A choose your own adventure story written and illustrated by 2009-2010 Evergreen School 5 th Graders The Never Ending Salmon Story
You are an adventurer. A survivor. Or not. A Coho fry, a young salmon who must fight to survive. You were born in the upper reaches of Thornton Creek, an urban area where many dangers are present. Your fellow salmon may be competing against you. The time has come for you to find your way to Lake Washington. Beware of predators.
This story will test your abilities to the extreme. You will need to be cunning, brave and intelligent to make the right decisions. There are many challenges that await you. Choose your path wisely - it may result in sudden and unexpected death.
One click of a mouse or one turn of a page can be the difference between life in Lake Washington or death. Choose wisely. A survivor is one in thousands. Death is almost guaranteed.
Read on if you dare.
Your destiny awaits.
Welcome to the world of a Coho.
Introduction Go upstream in search of food Chase something that floats by Follow friends to food
Part One: Chad
Some Useful Things About Young Salmon Are:
Born in a Redd, or a nest
Eggs are orange and pea-sized
Salmon are not raised by their parents, the parents die after spawning
Young salmon need cold water and a riparian zone
A riparian zone, or corridor is a covered area in a stream
Eggs and Alevin do not eat, they absorb the nutrients of their yolk-sac
You wake up and you are starving. You are so hungry you could eat a horse. It is a new emotion for you. Before, you had your egg sac. You absorbed it, and it gave you all of the energy and nutrients you needed. Now you are on your own. No food, no nothing. Even your dearest siblings Jed, Ret, Colin, George, Trent, Fred, Elmo, Grover, Clarisse, Chet, Chucky, Anna Beth, Moe, Ted, Wally, Jo-Jo, Jackie, and, and, and… Your head starts swimming with all of the names. It seems you are the last one out. You miss them, every single one of them. You woke up in the middle of the night last night, seeing them go off in the search of provisions. You didn’t feel like going. Oh, well, they’re probably all dead by now , you think.
“ Hello, what is your name? I am called Kirby.” he says in a screechy high-pitched manner, like a hyperactive squealing pig. “ Y-you are a Salmon!” you respond. “ Yes, great observation, but answer my question first,” you tell him your name and he continues. “You see, I cannot seem to catch anything. I was born wimpy, and, well, I simply could not eat. I was very close to catching one once, and see this missing eye…” You take a long glance to study him. He is a Coho fry like you, but his ribs are showing, he is missing one eye, one fin, and he had streaks of blood across his face. He also had a pinkish tint to him. You think why is he so strange? Why is he so scarred? Why is he so jittery? How is he still alive? Then you realize that the riparian zone is especially substantial where you are, so no predator could see you. “ It was so promising at first, but I ended up getting my eye scraped off on a rock. And I was forced to eat my own eyeball. Not so pleasant. Then, I had no depth perception, so it was even harder. Again, I was forced to feed off of my own body. I ate my pectoral fin, the greatest mistake I have ever made. Now I am forced to swim in circles and circuitous routes. You begin to swim along. What a wonderful world, you think. Suddenly, and unexpectedly, next to you, a salmon swims by, and is abruptly swallowed by a large cutthroat trout. You seek shelter immediately, under a log, and you stick to your hiding spot, until you are sure the trout has disappeared. Was that Jet, your most excellent brother, you wonder? You continue looking for food, but you don’t even know what to eat. Oh, well, you think, you will probably have some sort of natural instinct. You feel the impulse to chase the bugs swimming by, but you cannot catch up to them. You pursue on and on, and the bugs disappear from your vision. You halfheartedly chase until you do not recognize your surroundings. Suddenly a figure appears adjacent to you.
Some Things That a
Coho Fry Might Eat Are:
“ But, now food has found its way to me…” He begins staring at your creepily. Wow, you think, this guy is bizarre . “You are my food!” he yells at you, and then lashes out at you. “ Aaahh!” you scream backing away. You start swimming away until, suddenly, a milky white ball splashes into the open mouth of Kirby. A giant metal stick with a sharp point impales him. It has a logo saying: ‘Ping Moxie’. As you are washed away unconsciously, your last sight is Kirby shaped round and pink, like a bubble from bubblegum, and the handle of the stick sticking out of his body. “ It was so promising at first, but I ended up getting my eye scraped off on a rock. And I was forced to eat my own eyeball. Not so pleasant. Then, I had no depth perception, so it was even harder. Again, I was forced to feed off of my own body. I ate my pectoral fin, the greatest mistake I have ever made. Now I am forced to swim in circles and circuitous routes.
FACT BOX FOR THE DESCRIPTION OF WERE IT TOOK PLACE It is healthy Quality is 2.7 Water quality is healthy and is in good conditions There is not really anything in or out of the steam that is bad for the stream You awaken further downstream; you think you know where you are going, but you don’t. You see a bug and you are going to try and catch it. Oh no, it flies away. Wow, you are famished. It’s all because you have not eaten in about 10 hours. You are going to get grumpy if you don’t eat. You see another bug coming back at you. Yum, yum, yummy, you think. Finally, you catch a few bugs. A dark figure emerges next to you. You have not seen another salmon in an extensive amount of time.
FACT BOX FOR THE WATERSHED The watershed is a region were water drains on or out of The Thornton creek watershed is the largest in both shoreline and Seattle An area that’s called a drainage basin Also called a catchment area We also often call it the river watershed “ I need food. You don’t need food. You have food. I don’t have food. You give me food. You are food. I will eat bugs, or I will eat you!” says the emerging fish. He is a large red and black trout. You start moving away. “I need food. I will be companion. I will kill predators. I will be your bodyguard. I will help you.” “ I know somebody who would be happy to meet those requirements. His name is Kirby. He is a lot like you. A little smarter, I think, though.” you say while swimming away. You lead him downstream.
both male and female
Die after they spawn.
The adults die so their
Young (2) can feed off
The female will deposit
The eggs and then the
Male will fertilize
You feel very exhausted, and so you go to sleep. You wake up in an hour or two. You have just eaten, but you already feel ravenous. You find a bug swimming by and you miss, because you get distracted by another fish in the water eyeing you. You get a little closer and you realize that the fish eyeing you is a vicious cutthroat trout. You swim away, and, as you’re swimming you see another salmon. “ Aaahh! Help! Run! A trout is chasing me!” you scream. “ Hide here!” the salmon exclaims. You follow him to shelter, and then he says, “Hi, I’m Joey,”
Gulf courses impact salmon with
the fertilizer fall into thee creek.
they will make plants grow witch
Will cause the salmon to suffocate
“ Nice to meet you,” you respond, and then you part and swim on. You catch some macro-invertebrates and fill your stomach. As you’re swimming you see something familiar. You get closer and…. “ KIRBY!” you scream. You get away from the deceased fish. You find yourself outside a pool. You wonder; should you investigate this cool pool, or should you turn and go downstream? Turn around and go down stream. Explore pool
Part Two: Chad
The part of the stream has some golf balls. The bottom of the stream is brown. There are riffles and pools. There is a bridge. The stream looks healthy. I know because the bottom of the stream doesn’t look really dirty. The ph is natural. The stream looks healthy. The ph is good. There are riffles and pools. It has some golf balls in it. You decide to turn around and go downstream. The water up ahead gets darker and darker. Cautiously you swim over. All of the sudden, you are sucked over the edge of a waterfall! The forceful water has you thrashing around for a while, trying to regain your balance. When you can finally stay upright, the water around you is pitch-black, and the water feels like molasses. An eerie scratching and clicking noise is coming from up ahead. “Hello?” you whisper. The sound echoes around the tunnel. You get the feeling that you are being watched. You slowly turn around. Many pairs of red eyes stare back at you. You let out a startled squeak. Quickly you zoom as fast as you can in the opposite direction. You pop out of the culvert, and dive over another waterfall. Once you regain your balance, you notice that the water here is much nicer than there. The water is calm and cool, and the grass waves gently with the current. Riffles gently sweep the surface of the river.
The stream has many habitats. The stream has riffles pools and other stuff. The salmon needs shelter food water. They need easy food to catch. They need fresh water that is not polluted. They also need pools and riffles so they can catch food.
They need fresh food.
They need clean water.
They need shelter.
They need pools and riffles
When you get farther downstream, a heron strides over to you and says, “ Hi, my name is Maxamillion. What is your name?” You duck into one of the caves in the riverbank, startled. You are shaking like a leaf. Herons aren’t supposed to be nice! They are supposed to be cold-blooded killers! Maxamillion pokes his head into your hiding place. “What’s the matter?” he asks, concerned. He doesn’t seem mean, you think to yourself. You swim out of the cave, and introduce yourself. You ask him where you are. Then you run in to a white object that is round with small dents in it and is covered in dirt. It smells wonderful, and slightly like the place where the two-legers go and hit the ball on the ground with metal sticks. You take a huge bite. It tastes horrible! You feel dizzy and pass out. A couple minutes later you come to and you see Maxamillion looking at you. He says, “What happened?” You say, “I don’t know.”
Great Blue Herons
Great Blue Herons have long legs so they can go into deep water to catch bigger fish
Great Blue Herons can eat fish longer than there neck
They lay from three to seven eggs, but the usual number is four
Great Blue Heron chicks are often aggressive toward each other
In flight Great Blue Herons average about 25 mph, their maximum flight speed can approach 35 mph.
