Friday, November 9, 2012

Post Office Walk and Salmon

A routine errand associated with work is walking to the post office to mail reports. The walk from our office to the post office on Prospect Street is a nice nature walk along the banks of Whatcom Creek. The City of Bellingham has constructed a nice trail along the creek so that an otherwise four block urban walk is a four block walk through forest and brush - way easier than most of my time in the forest. The walk ends at a roaring water fall as the creek flows over a resistant unit of Chuckanut Formation sandstone. Whatcom means noisy water. After a stretch of rainy weather the creek is running very high and very noisy.
Dupont Street Bridge just above the falls

The lower falls of Whatcom Creek
With the high water salmon are returning to the creek as well. There is hatchery at the mouth of the creek that utilizes the former sewage plant. Some of the fish swim into the hatchery entrance. But the wild fish and some of the hatchery fish take a run at the falls. It is a tough falls to get up, but if you catch things on the right day you can see fish make it all the way up with big multiple leaps out of the water. Before reaching the falls the fish have to get past a gauntlet of fishermen . 

Fishing at the estuary of Whatcom Creek

But in a way the fishermen are helping the salmon. Fishing helps fund some salmon helpers. While returning from the post office I tagged along with a couple fish helpers that were giving a couple of Coho salmon a lift via wheel barrow and then a short slide down a pipe into calmer waters above the falls.  

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