2009
Michael Reichmuth, fishery biologist for the National Park Service, had this sobering update about salmon spawning in the Point Reyes and West Marin area:
After performing surveys on Olema, Redwood, and Cheda Creeks last week both field staff and volunteers were disappointed by the lack of new spawning activity. No coho were observed in both Redwood and Cheda Creeks. One live coho and one coho redd was observed on Olema Creek. Steelhead and steelhead redds were observed on both Olema and Redwood Creeks.
This is the typical time of year for steelhead spawning so I was not surprised to find both steelhead redds and live adults. We are now past the typical window for coho spawning and I don’t expect to find any new coho spawning activity even after this last set of storms.Other regional monitoring programs have observed similar results for this year.
The total coho count for the season is very low with only 2 coho redds, 1 live coho, and 2 coho carcasses observed on Redwood creek and 2 live coho with only one coho redd on Olema Creek. For Olema Creek this is the lowest coho count on record.
We will conduct snorkel surveys this summer that will confirm if any coho spawning was successful from this winter.
You Mon Tsang November 5th, 2008
After a big day of eating turkey and hanging out with the family, it’s time to flex your arms and legs and work off the second helping of stuffing! Head out to Point Reyes. Here are some great things to do:
Point Reyes 2008 Thanksgiving Open Studios Map
You Mon Tsang January 19th, 2008
Turns out there is plenty to do in January in Point Reyes. On a nice, sunny day, the beaches and hikes are as pleasant as ever. Just bring another layer and get started a little earlier. Once the sun goes down early, it can get chilly.
But January also brings unique opportunities for those of us who want to see wildlife.
* Whale Watching from the Lighthouse and Chimney Rock. This is a popular enough event that the Park Service closes the road to the lighthouse point and runs buses from the Drakes Beach Visitors Center ($5 per person). While I have not ever caught site of a whale on these trips, I still enjoy the trip out to the point. The Park Service has a good page on whale watching from the point.
* Breeding Elephant Seals. I like to head out to Chimney Rock to watch the wales, because it is also possible that the elephant seals are on the beach hanging out and breeding. This year, they are out en masse! They are fun to watch as they lie and shift around in the sun. From the Chimney Rock parking lot, look for signs that direct you on a short trail heading south.
* Salmon Run. From mid-Dec to mid-January (over for 2008), SPAWN lead groups from the town of Lagunitas to find salmon that swam upstream and lay their eggs. The whole process is fascinating and newbies should take the tour as it can be difficult to find the salmon without an experienced eye. You can find out more at the SPAWN web site.
Photo taken by flauto