Addendum – Yesterday (Dec. 6), a week after spotting the first returning coho, we discovered that the fish apparently bring important escorts with them. While walking the creek bank, I was surprised and pleased to scare up a large, mature Bald Eagle from a creekside sand bar. With much effort, the big bird jumped into the air and struggled to gain the elevation needed to clear my head and the riparian alder behind me. With labored flaps, it headed downstream. It seems likely that I accidently disturbed the lunch it was making from recently returned and spawned out salmon. This leaves us wondering what other species are drawn back to the creek and forest when they know that the table is once again set?
Looked for more fish on both Dec. 5 and 6, but found none. The creek was high and getting both higher and more turbid. This makes it increasingly tough to spot the Coho that may be there. As shown in this graph. “Our” Coho are old hands at dealing with such challenges and are spending tonight waiting the flooding out in some secure backwater. We’ll see what tomorrow brings.