Just then, some other salmon swim over. They introduce themselves as Silvertail, Mossstream, Riverheart, and Windwave. “Hey, is that what I think it is?”, you shout. “ Uh-oh….RUN! Shadescale is attacking, so run!” Maxamillion shouts. Shadescale is a murderous cutthroat trout. He has killed many fish, and is well known in this area. “Hurry, help me, he has my dorsal fin, ahhhhh…” you hear someone yell. You shout for Maxamillion to help you. “Here I come!” screams Maxamillion. You hear a loud “CHOMP”. You turn around and there he is, the horrible, vicious, evil, and dead Shadescale. “ Oh my gosh. You ...y..you just k-killed Shadescale, the all disgraceful Shadescale. How
Coho The size of an adult coho may measure more than 2 feet (61 cm). Coho spend approximately the first half of their life cycle rearing and feeding in streams and small freshwater tributaries. The species was historically distributed throughout the North Pacific Ocean from central California to Point Hope, Alaska, through the Aleutian Islands, and from the Anadyr River, Russia, south to Hokkaido, Japan. Salmonid species on the west coast of the United States have experienced dramatic declines in abundance during the past several decades as a result of human-induced and natural factors. Coho salmon adults migrate from a marine environment into freshwater streams and rivers of their birth in order to mate (called anadromy). d-did you d-do t-that?” you ask Maxamillion, and shiver in the cool water. You’re glad this deadly bird is on your side. “ Well, he had been bothering me, plus he killed most of my friends, so he deserved it. He’s as mean as a tiger,” proudly announces Maxamillion. Shadescale was dead. But what about his minions , you think. Just then, an otter swims over. He introduces himself as Portak, from the c lan of Luatra. “I have some things I think you might like.” He swims away, and comes back, leading three bewildered salmon. They introduce themselves as Darkstripe, Nightwater, and Shadefin. You and your friends cautiously swim over to see. The minions are swimming around, confused. They look over at you, and their eyes widen in surprise. A few of them duck into the many holes in the bank. They don’t seem so scary anymore. “ They don’t seem to be dangerous”, says Riverheart, echoing your thoughts. The others agree with him, and you all swim over to check it out.
Thornton creek The stream structure is open in areas, and covered in others. The open areas are more dangerous for salmon because there isn’t as much cover, so it’s easier for predators to spot them. The covered areas have shade, shelter, and are more likely to have food in them. Bears, wolves, eagles, humans, seagulls, orcas, and other fish, such as cut-throat trout eat salmon. Not all of these animals are near the stream . Some animals that live near Thornton creek are opossums, beavers, buffleheads, frogs, newts, ducks, muskrats, bats, and coyotes. Silvertail asks Darkstripe, the unofficial leader of the group, why they helped Shadescale, but he says, “I’m sorry. We don’t know who you are, what you’re talking about, or why we’re here.” Riverheart whispers in your ear, “That’s strange. They don’t seem to know anything about what just happened.” That is quite strange , you think to yourself. Mossstream speaks up. “This seems to me like an advanced form of hypnotism. Maybe they were hypnotized into being evil, and now that Shadescale is dead, they have been released.” The former minions have been whispering amongst themselves, and one of them, Shadefin, you think, shoves Nightwater forward. “ She has something to say,” he announces. Nightwater shuffles forward shyly. “ I do remember something before we arrived here,” she says. “Shadescale was staring into my eyes, and saying something about being sleepy. Then everything went blank, and the next object
Communicate with scent
Can stay underwater for up to
Can run up to 18 mph
They eat crustaceans, amphibians,
reptiles, birds, insects, and fish.
They do well in Alaska and Canada,
in the Pacific NW, the great lakes,
and most stated along the Atlantic
Coast and Gulf of Mexico.
I remember, I was here.” Windwave steps forward. “ That concludes my hypothesis. They were hypnotized, and are now harmless.” You say goodbye to the former minions, thank Maxamillion and Maximus, and swim off with Silvertail, Mossstream, Riverheart, and Windwave. After a while, you thank them, and swim off on your own. The water is clear and cool. The sun is shining. You spot a bug, and chase after it, all that swimming has you starved. You grab it and devour it in one bite. It’s delicious. You see another and start to go after it. When the water starts churning. The wind picks up, and it’s all you can do to keep from being swept away. A flood! What should you do? Even though you can breathe underwater, you can still drown! You see an area over to the left that appears calmer, but looks can be deceiving. There is also an area that looks like a sheltered spot a couple of meters up ahead. Should you swim to calmer water, or go over there and wait out the flood? Calmer water Sheltered Spot
Part Three: Chad
As you start your way to wards somewhere to rest, there is a bend in the stream. You go around the turn. You have found cover. Soon you find out it is too cramped and already taken by a smaller fish. You start talking to the fish, and introduce yourself. “ Hi. My name is Jerry.” says the fish. You ask, “What happened to you—your eyes?” Jerry replies, “What? Oh, you mean my giant eye and puny eye? Long story short: me and my friends were swimming around and then out of nowhere a barrel of strange liquid came plummeting down. The creek where I observed was not clean and was dirty with human litter in it. The creek also had other animal waste. It was not a healthy area, and I knew by taking tests. Here are the results:
My friends and I were scared. We went to check it out. They started to drink it and I joined in. It started to make me feel weird and my friends too, suddenly my eye mutated. I was the only one who made it out.” You ask, “How about you come with me to find shelter?” He accepts. You go along with Jerry. As you move onward, the stream gets dimmer and dull. The mud on the streambed floor is like quicksand. The water is black and musky. You rapidly take off and scram as you get out of the musky water. Air temperature: 16c, 61f Cloud cover: 47% Wind direction: west Wind speed: 2mph Water temperature: 10c Water PH: 6 Dissolved oxygen: 3.7 Water Appearance: Stream Bed Coating: Oder: Muddy Brown None Clear
After hours of searching for safety, you and Jerry spot something. You hope that the path you were taking led you into a pool or some sort of shelter. The grassy stream banks narrowed. And all of the sudden the muddy, murky water became deeper. The banks began to crumble like a stale cookie. The water was as cold as ice. Something felt weird. You and Jerry swim down and around eating bugs and exploring the new pool. A couple leaves were scattered on the water’s surface. You found shelter at last. You look over at Jerry, he stood frozen. Aquatic life in Thornton Creek Thornton creek is habitat to many insects, amphibians, birds, and even bats. If you are lucky you may spot a beaver or even a coyote. There are so many different types of insects living in the creeks habitat that not all of them have been recorded. Insects like dragonflies, which are sensitive to pollution, indicate a healthy ecosystem. There are many types of aquatic plants growing inside Thornton creek’s streambeds.
“ Really?” you ask him. “ Yes. Wait—no. Just a leaf.” What? How could you mistake a leaf for cover? You want to ask him. But then you get a strange feeling—the feeling that you’re being watched. “ Hey, Jerry…” you say. “ You feel it too?” he inquires. You nod. “ It doesn’t feel right.” You catch up to Jerry a few feet in front of you. “There’d better be somewhere we can sleep soon, because I don’t feel safe.” You and Jerry swim faster. “ Look. Something up ahead…riparian zone?” you ask. “ I think that’s it.” Jerry answers. And he was right. “ Finally. Some cover.” you say, relieved. But as the foliage approaches you see some shadows just before the plants. “ What are—?” What can people do to help protect the streams habitat? Paved lots and building have been replaced by landscapes preventing pollution to flow into the Thornton creek. A retirement home in shoreline is mysteriously causing a big impact on the creeks wildlife We can help protect the creek by preventing more buildings and homes to be built inside Thornton Creek’s boundaries.
But before you can finish your question, the shadows become clear. There are two Blue Herons, approaching you quickly. Jerry gasps. “ Are you thinking what I’m thinking?” You ask Jerry. “ Yes…” He can barely talk. “Swim…away.” You both go as quickly as you can, but Jerry is slower than you, he always has been a slow swimmer ever since his incident. The birds are gaining on you and Jerry fast, and soon Jerry begins to grow tired. “Can’t…go…farther…” he whispers. “Sorry…” “ Jerry…” you start to say. But with a sound like a dying dog, one of the huge birds had already dived at Jerry. He stuck his beak into his side, and you turned away and started swimming faster. I’m sorry, Jerry. You were an awesome friend…even if you weren’t the brightest. *Salmon can survive between 5.6 ° and 25° C, but ideal temperatures are around 12.8° C *Salmon rely on pools for colder water in summer and the opposite in winter *Dissolved oxygen (DO) is the amount of oxygen in the water *DO is distributed throughout the body of water through currents/turbulence
You don’t look back as you swim around the rocks and under a tunnel. There is no sign of the birds or Jerry when you come out the other side. Maybe I out swam them, you think. You start to slow down and catch your breath. You drift into a tiny, calm pool and stop there to rest. But before you can settle down you hear a noise from behind you. You turn around and see the same Blue Herons blocking the entry to the pool you are in. No, you think. They came back. One of them has a bit of blood on its beak and you think of Jerry. I can’t let that happen to me. One of them dives at you. You try to dodge it, but it’s no use. Soon the bird has you cornered. Your last glimpse of life is the bird’s beak closing down on you.... The End *Riparian zone is the vegetation beside the stream *Riparian zone provides cover from predators *Riparian zones stop erosion, pollution, and other things harming the ecosystem *Riparian zones are harmed by overgrazing, logging, agriculture, dams, etc. You have died, Go back to beginning.
Part Four: Chad
One main challenge is predators
Main predators are bears, eagles, and herons.
