It’s a great way to learn more about the biology of our local area, and to provide data relevant to policy decisions affecting our streams. When you sign up, you'll receive online training materials as well as invitations to Zoom sessions to explain the program in more detail and to answer your questions.
What do volunteers do?
Select a stream that you are willing to watch for a total of 30 minutes each week from September into sometime in November
Review training materials and attend a meeting for more in-depth training and Q&A (in-person trainings will held outdoors on September 1 & 4)
Record data during your observations on a provided form
Enter your data into a user-friendly online form
The observation period runs from September into November. The actual end date will depend on weather conditions and the numbers of fish seen.
The most essential salmon viewing gear you need is polarized sunglasses. They often make the difference between not seeing any fish and having a clear view of many fish. Polarized glasses block as much of the reflected light as possible without blocking non-reflected light. Look for yellow or amber polarized lenses, as they are better at letting a lot of light through compared to gray or smoke lenses.
Questions about the program?
City of Bothell no longer manages the Salmon Watcher Program, but we are excited to help promote it. We express our sincere gratitude to Dr. Jeffrey Jensen, with support from Trout Unlimited, for bringing back the program locally!
If you are a past Salmon Watcher, we sincerely thank you for your years of service. As always, please continue to let us know whenever you see an illicit discharge or spill in Bothell by calling our Spill Hotline (24/7) at 425-806-6750. You're helping keep our streams clean!
History of the original Salmon Watcher Program
The original Salmon Watcher Program was a multi-jurisdictional effort focused on protecting a Pacific Northwest treasure and educating the community in the process. This program recruited citizens to gather vital information about the presence, kinds, and number of fish spawning in our local streams. After 20 incredible years of volunteer service and fish data collection, the program ended in 2015 after King County no longer had the funding needed to operate and maintain the regional database for salmon sightings.
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