Hydroelectric dams are a challenge.
It is very hard for the salmon to get to the ocean.
You decide to follow the strange scent. After swimming downstream for a few feet, you stop, having heard a rustling of leaves as loud as falling rain on the surface of the water. It is another fish struggling with something. You swim toward it. There is another salmon. He is stuck in a tangled mess of leaves and branches. “Help me...” he cries. You swim toward him and use your pectoral fin to beat away the entangling mess. “Thanks,” he says. You say hello. “Are you OK?’ you ask. “ I’m OK, I guess,” he says with a heavy Texan accent. “The name’s Jack, but ya can call me Redtooth.”
You introduce yourself. “Can we swim together for a while?” you ask. “ Sure,” he says. You start swimming along the river. Redtooth pauses for a second. “Where are ya headed?” he asks. “ Lake Washington,” you reply. “ That’s-” he begins, but just then a well-sharpened #2 missile that looks identical to the yellow sticks you have seen small humans holding falls from above. It passes right through him. He falls to the bottom. “-admirable...” he finishes.
A wetland is a low area where the land is
saturated with water
A wetland filters phosphates and other nutrients out of the water so weeds can’t grow
Weeds and algae can choke up a stream, so wetlands are helpful
Phosphates help weeds and algae grow
You are grief-stricken, but you continue anyway. Soon you catch the trail again. You follow it. Suddenly you hear a howl, loud enough to shake the earth, and you catch sight of something gigantic running along the bank. The creature smells just like the trail you were following. It is a beaver. The poor creature is panicking. You soon lose sight of the animals in the chase, but around the bend, there the two enemy animals are again! You dart ahead. Now the rodent is chasing you in blind panic. You duck under it, and back behind it. You will have to get past it.
Urban Wildlife-River Otter
They are 20-30 pounds
Their tails are 20inches
Live up to 25 years
Live in tree covered areas
Without warning, the flat-tailed mammal starts to attack you. You dodge left, then right. You are moving as fast as you can, but the larger creature is faster. You, somehow, after much exertion, get past the creature. Now you are faced with a more difficult challenge. Huge riffles are ahead of you. You look back and realize that the comfort and safety of the pool that you were just in is behind you and the dangerous predator is blocking your path. You decide the large waves ahead are safer, and swim into them. After swimming for a few seconds, you see a black shape above you. The beaver is back. “Uh-oh,” you mutter to yourself.
Dissolved oxygen 0 PPM
Water temperature is 9C
The water is oily
Around the river are
Bridges , Roads , Pipes,
culverts and trails
You slowly raise your head to look at the menacing form up above. The beaver jerkily dives down and rakes your side. Blinding pain is all you know for a few moments. Then you summon enough energy to fight back. You dart behind a boulder. The scaly-tailed mammal notices the movement and comes straight at you behind the stone. The water is gloomy, and the creature, not being able to see, smashes its head on the rock. You dart away. The now-predator comes to its senses and relents a little. Though you are a little salmon, you can move swiftly. This helps in escaping. Right now you need to escape, because even though the animal that you just finished fighting with seems to be calmed down a little, you know it isn’t safe to hang around here much longer. You rapidly swim away, abandoning all caution, ridding your head of all thoughts except how to escape from that panicking creature. You are tired, but instinct tells you to keep swimming.
They can affect the
site because they
build dams that can
block the river so the
salmon cannot swim
They eat water lily
tubers, clover, apples,
and the leaves and
green bark of aspen
They have a wide, flat tail
with scaly skin covering it,
and are usually a brown color
Used to be found all around
the world, but now are
mainly in North America
After a while, you realize you simply have to stop. Your dorsal fin feels like jelly, you’re breathing hard, and the world is swimming right before your eyes. So stop you do, and though you only intend to rest for a short while, the shady place you have chosen is so comfortable. The dark, cool cavern you have lain down in feels so inviting, and you slowly start to slip away… You wake up suddenly, and notice right off how much better you feel. For a moment, you are puzzled, not knowing why you are so energized. Then you realize that you must have fallen asleep. The short rest you had intended to take had turned into a long nap. It takes a minute for you to fully grasp the awfulness of your situation. You very quickly come to your senses when you see the dark, looming shapes surrounding you. Predators. At first, the creatures the shapes belong to are unclear; then, slowly, they begin to come into view.
Residential areas affect salmon because the detergents, soaps and
pesticides that the owners of the residential
areas might use can enter the water, and kill or harm the salmon
Certain types of soil can be harmful for the salmon
Soil is better for the salmon if it is made out of compostable materials,
because it can soak up the rain and moisture
It is better to have soil that has the needed components
to grow plants for the salmon to eat
Once the animals are fully visible, you start to wonder whether the odds would have been better if you had stayed behind and taken your chances against the panicking animal, for these predators are awful. Cut-throat trout: the most egregious fish in the stream. Just as you begin to assume that you are as good as dead, a shout from upstream catches your attention and the attention of the trout. The speaker is calling your name, telling you that they have had a stroke of luck and have found an excellent source of food. You want to follow them, but you also need to get away from the trout. After a couple of minutes of painful indecision, you come up with a plan. Praying that it will work, you shout back to your friends, telling them to stay there. They agree, and you get to work.
You lead the trout this way and that, not knowing where you’re going. That doesn’t matter, though, because all that needs to be done is leading the trout astray. Zigzagging back and forth through the reeds, you barely get away with your life. Swimming back to your friends, you think about what you will tell them. You want to go with them to the food source they have found, but you also want to carry on solo. This is not an easy choice to make. What will you do? Carry on by yourself Follow friends to food
Part Five: Chad
You decide to continue on without others, so slowly you inch along. You look to your left. It is beautiful. Large green trees, bushes, and tons of food. Yum. However, this forest only stretches to about five feet from the shore, for beyond that the land turns into a residential area, totally worked over by the strange two-legged land walkers known as humans. As you look to the right, a long, large shiny object goes rapidly past, on the odd artificial level rock that the humans seem to have put everywhere. Suddenly something zips past you and turns around. Speaking in a voice fast as lightning, it introduces itself. Coho encounter Chum, Pink, Chinook, Sockeye salmon get their color from arthropods change color, get stripes and dots, when head to the ocean coloring can vary from deep red to white
“ Hi I’m Fred.” the what-you-now-realize-to-be-a-salmon says. “ Hi…..” you say, the speed of your voice representing the antonym of the rapid tempo of his speech. “ What are you doing, where are you going, where are your friends, can I come with you?” he asks. You shake your whole body. Whoa. “ I decided to continue on without my friends, and yes, you can come with me.” You immediately wish that you had not said that. “ COOL where to next?” your speedy, confusing, unintelligent friend asks. “ Straight ahead,” you say slowly, hoping Fred will calm down. The exact opposite happens; he speeds ahead then stops abruptly. You jet after him then ask, “What?” “ A long, dark, cave, cool.” Fred answers. Oh, no. from Mathieu beach to the locks to the WA ship canal end in the Pacific Ocean Thornton creek is 11.6 square miles When a boat comes fill or drain then open gate Fish ladder like giant stairs
As you pass through the tunnel, (which you now realize to be man made and in fact not a naturally occurring cave) you realize how much your long, perilous journey has tired you. It seems like you now no longer possess strength sufficient to continue onward any further. Every flap of your caudal fin feels like you are moving a lead weight the size of yourself. But you tell yourself that you’re making this journey for the benefit of your own survival. You ask yourself whether you can afford to stop here, after all of the dangers you’ve braved on your indescribably difficult journey. Besides, you ask yourself, what other choice do you have? I can’t go back, you think to yourself, answering your own question, since then I would be fighting against the current, which would be even more tiring, and I can’t very well stop here, with the current forcing me forward. So you decide to overcome your lack of energy and proceed onward.
Oceangoing Coho salmon
are bright silver with dark
backs and bright chests,
with gray gums.
The average adult Coho
weighs 8-12 pounds and
are 24-30 inches long.
Adult Coho salmon in
saltwater mainly eat
herring, but will still gladly
settle for sand lance.
Fred, on the other hand, doesn’t seem to show any sings of fatigue. His interminable euphoria, his never-ceasing hyperactivity and his incessant chatter seem totally unhindered by the length of his downstream course. As you progress onward through the tunnel your energetic companion swims around you excitedly, telling you his life story at such a rapid pace you are hardly capable of comprehending anything he says. You are only able to hear some useless snatches of his conversation, such as, “And then this big fish…”, “But then he…”, and so forth. He seemingly doesn’t notice your lack of interest and the look of annoyance on your face. You tune him out and concentrate on your swim through the tunnel, which has been going on for quite an extensive amount of time without any sign of ending.
Coho salmon are anadromous, meaning that they migrate from the place of their birth to saltwater environments and back.
Some migrate farther and span wider than others.
No one knows how salmon are able to locate the place of their birth so accurate ly .
Then finally, just when suspicions begin creeping into your mind that this journey was some sort of practical joke and that the stream will never come to an end at Lake Washington if at all, or that you took a wrong turn and somehow wound up on a course to nowhere, you exit the tunnel. Turning a corner, you find, no more than a matter of yards in front of you, the stream opening up into a vast, glittering expanse of water larger than you have ever witnessed in your brief, insignificant life. It looms in front of you like a treasure trove of sapphire. You know what it is immediately. In front of you, through a tunnel of green foliage and fallen logs, a perfect example of a riparian corridor, is the mouth of the river. Beyond this lays the waters of lake Washington, that you had came so far and braved so many dangers to reach. This is the home stretch, you think to yourself.
An estuary is the part of the river mouth where the ocean meets the river. Coho fries pass through estuaries quickly. Estuaries are where salmon adjust to salt water. Salmon must pass back through an estuary to mate. The murky, meandering water of Thornton Creek opens up in front of you. Rocks covered in a thin layer of moss are everywhere, a perfect hiding spot, you hope. Fred shouts, “Yippee”, shooting off in front, chattering all the way. You reluctantly follow, muttering over and over, “We won’t die, we won’t die, we will not die .” As you slowly progress you hear the gurgle of water rapidly flowing out of a small pool through a steep riffle to your right. Abruptly, Fred’s constant non-stop chatter is silenced. You never thought that it was possible but it just happened.
Our story takes place in the waters right before lake Washington. This part of the stream is essential to make through because if the salmon does he/she can enter lake Washington. The dissolved oxygen level is 5-6. The ph level is 6. Ripples flow throughout the muddy water. You suddenly realize how scary it is without Fred, the enclosing darkness, the seemingly never ending river; it’s just not as bright without him. Up until now you had thought of Fred as a great annoyance, but now that he has mysteriously disappeared everything seems so dull. Your fears get the better of you. Your worries feel so heavy. You whisper, “Fred?” No reply. “Fred?” Again only silence. Now you’re frantic, “Fred?” A dark shape slowly approaches. Quietly you say “Fred?” But it is too late; a pair of jaws, merely five feet from the mouth of the creek, have already closed on you and crushed your puny salmon body in half. Sorry, you died. The End
Click on salmon to go back to the start.
Part One: Mrs. Harrison
Salmon can be run over on roads because of flooding
The dirt gets carried in by the water as a result of flooding
Storm drain carry junk in to the water
You and Jo-Jo turn into best friends. Seeing another frisbeeish morsel floating down the stream, you and Jo-Jo decide to chase it. If it is something to eat, you need to catch it. Soon enough, you find yourself swimming frantically down the river, fighting the current. Finally, you and Jo-Jo reach a shallower part of the river without as strong of a current. Jo-Jo swims up towards the circular object and just as he’s about to close his mouth around it, it pops. All of a sudden you are surrounded by the little clear objects.
fry eat insects there yolk sack and microinverdabrates
Fry can swim backwards
They catch there food by jumping out of the water then they open there mouth and catch there food
You are a salmon fry, the stage before going to the water. A stream below a layer of decaying leaves like dirt soaked eagle feathers surrounds you. Looking down to feed on your yolk sack, you notice, to your great surprise, that your yolk sack has disappeared. Hungry and needing to find food quickly, you look around and see a minute circular object that looks like a frisbee. This must be food. As you look for more, you see another fish. Swimming towards him, you ask his name. Jo-Jo, he replies.
You look around again and you realize that the object you have been chasing all this time is just a bubble. Frustrated, you whip around and are about to pop all of the bubbles when you see another salmon with Jo-Jo. They are talking, “Hi, I was just wondering where we are,” she asked. Jo-Jo replied, “We aren’t really sure either, but you could stay with us for awhile.” She seemed to like this idea and nodded her head. Egg fully emerges in May To June Female lays up to 4,500 eggs Female makes a nest out of pebbles
Egg fully emerges in May To June Female lays up to 4,500 eggs Female makes a nest out of pebbles Proclaiming that she was tired, without even telling you where she had come from or what her name was, she swam off toward the main stream outside of the safe pool. A couple of hours later, after Jo-Jo and you had each taken a nap, Jo-Jo decided to go check on the mysterious fish. He is gone for a while, then, worried, you decide to go check on him. When you get to the opening of the pool, you leap back in surprise. Jo-Jo and the other fish were stuck on the other side of the opening to the main stream, their tails swishing in fear.
A Salmon egg looks like a roundish ball about the size of a pea.
An alevin looks like a thread with a huge yolk sack on it.
Ph: between 6.8 and 8.2.
Water temperature: 13 Celsius and below.
Dissolved oxygen: 11 and above.
Depth: 1ft or more.
As soon as you try to cross over to them they scream, “No, no, no.” The new fish covered her eyes with her fin as if she were dreading something and did not want to see it happen. As soon as she had made it known that she did not want me to cross, she fled out of sight. Only then did you notice that Jo-Jo was missing a fin. The missing fin looked like somebody who had only just picked up a saw for the first time, had cut it off. Something had scared the fish and hurt Jo-Jo. Telling you not to go anywhere near the part of bank sticking out over the stream, Jo-Jo left in search of the new salmon.
A watershed is a drainage area.
Thornton creek is 11.6 square miles long.
It is the largest watershed in both Seattle and Shoreline.
Cromwell Park is the headwaters and it empties into Lake Washington.
It has 6 tributaries .
You could follow Jo-Jo back down stream in search of food and risk getting caught by whatever scared away the salmon and injured Jo-Jo or you could explore the place you are already in and not face the danger. This is a hard decision to make. You are hungry and do not want to leave Jo-Jo on his own, but you also are curious and like to play things safe.
Besides, you might find food in the pool. You ponder this for a little while and then realize you have to come to a conclusion. If you don’t, starvation will be in your near future. Explore Pool Explore For Food
Part Two: Mrs. Harrison
riffles are places where the water flows quickly and over rocks
pools are places where the water stays calm and there are good places for salmon to eat
the substrate is a place where life forms such as salmon and bugs live
channels are places where the water flows strait and fast, their edges are marked by sloping ground
flood plains are nearly flat lands that are adjacent too streams that experience flooding
You swim into a riffle, the water is moving so fast it’s terrifying. Deciding to rest in a pool where there is a large riparian zone and lots of cover, you start searching for food. While you are scouring for food you spot a tiny bug that would make a perfect lunch. Right when your jaws are open and ready to snap, another fry goes speeding right in front and snatches your lunch away.
the dissolved oxygen in Thornton creek is 5ppm
the ph level is 6
salmon can survive in Thornton creek but the water quality could be better
the habit for this area has a thick rippereon zone, this is good because salmon have a good place to hide from predators
“ Hey," you shout inflamed,” that was my lunch.” “ Too bad because I just ate it,” says the other fish disrespectfully, “hey, what’s your name.” You tell him your name. “ I’m Coke, and this is Acola.”, he says smiling. He turns and shows a young Alevin. Coke's appearance was not very pleasant, he had a huge scar above his eye that made him look punk. You guess that he is probably your age, maybe a little older and also probably a Coho. He finds you another bug and you decide that the two of you are friends, you swim off together.
Impervious surfaces don’t let water seep through them
Water that is traveling on impervious surfaces can collect dirt, gas, oil, and other harmful substances
You approach a tunnel and cautiously swim inside. As you head deeper into the tunnel, the walls begin to close in on you like a box. Soon you near a dam with just one minuscule exit. Up ahead you see some riffles that end in a frothy waterfall. You try to swim back using all of your force but the current is pulling you forward. Could this be the end? Splash, you hit the water with surprising speed and zoom into a slow creek. You swim around in a circle checking that all of your fins are working before moving on.
Floods can wash salmon onto streets
The dirt from floods can cover plants, animals, and spawning beds
Floods can also cause soil erosion which can change the terrain dramatically
"Coke, are you okay?" you scream over the noise. "Yep, keep on going," Coke yells. You gaze down at the green moss that is covering the rocks at the edge of the creek. Sand as white as rabbit's fur covers the creek bed reflecting light into your eyes. The water gets dirtier. Mud is flying everywhere churning in the ripples around you. It becomes more and more difficult to see through the water. The sanity and comfort of the creek has left you. On your left Coke looks like a ghost through the mucky water. Splash, rocks hit the water just inches away from you. It must be one of the giants trying to pelt me with rocks you think. "Swim for it," you yell at Coke and Acola as you submerge under the water.
Female salmon are generally bigger than males
The salmon have 8 fins
The pelvic and pectoral fins help the salmon steer
Whoosh, a pebble breaks the surface of the water next to you and lurch forward. Round and round you go spinning head over fin, you’re out of control. A shadow looms, it looks like a bridge. Now you understand, one of the giants has created an easier way to cross the water's path. Flipping your tail as if it was a tornado you rush forward straight under the bridge and the other side.
the dorsal in is a fin on the back of a salmon that helps them keep their balance in rough water
silt is rock ground up so small that it is almost like sand
Silt starts out be rocks in a riffle and then drifts into a pool to become silt
Thinking you are safe you glance forward and see another riffle that ends in a waterfall. Your muscles take over, without thinking you swim straight for the falls and glide off like a bird. Slamming into the calm water you feel exhilarated and ready to do it again. The water stops churning and you feel relieved to be alive. Finally, calm water, it seems like the perfect place to rest.
Alevin is a term or name for a salmon that has not yet eaten all of their egg sack
Fry is another name or term used to call the stage after the Alvin stage
Male adult salmon are usually larger than female adult salmon
You swim straight down and brush your back against the creek bed. The silt tickles your dorsal fin as you dive into it playfully. Coke and Acola are looking very nervous. You swim up a few inches and ask them “Why are you so jittery?” Suddenly, Coke hisses, “Be quiet unless you want to be bird food” Acola looks up and dives down deeper. You follow her and ask “ Why do I have to be quiet? Tell me.” Acola looks at you like you're an alevin, even though she is one too. “ Because there is a gigantic birds nest above us” You stop swimming. “A-a birds nest? Tell me you're j-joking,” you whisper. “ Nope, she is dead serious,” answers Coke as he swims down to meet you. “ You didn’t tell me that a birds nest is right above us,” you yell. Both of your friends stiffen and yell back,“Quiet.”
Fry and Alvin salmon are capable of burrowing under pebbles and silt, twisting it’s body like a snake, and backing out of tiny passage ways or two stones
Most large birds do not eat baby salmon, but Blue Herons may pick a fry out of the water
You are about to yell something else when a huge shadow covers you and you hear a sound like teeth to metal. Instantly, everything is chaos. Acola screams as sharp talon slice the water where she was moments before. Acola is burrowing into the pebbles and Coke is, where is Coke? Swimming through the dirty water with no avail, you hear a cry for help. You look up, Coke is being carried off by that bird. You begin to flop around trying to get the birds attention. It works, kind of. The bird swoops down seeing an easy dinner, but then Coke slips out of his talons like butter and plops into the water. Jumping out of the stream filled with happiness you smile then, whoosh screams the wind. “ Help! Please help?” you yell. Why did you jump out of the water? Oh, why? You think. You look down. Coke is flopping about to save you. Acola is being cowardly and swimming away. You smile. Coke is going to save you, but sadly the bird learns. He soars higher and higher, now you are truly terrified. You realize you can't breath since you are not in the water. You begin to feel light-headed. Coke now looks like a little pebble. You gasp again everything gets fuzzy. Your brain is growing sluggish. You begin to see double. You gasp one last time and think is… this… really…the…end? Then darkness surrounds you. Go back to beginning
Part Three: Mrs. Harrison
Thornton Creeks' south fork starts in the wetlands near Seattle Community College
it passes under Northgate Mall
at the Meadowbrook Pond it joins up the south fork joins up with the north fork
The south fork is semi healthy because there was some litter
You decide to ride out the flood. The waves toss you around as you shoot down the stream like a torpedo. Everything is a blur. Bumping into pebbles you immediately wish that you had swam to calm water.
the temperature for a salmon to survive at is 42-88 degrees Fahrenheit
the ideal temperature for a salmon to survive is 55 degrees Fahrenheit
salmon would rather have water with a natural pH of 7
the temperature effects the dissolved oxygen
Right out of the blue, orange webbed feet splash in the water like meteors. You veer of course to avoid collision with the feet, and swim into a rock. Everything goes black. Awakening, you find yourself in calm water, with a bridge not to far away. You head towards it.
The riparian zone is the section of vegetation that hangs over a stream.
The water is too warm without it.
Fish hide under the riparian zone.
by it helps fish and
You swim under the bridge and notice a perfect pool with a sand bed in it. Swimming closer, you notice a bunch of alevin learning how to swim. Then you see a larger fish, a fry like you, milling around with them. You ask, “What are you doing?” He says “I’m swimming around the alevin.” You notice that part of his dorsal fin is missing. He sees you looking at his half of a fin and says, “ The upper half of my dorsal fin was cut off by a soup can.”
Cutthroat trout are vicious feeders, they often feed on fry. They have tiny teeth that help them catch their food. Chinook salmon Like cold, clear water and can be identified by black gums and a bronze back. Cutthroat trout like murky water and have red gill covers. You grunt like a bear in your frustration as you futilely try to tug the heavier fish along. As you are swimming along he tells you that his name is Rill, and you both give your autobiographies. You see a mighty two foot waterfall and both you and Rill go plunging down it. Finally after recovering, you stop to rest behind a boulder. Both you and Rill are exhausted and you collapse on the rocky floor. Pitying him, you decide to help him down the stream. It is harder than you thought- pulling him over shallow parts of water and helping him navigate.
Thornton creek is an exit for lots of storm drains. Parts of Thornton creek is home to salmon. Parts of Thornton creek are nature reserves. The nitrate, phosphate and fecal coliform level in the part of Thornton creek I researched were at a contained level. The ph level was slightly acidic. When you get up, you notice that the water is very bright. You swim to the surface but are stopped by a steady wave of heat coming from above. The riparian zone must be smaller than usual. For a ways down the stream, you both keep to the bottom. You see a disturbance in the water- a small log is slowing the water down. Suddenly you smack into something hard and limply float down the stream into a very dark hole.
OTHER THINGS IN TORNTON CREEK There are lots of things in Thornton creek. There are many predators and many few things that don’t eat salmon. The amount of litter in Thornton creek makes it hard for some things to live in. over all there are lots of things in Thornton creek from bacteria to brown bears. . “I don’t think we should go through the culvert,” you say as Rill swims closer to it. “Why not,” Rill asks as he swims even closer to the drain. “I smell food beyond the culvert.” “Okay, fine let’s go,” you reply. Once you swim through the culvert you realize you were foolish to follow Rill. You look around and realize that you are in a large riffle, the riparian zone hangs low over your head and you are sucked into the current. The water rushes towards you and you are forced the swim behind a stone. An otter swims by. “Food,” yells the otter as it rockets by. You and Rill are propelled into a side stream. The side stream is shady with no riparian zone and only one slender tree. “Hey watch where you’re going,” yells an angry beaver as it splashes by yelling at you. The otter you saw earlier swims toward you and Rill, it misses you again. “No,” it exclaims as it darts by again You glance around the river, you can swim to the path the otter swam along or to the path the beaver followed. Which do you choose? Follow the otter Follow the beaver
Part Four: Mrs. Harrison
The fecal coliforum test is positive, which is very unhealthy
The water temperature is in the healthy range
The ph is also in the healthy range
Based on the smell and look of the stream the quality is pretty poor
You chase after the otter. It has been so enjoyable following him that you are starting to get a little tired. You deeply admire how he seems to have an endless supply of energy. He has as much energy as a dolphin. As you slow down you decide to rest in a quiet, rocky pool and look for some food. You get lucky and spot an insect. You try to gulp it down, but you miss. Suddenly, you spot another fry resting in the pool. You notice that the tip of his dorsal fin is cut off. You swim over and introduce yourself.
Riparian zones are the area next to the stream that has plants, bushes and trees
Meadowbrook pond started as a wetland, got turned into a sewage plant, then tuned into Meadowbrook pond
Riparian zones are very important to streams for many things such as flood control
Riparian zones are important to the water quality of a stream
“ My name is Finn,” he says, “I was just watching that otter. Isn’t it amazing?” “ I wish we could keep up with it and follow it.” You reply. “ Why don’t we” Finn says. Both of you start swimming towards the otter. As you get closer you notice it doing flips through the water. Suddenly the otter swims off to fast for you to catch up. You do manage to catch a glance at what the otter was swimm ing at. It was another fish. Horrified, you watch the otter catch the fish and then swim off. “ Don’t worry,” Finn says, “The otter won’t eat us, he only eats adult salmon and we’re frys.” You watch as Finn drifts off, leaving you behind.
It seemed to be extra dark today because you couldn’t see much. You looked above at the surface of the water and saw a moving object. You wonder what it is. You start swimming at the object. The shape is very familiar and you see that the dorsal fin is cut off a little. “It’s Finn, you say,” out loud. Finn turns around. “What took you so long?” “ I was looking for you,” You say. You then notice that he has a bunch of insects in his mouth. “Hey, where did you get that many insects?” You ask.
Beavers live in dome-like structures called lodges.
They live in the Meadowbrook area of Thornton Creek.
They eat leaves, bark, twigs, roots, and aquatic animals.
They are 3-4 ft. long, and weigh 35-66 lb.
“ I got them in that pool over their.” Finn says. You swim over to the pool, and sure enough there are bunches of miniscule plankton all around. You start eating away as much as you can because you haven’t eaten for hours. “ Let’s go find the otter again, Finn says. Anyway, I think I saw it going down that stream.” “ I guess we can, but let’s not follow it too closely.”
Otters live in dens, located usually in marshes, or wooded streams, lakes, and rivers.
Otters eat crustaceans, reptiles, amphibians, and insects, but mostly fish.
They grow to be 3-4 feet long, and weigh 10-24 lb.
Return to the beginning
Part Five: Mrs. Harrison
. You was still hiding when it swam again really close to me, this time it smelt me. It started chasing me under a tree, over a rock, faster, faster I urged my fins. I outran it finally. I was exhausted and my whole body ached, my fins where scratched and sore. The otter past again and again it found my I was in a new chase. I also knew that if I got caught I would die, I would be otter food. I swam desperately between two rocks in to a small pool. There was a cut-thought trough in the pool. It bit me and you die.
You join your friends for finding food. It has seemed so long since you have sprung out of the egg. All your adventures so far the flood, the beaver, and so much more, it has seemed like you have lived a million months. The thin, shrubby riperion zone is above you. The earth around you seems so vast and open. You wonder what life would be like out of the stream. That thought vanishes fast. You continue your journey to Lake Washington. Now you’re traveling down stream fast, suddenly another salmon and you bump in to each other.
They weigh about 3 to 5 kilos (7-11 lbs.
They can grow to be 71 cm (28 inches) long.
They have silver sides and dark blue backs.
Coho’s turn a
rosy pink color.
Hello I’m Zoe.” She says “ Um… Um…” you say “ Which way are you heading?” Zoe asks “ That way.” You point your fin “ Me too.” She says ecstatically You swim together for fifteen minutes. Zoe tells you she’s from the south fork of Thornton creek and she has 481 siblings. You explain where you from and tell her your story. “ Your so funny.” She tells you “ I can’t wait to go to the ocean.” You say “ Me too.” What’s that sound” you ask “ Uh Oh” Zoe says You hear screeching from behind. It sounds like an eagle you franticly try to find a hiding place in the stream’s edge. The eagle started to swoop down.
Salmon find ther originail creek by electric magnetic navigation, a strong sense of smell and celestial navigation.
They go to the ocean too gain nutrients to spawn
They encounter natural dangers including bears, foxes, sea lions, snakes, birds, whales and seals and human made dangers are
storm drains, culverts and
While in an estuary
they eat a variety of things
including algae, herring
and smaller fish.
the salmon go through Thornton to lake Washington to lake union to the Puget sound
they have to go through the Ballard fish ladder to get to the Puget sound
in the pacific ocean they stay there for two years
The eagle came close to the water, you can tell that the bird knows you’re in the deep pools because he’s looking strait at you. You’re terrified you had seen eagles and how they came down on a helpless fish, and picked them up and flew away. Zoe had told you that eagles were as bears and bears weren’t kind. You had seen that before and you do not want it to happen to you right now. Flying down closer and closer, you can see the eagle’s claws shimmer like silver, they are sharp and could probably kill you the moment they touched. You had forgotten Zoë was there, while you were trying to hide yourself. The eagle was headed straight at Zoë you try to swim over to her fast to save her, but its already to late the eagle has her in his mouth. It flies high up a second
They need cold clean water.
They need dissolved oxygen.
They need a pH of 7
A good source of food.
later you see something falling from the sky it looks like it’s the shape of a fish. You think its Zoë. Could she still be alive? Then you swim over to where the splash was you have hope in your heart that your friend is still alive but when you see what’s in the water your hope is gone. The water is murky from the dirt that came up when Zoë fell through the mess you can see a body belonging to a fish that you only knew for fifteen minutes, Zoë. You where so sad you felt like sacrificing yourself to the eagle. You decided to go back to the group you were swimming with.
Thornton Creek is home of many plants, and animals.
Its estuary like every other one is part salty and part fresh water.
Some of the animals that live in estuaries are scallops, shrimp, and salmon
“ Is any one here?” you say. Still scared you wait for a response. “ Me, Tyson.” You hear from far away You see Tyson eating something but you don’t know what it is until you get close a see he is eating a smaller fish. You ask where did you get the fish? I saw him swimming by. Oh well you don’t care. Want to come with me to the lake? “ Sure” Tyson said. Ok off you go to the lake, Ready to start your life as an adult salmon in the ocean.
As the salmon start to get ready for the salt water they change into Smoltz.
They color also changes for camouflage.
Gilles and kidneys change to adapt to salt water.
Back to Start So we are here. How do you like it? It is Very nice and very calm. So what do you want to do first? Find a home. Ok you find a home. Night comes pouring all over the ocean making it black. So you go to sleep in the ocean for the first and wake up the next day get food and do the same thing over again.
Part One: Mrs. Rose
You feel alone despite the fact that you are surrounded by thousands of other salmon who you classify as ‘friends.’ You have come out of your redd in the cool, gravelly shade of the riparian zone overhead and have lost your yolk sack. You are as nervous as a student right before a large test. Another salmon comes up to you and you note his characteristics, he is, let’s say, unintelligent. He also has other traits, for example the fact that he crashes into rocks a lot and looks lovingly at the pond algae. “ Hello, I’m Albert,” he says. “ So, what do you do for entertainment around here?” You ask, while looking at the dull rocks and logs. “All I can see is fetching those really round white objects with lots of dents, but that would be boring.” “ Well I like to swim around in circles looking at the pond algae,” he answers. “ I’ll pass on that,” You say. He is such an idiot, you think. He is in love with pond algae and swims in circles for entertainment. Why do I have to be his companion, I mean, seriously. Eggs are a red and pink color and are about a half centimeter Alevin live in fresh water and eat their yolk sack Eggs live in fresh water Before hatching a salmon egg lives in a redd, a redd is a salmon nest; elongated oval depression in the streambed that is algae free
Some things that affect streams are, yard fertilizer, pets, litter, and run off from cars. Fertilizer affects salmon in the form of cancer, birth defects and immune suppression. Lakes or streams that have metals like aluminum in them give fish thick mucus over gills. Fertilizer that is not harmful to salmon are things like compost. “Hi pond algae, I love you, I mean I love my yolk sack.” Albert says to the pond algae while trying to look cool, which results in him denting his forehead on a large rock. Unfortunately for Albert, as the pond algae has no larynx, it therefore can’t respond
pH of Thornton Creek is 6.5 which is pretty normal for a stream. Stream bed is made of stones, gravel, mud, sand, clay and dead wood. Water is clear sometimes brownish tint. Lots of human made changes like roads, pipes and storm drains . You decide to go down a stream to search for food with your more intelligent friends. But of course Albert follows. You swim away from Albert to lose him as you think, Why me? Why me? Why me? Why do I always meet the idiots? From around the corner, you hear Albert’s call of “Help,” echo down a pipe. Ignoring him, you chase a stone fly larva.
He yells, “Help, I really, really need your help!” again, right as you chomp the bug. “ Can it wait? I’m concentrating,” you yell. You say, “Whoa,” as you taste more salty blood than you think that tiny little bug would have. Perplexed, you look around. You see the source of the extra blood – something upstream. You hear a chocked moan. You notice Albert’s fish tail sticking out of the water and you see him impaled by a yellow hexagonal object with a sharp black point on one end and a sort of squishy pink item attached to the other. You think, Oh God, I am the worst pretend friend ever. Albert needed help, and I went chasing bugs. How does a salmon lay eggs? How many? First, the female digs a redd, then she lays eggs, waits for a male, and then covers the redd w/ gravel from upstream edge. The female lays about 5,000 eggs in one redd and can lay up to 7 redds. Redds can be 1 to 2 feet wide and 6 to 10 feet long.
What is a watershed? An area encompassing a drainage basin All groundwater exits through a specific point Thornton Creek watershed is in Shoreline and Seattle, WA Thornton Creek watershed is _ mi tall x _ mi wide
Back at the nest your friends seem as hopeless as you are. “What can we do,” asked a girly salmon with a lisp named Fin, “we’re all too thmall and weak to find food and I don’t think that there are any other fifth who could or would help uth.” “ Well, you’re wrong about that,” said a loud friendly voice, “we’d be delighted to help you newbies find some food.” “ Yeah,” added another voice, “you don’t think that we’d let you kids starve, do you?” The first voice says to you, “Come on, we found a bunch of bugs and we’d be willing to share.” You look up and there are two large cutthroat trout looking at you. “Well, come on,” said Fin, “they thay there’th food, let’th go get thome.” You and the rest of your redd mates agree.
As you’re swimming, the trout introduce themselves as Tooth and Scar, they say that they found a large swarm of bugs in a large pool around the bend. “The way’s full of roots though” said Scar, “and we’ll need to go through with only one fish at a time with me and Tooth leading you.” You and the others all groan but agree in the end, food is food after all. Fin was first going deep into the tangle of roots with Scar and Tooth. In about five minutes Scar and Tooth came back without Fin and motioned for another fish to follow, followed by another. Finally it is your turn. I have an uneasy feeling about this, you think. Scar went in front and Tooth went behind. The roots were dark and soon closed all around you so you couldn’t see behind or ahead. “ Come on,” said Tooth “the food is waiting.” “ Yeah,” Scar chuckled “for us.” Your last thought is, well, I guess I get to apologize to Albert. Fry eat aquatic insects like macroinvertebrates and plankton Fry find their food while they are swimming and in a pool Fry are fresh water salmon In the fry stage salmon lose their yolk sacks and begin to search for food Go Back to Beginning
Part Two: Mrs. Rose
After deciding to explore for food, you come to a gentle stream. Lots of logs are strewn about on the river bank and in the watercourse. You look down and see a soft and sandy bottom. Looking up, you can see houses and an acceptable riparian zone. The banks are covered in trees, giving enough shade to make the water cool and refreshing. Cruising along the river side, you find a pleasant pool with many insects floating around. Gobbling them all up, you proceed on your way, enjoying the scenery.
The structure of the stream helps salmon because if a salmon waits in a pool then a riffle spits out food.
A substrate channel is a channel that runs on the bottom of a stream bed.
A good stream structure for a salmon has rocks, pools, riffles, an o.k. riparian zone, substrate channels, and other things.
Riffles and pools are extremely important to salmon because if a salmon would like to rest they can do that in a pool and a riffle helps with/for food
Floods help riparian zones grow. It also carries food down stream for salmon to eat in the pools that they hang out in. Floods accelerate the growth of plankton. Dams were designed to help control flooding, but fish like salmon have to somehow get around them. All of a sudden, the water level increases. Water begins to slosh off of the bank. Just as you come to the surface, a great wall of water rushes around the corner. A fish flails on top, screaming warnings, “Oh my gosh we’re all going to die! Ah! Ah! Ah! Look out below!” At this moment you are just beginning to acknowledge that there is a flood right in front of you, when suddenly you are sucked up, spun around and around, and are launched to the surface gasping for air. Finding some tricks to keep your stability, you regain your balance and begin to navigate around dangerous objects. You proceed like this, practicing swimming in a flood for the next stretch, which, luckily, isn’t very steep.
Fry salmon look like little salmon
They are brown green and have lost their egg sack.
They are kind of fat with brown spots.
They eat little insects like mosquitoes, water spiders and flies.
Coming down the river you reach a steep riffle. The water froths and foams, roaring as it speeds up. By this time, you are zooming like a swordfish. You have to be more careful here. "This flood is proving quite dangerous," you say to yourself as you quickly swerve to avoid a sharp rock. As you tumble downward, you decide you'd better stick to the banks in this treacherous stretch. Throwing all your weight to the side, you manage to reach the edge of the bank. Unluckily, the current whips you even faster here, sweeping you along. The stream flattens abruptly, and sliding off an upturned rock, you are flung upwards. Sailing through the air, you hear the wind whipping around you until you collide with something slippery. You are dorsicumbent for a second, before being bounced back into the water. "Ugh" you hear, before blacking out.
The fins of the salmon help
it to balance and turn
The swim bladder is an organ inside the salmon that releases and sucks in gas, allowing the salmon to go up and down in
Salmon need to have lots of fat to keep warm in cold waters.
To swim, a salmon will contract the muscles in the right side of the body, which pulls the tail that way, which pushes water and propels
the fish forward. This will
then be repeated on the
Waking up, you are in a small cave off to the side of the river. The interior of the pool is light; water churns violently just outside the sheltered area, and oodles of sunlight spill in. You take a minute to catch your breath. Examining the pool more closely, you realize that another salmon is in there with you. He appears to be unconscious, so you swim over to him and try to shake him. Starting to groan, he stirs a little. Opening one eye, he asks, "Are you the one who flew into me, shoved me into a rock, knocked me out, and shook me to death just to wake me up?" "That was me," you reply. "I slid off of a rock and was thrown into the air. I went out too. This flood is really stirring things up around here." "Yes," he replies. "I'm Floyd, by the way." "Hi, Floyd," you say. He seems like he'll be an excellent companion. He swims over to the entrance and peers out. "Not looking great," he exclaims, turning to face me. "I think we'll have to ride out the flood here." "Yes," you agree.
Floyd and you spend the next three hours waiting and eating anything that gets washed into your cove. "Well, it's been a long day" you sigh. "We should get some rest." You retreat into you favorite nook in the back of the cove. Just as you reach the nook, it explodes. Pieces of river bank are flying in every direction. Water is gushing into the cove from above, sweeping everything into the hard current. "Floyd!" you shout over the rushing water. Unexpectedly, a face pops up in front of you. "Follow me," he yells back. Floyd takes off, darting between rocks jutting from the foaming water. As he swims, you do your best to follow. A waterfall looms into view. It's not a particularly far drop, but at the speed you're going, it doesn't look like the greatest path to take. Floyd keeps on heading at it though, and you follow. He’s thrusting right, next to the bank. "Floyd! What are you doing?" you yell, but it is no use, Floyd can’t hear you. He reaches the waterfall, and with a mighty leap, throws himself upward and off the edge with tremendous force. He flies as far as he can, and then flings himself to the right, and - Floyd is gone.
urban wildlife that lives near streams are birds, raccoons, squirrels, muskrats, mice and rats
Most of these animals eat plants
Raccoons feed on grubs, insects, small rodents and sometimes small animals
Squirrels are part of the rodent family
"Floyd!" you scream, trying to duplicate his jump. You have flown just as far as Floyd, but not as far to the right. Looking down, you see where Floyd was aiming for: a calm pool located off to the side of the stream. You try desperately to swerve, but it is no use. You won't make the pool. Looking back at the main stream, you are horrified. A sharp rock is jutting ominously out of the water right where you will land. It’s as horrendous as a bear. You scream, though no one can hear you over the crashing water. Getting closer and closer, jerked upside down, can't seem to tell which way is up and which is down, and then - something hard hits you at maximum force from the side. You splash into the main stream and sink halfway to the bottom before regaining your senses and swimming back up. A voice calls to you, "You have to put the right pectoral fin up. Otherwise, you'll only make yourself go farther left." It was Floyd. "How'd you know about that pool?" you ask him, getting your balance. "Oh, I've been here before. I discovered that one on accident last time I came down here." You are so thankful that Floyd had gotten you out of there, while giving up his own safety in the pool, that you don't ask any more questions. You just swim along, grateful that you've made it this far.
Information about the site where the salmon are at this point in the story: Temperature: 10 0C (great for salmon) PH: 6 (Normal) Dissolved Oxygen: 5ppm (Tolerable, but Stressful) Lots of bugs to eat Lots of places to hide Lots of obstacles Water mainly calm The stream ushers you into a small, narrow, bumpy creek. It is raining. The water is roaring loader than ever, breaking your eardrums like they are twigs. All you can see is the plants and the branches sticking out of the mossy trees. The water seems to strangle you, pressing in from all sides. You try to grab a bite to eat, but the insects you see rush before you can even move, you are going down the creek much too fast. You try to slow down, but have already accelerated a great deal more than you should have. You see a single insect at the bottom of this stretch and try to swim to it, but by the time you reach it the rough water has already swept you away. Reaching a fork in the river, you are confronted with a hard choice. On the left you can just make out a sheltered area where you could try to ride out the flood. Peering the other way, you glimpse a wide side stream that may take you to calm water. You must choose quickly, before you are swept downwards towards a random path. Which will you choose? Ride out flood Swim to calm water
Part Three: Mrs. Rose
You outswim the flood and you find yourself in a tiny safe area of a riffle. The water seems a bit colder and it’s the worst smell you have ever smelled before. The water has a slick, rainbowy, substance. “Maybe it’s just me,” you say out loud to yourself. You want to investigate, but the stream has already pulled you on. You look around and see lush trees and a little further on, spiky, dangerous blackberry bushes. Your stomach is growling so you simply turn up stream and open your mouth so water bugs can flow into it. You’re extremely cautious of your surroundings, because a young salmon could die almost any where. Other than salmon more aquatic life that live in Thornton creek are cut throat trout Algae and frogs In Thornton creek some plants are moss, horse tail, blackberry bushes In addition to salmon, other animals that live in Thornton Creek are cut-throat trout, ducks, and frogs.
Suddenly a splash erupts and a young salmon much like yourself swims straight into you. The little fish starts babbling on and on in a loud squeaky voice about some other salmon. You manage to understand that her name is Bubbles. She seems upset about the salmon she was talking about. What was she talking about? You’re quite scared. “ Oh, I am so relieved to find you, and you don’t even know about Rustic, and...” said Bubbles. Eventually, you manage to get a word in. “Who is Rustic?” She sobs and says, “My brother.” Then she perks up and says, “What’s your name?” You say your name and ask, “Why are you so upset. In all my days of life I have never seen another fish upset about a dead sibling. “ One brother, one brother, he was my only living relative. All my siblings were eaten by a bear. So Rustic and I swam on alone, but then a bird came down and ate him,” Bubbles cries.
You swim on with Bubbles at your side, when you hit something solid. You and Bubbles tentatively look, with the growing thought that the object you ran straight into is something you shouldn’t be behind, next to, or in front of. In the next minute, events happen so fast you barely get to breathe. You look up and just glimpse a duck’s face, Bubbles squeals so loudly that your head hurts. In fear of being duck food, you and Bubbles bolt behind a mossy rock. Out of breath and shaking, you and Bubbles wait in the darkness together. A river that can house young salmon would need to have hiding places, it should have lot’s of food, it should have riffles and pools, it should have both sonny and shady places, and it should not have low hanging branches they could get caught on. The Cut- Throat Trout has about the same needs except they don’t try to get to Lake Washington they stay in the streams and eat the food that comes threw.
Suddenly the duck’s head pops around the rock; you and Bubbles swim backwards until you hit the mossy riverbank. You totally forgot about the duck staring in to Bubbles eyes, and, surprising you, the duck says, in an Australian accent, “No need to be scared, Mate! I am just a duck, Phil, and this is my wife, Susan.” Then Susan says, “Leave the little chaps alone.” To you and Bubbles she says, “Come out. We won’t hurt you, we promise. Please.” You and Bubbles come out and swim by Phil and Susan for a time but then Susan says, “Phil, we’re late for dinner. Sorry, but we must go.” So they swim off and you and Bubbles are left alone.
After meeting the ducks and going forward you feel confident that there won’t be any more challenges, and that you and Bubbles will safely make it to the end of the stream. Some instinct guides you downstream and out of the blue comes a huge and dangerous looking rapid. Bubbles states, “Ladies first, ladies first.” She looks down the frightening rapid and says, “Actually, I’m going to let you go first this time.” The sky is getting dark, and you don’t want to waste any more time. You hurl yourself into the rapid. The rapid eats you up. You tumble down stream like an angry tornado, looking for Bubbles face. The riparian zone is an area that covers most of that part of the stream with vegetation. Riparian comes from ripa , witch is Latin for bank. The riparian zone is good for the streams, fish, and humans. A healthy riparian zone has a line of green on the streams floor.
You’re getting tired, so you and Bubbles find a quiet place to close your eyes. In the morning, a loud boom and the ground beneath you gives way. It wakes you up. You and Bubbles are on a cave floor and Bubbles. Four minuets later, wakes up and she’s as babbly as usual. You see a way out of the dark cave. Without thinking you come near it. At that point, you know it was a terrible idea, because you see so many streams, obstacles, rapids, etc. You have no clue where to go. You look left and you look right but all you see is the deep water of the stream. You don’t know how you will survive, but you know somehow you will and out of the blue you see two shapes. You don’t know what they are, so you swim a little closer to make out the shapes. The water quality is good in this part of the stream for instance the ph is six and the dissolved oxygen is 3.5. The water temperature is ten degrees and that is very good for the salmon, almost perfect. The site is covered in trees at one side and the other side has less, but still a lot of trees. There were bridges and garbage and one pipe.
Dissolved oxygen, pools and riffles are all needed for salmon life. 42-88* F are the ideal temperatures for salmon life, but 55* F is the best. Salmon take in dissolved oxygen through their gills. Riffles push dissolved oxygen into the water. Chasing the beaver sounds dangerous, but it’s so tempting. If the beaver goes that way it could kill them by pounding them against the stream bank. The bubbles are a little less interesting, but they are much safer yet, the bubbles could be from another salmon, a predator, or something else. That “something else” could mean death, help to the lake, a companion, or maybe even a shortcut. The first group of shadows looks like some strange bubbles. You turn to see where these mysterious bubble type shapes came from. You notice that the other shape looks a lot like a beaver. You are very curious about both the beaver and the bubbles. Do they lead to your goal, are they just there, or do they lead to death? Who knows?
People are working to either remove culverts or make them “salmon friendly”. Along with that, they are putting in fresh gravel for spawning. Then they put in logs and/or branches to hold gravel in place and make spawning areas for salmon. In addition, they are planting trees to provide shelter and hiding places for salmon. Bubbles is still hiding in the shelter, looking scared. You know you will have to go on without her. The beaver shape is getting farther and farther away. If you don’t decide now, you won’t have an option. Which one do you pick?
Look into the bubbles Explore the beaver
Part Four: Mrs. Rose
Some challenges that salmon might have are Cut throat trout might eat them, not enough food in the area, trees might fall on them, other animals such as otters, birds, plenaria, a type of non-parasitic flatworm, and fisherman.
Culverts are conduits used to enclose a flowing body of water.
Culverts may be used to pass underneath a road, railway or embankment.
One poorly placed culvert could be extremely dangerous for salmon, but if they are placed correctly, they help salmon.
You decide to go explore the bubbles. There are lots of rocks and plants around you, yet the water is calm. It is pretty clear, but there are a lot of bugs. You swim at full speed, dodging some plants on the way. A blurry shape crashes blindingly into your head. “ Ouch”, You exclaim suddenly. You take a minute to catch your breath. The creature comes into view. It seems to be another young salmon. “Ouch. You have quite a hard head. You ran right into me.” He exclaims. “ Sorry, I didn’t see you.” You apologize. “ That’s OK. My name’s Perin.” The salmon says, in a calm voice. You introduce yourself. “ I was just on my way to go explore those bubbles.” Perin tells you. “ What a coincidence. So was I. We should probably go together. Just in case of any danger lurking around”,. You explain. “ Good idea.” Perin agrees. You and Perin swim towards the bubbles.
Wetlands are habitats that fall on the environmental spectrum between land and water. They contain a mixture of species, conditions and interactions. They are among the most diverse and varied habitats. Wetland soils (hydric soils) are shaped by water. Soils are saturated/submerged all or part of the year. Wetlands are highly productive communities Wetlands have a high level of nutrients with the availability of water, they provide ideal habitats for fish, amphibians, shellfish and insects. Many birds and mammals rely on wetlands for food, water, and shelter. You swim for a little while. Overhead there is a cluster of green trees making a riparian zone. You haven’t eaten in a pretty long time. “Do you know anywhere we can find food?” You ask, hungrily. “ Sure follow me”, Perin says. You follow him, as he swims off briskly. When he finally tells you, “Well here we are”, you feel relived. You notice that the water is much calmer and clearer than usual water. You swim around, eating some insects here and there. After a while you notice two small people by the river bank. You think they are called children. They appear to be playing with several small objects that are different colors.
Slowly you notice a silvery glint coming from a little cave near by. “What is that”, you ask in a questioning manner, “in that cave over there.” You point your fin towards the cave. Perin turns his head slowly. “Watch out! That’s a Cut Throat Trout!” You crash into rocks trying to get away from the trout, the rocks scrape your scales, and you cry out in pain. “ Perin!” You call out. Perin is trying to fight off the trout, but it is too strong.
Just when it is about to eat you, one of the children drops their little light purple object on the trout, and knocks it out. Water appears to be coming out of the child's eyes. You and Perin are startled by the small purple object and swim away quickly. Soon you see the small bubbles in the water again.
• pH level is 8
• stream is healthy because the tests said it was
water is clear
• smells normal
What does the river otter look like, eat, and what is its habitat? It eats bugs, and rodents It looks like a marmot, and has a big fleshy tail They live next to river and streams in burrows.
The bubbles are actually coming from a group of fellow salmon, they see you and one of the salmon starts talking to you. “Hello would you like to come with us?” the salmon asks, Perin gives you a skeptical look. Probably because he wants to explore. He shakes his head, then says “I’m going to explore some more!,” and Perin swims off never to be seen again. Would you like to explore some more, or follow the other salmon?
Go explore some more Follow other salmon
Part Five: Mrs. Rose
You are naturally adventurous and you want to know the territory better before you find a resting place. Who knows what is out there? You smell something, a rather large insect. You head over to the food and catch it by its tail. Looking up you find yourself in a small pool with murky banks and dark shadows. As you nibble the insect you sense a new fish swimming towards you. As the fish swims closer you move closer to your food, you are still hungry and want to finish your bug. Finally the stranger comes to a stop before you.
The salmon lose markings that camouflage them against the stream’s gravel and take on a slivery color
They grow rapidly as they feed on plankton and small fish
By the time they enter the estuary can be as old as 2 years
Some animals in lake Washington are ducks, spiders, seagulls and Cut Throat Trout
“ Howdy, my name ith Darwin, wath your name?” says Darwin. Introducing yourself you take a good look at Darwin. He is missing the tip of his caudle fin and one of his eyes is letting of a sickening smell. He is at least three times larger than you and a dull muddy color. You guess he is half blind but you are not positive. Darwin keeps talking, and you learn that he is coming back for spawning, he is indeed half blind, and is a Coho like you. You also notice that Darwin is acting insane; he seems to be suffering from Coho amnesia. You conclude this after he introduces himself for the fourth time. You offer to share the food and Darwin accepts.
Some characteristics of salmon in the ocean are: white gum line and nostrils, black tongue
They also have a dark metallic blue back, black spots on the back and the caudle fin
The average adult salmon is 60 to 76 1/2 cm long
The salmon in the estuary mainly eat plankton
“ Mmmmmmmmmmmmmm, bug wath good .” exclaims Darwin after he finishes the insect. By this time, you figure out that Darwin likes bugs. You try to not let him get in your way, but he still darts around the pool looking for snacks. “Are you done eating yet?” You ask him. You are about to leave him when you see some gloppy purple stuff floating around in the water. Swimming towards it you open your mouth. The purple stuff tastes very sweet and sticky. Rout to lake Washington Starts around Jackson’s Golf Course and goes south to Lake Washington. Then it empties into the Puget Sound through the locks. At the locks they have steps that go up the locks. They use Thornton creek as a way to get to lake Washington. Thornton Creek Goes under many roads.
Sight five Is over populated by ducks. Good riparian zone. Okay water quality (6ppm). Right next to lake Washington You feel bad for Darwin, he is probably going to die because he has no brains. No brains, no survival you think. “Hey Darwin, come over here,” you shout. He swims over in a slow awkward motion. He opens his mouth and says, “Thith tasth better than bug.” You and Darwin slowly consume all of the purple stuff. You feel a rush of temporary energy and so does Darwin. “Food.” yells Darwin and bolts away through the pool into a riffle.
Salmon migration On their migration the salmon go to somewhere like lake Washington or Puget Sound, then after they get big and fat they return to where they were born to spawn, then they die. The salmon usually starts it migration at its Parr stage. The salmon is led to Lake Washington and back by its instinct. Many common dangers/hazards that the salmon encounters are fishermen, dieses, larger fish and Birds. Following Darwin you arrive through the riffle into a vast pool with many ducks and fat newborn flies floating on the water. The pool was also filled with muddy water and debris. Many rocks were scattered at the bottom. “Darwin come back here!” You yell as Darwin bullets after a rather plump spider skimmer. You are still feeling sorry for him so you dash after him as quickly as your caudal fin can take you. You continue to follow Darwin until you see a shadow looming above.
An Estuary is a body of water where fresh water meets salt water and mixes.
A Salmon normally travels through an Estuary in its Smoltz stage.
A Salmon travels through here because of its instinct.
The Estuaries purpose to a salmon is to get the salmons lungs adapted to the salt water and when the salmon is heading back, to get the salmon used to fresh water.
“Heads up!” you scream, but Darwin, being so hungry for the taste of insect does not pay any attention to your warning. Suddenly, you see a gigantic Blue Herring dive from above and spear Darwin on his blind side. Swimming away you look back to see that the bird had opened its beak which stretched Darwin into two pieces of bloody mesh. Feeling even worse you pick up your speed until you sense powerful wings behind you. A sharp beak closes around you. You feel the life being squeezed out of your tiny body, the much needed blood oozing out and leaving a trail of red as pure and important as a brain. Your eyes close as you lose all senses; total darkness surrounds you, forever. YOU HAVE DIED Return to the beginning