Salmon Says

Follow the fish

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

There’s no denying that denizens of Whatcom County are interested in what happens to the salmon who spawn in local waters every fall. 

Whether they’re attending Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association-led outdoor work parties to help maintain or improve their habitat, creating art to donate to local auctions to do the same, or—in the case of two events taking place Sat., Sept. 19—partaking in feats of athleticism with fish-focused themes, it’s clear our community is behind the silver swimmers.

Since 2003, the Chums of Terrell Creek have been promoting salmon recovery in the Terrell Creek watershed. The nonprofit was formed in response to community concerns about safe shellfish harvesting and clean recreational water, and has since expanded its efforts to include water quality in both Terrell Creek and Birch Bay.

The “Chums” have made a clear difference. Among their accomplishments: Six fish barriers have been replaced, 15 stream miles have been opened to fish, as many as 100,000 eggs are incubated annually, and the Lake Terrell Dam has been been made passable to salmon. There have also been numerous volunteer work parties, more than 22,000 native plants have been established, and approximately 48,000 feet of riparian area has been improved and protected.

At the third annual “Run with the Chums” taking place Sept. 19 at Ferndale’s BP Highlands, environmental education will be at the forefront of the festivities. After running or walking the 5K route, attendees can stick around to learn where the water in their neighborhoods goes, and how it affects the humans and animals who depend on it. Exhibits, information tables, guest speakers and more will be part of the free Whatcom Water Weeks event, and all are invited.

The same goes for Recreation Northwest’s “Vital Choice Bellingham Traverse,” the 13th annual relay race that celebrates the journey of wild salmon via running, biking and paddling through Bellingham’s parks, trails and waterways.

Starting at noon Sat., Sept. 19 at Boundary Bay Brewery, participants—including Chinook (solo), Coho (tandem) and Chum (relay teams)—will set off on their adventures, including a 5.5.-mile Greenways run, a six-mile mountain biking course, an 18-mile road bike ride, a 3.4-mile trail run, and a 3.6-mile paddle. Once you and your teammates have reunited, it’s a short team trek from Cornwall Beach to the finish line, where an ice-cold beer awaits.

Whether you’re in the race or are cheering on friends and family from the sidelines, keep in mind that stewardship of our land is at the heart of the event.

“Humans race—salmon journey,” reads an explanation of the event in the Traverse Guidebook. “Salmon emerge from the gravel, enter our streams and navigate challenging natural and urban terrain to open water. You will join them in spirit as you race across land and through water.

“Salmon are the yardstick of our community health. If our salmon are healthy and thriving, the economy and community are more likely to be healthy and thriving. The Bellingham Traverse is designed to raise awareness for and celebrate the lifecycle of wild salmon while fostering relationships among community members.”

More Outdoors...
Roadside Attractions
Treasure hunting in Skagit

As per the Lady of the House’s request, we’d spent the entire morning blazing trails through the streets of Bellingham methodically patronizing every garage sale in sight. Although the material effectiveness of this operation couldn’t be disputed, her hesitance to push the…

more »
Water Week
It’s everybody’s business

Just in time for Whatcom Water Week, the rain gods have returned in full force to remind us the vital resource is one we can’t take for granted.

While the recent change in weather might’ve curtailed late-summer plans for one last dip in your favorite swimming hole or caused grumbling…

more »
Skagit Paddle
A river runs through it

Paddling down the Skagit River, the last thing I expected was a current running up the South Fork, pushing me into the North Fork.

My car was at the Conway boat ramp. I’d gotten a ride to Burlington and already paddled three hours against blustery winds. The North Fork leading to La…

more »
Eat Local Month

10:00am|Whatcom County

Vendovi Tours

10:00am|Vendovi Island

Boating Center Open

10:00am|Community Boating Center

Bard on the Beach

12:00pm|Vanier Park

La Cage Aux Folles

7:30pm|Bellingham Theatre Guild

The Wind in the Willows

7:30pm|Claire vg Thomas Theatre

Sin & Gin Tours

7:00pm|Downtown Bellingham, historic Fairhaven

Rabbit Ride

8:00am|Fairhaven Bicycle

Brunch on the Bay

10:00am|Bellingham Cruise Terminal

Edison Farmers Market

10:00am|Edison Granary

Banned Books Week


Langar in Lynden

11:00am|Guru Nanak Gursikh Gurdwara

Brunch and Learn

11:00am|Ciao Thyme

Your Vote Counts! Block Party

12:00pm|Depot Market Square

Audubon at the Museum

1:30pm|Whatcom Museum's Old City Hall

South Side Stories

2:00pm|Historic Fairhaven

Trivia Time

3:30pm|Boundary Bay Brewery

Waiting for the Whales

4:00pm|Village Books

Not-Creepy Gathering for People Who Are Single

6:00pm|Boundary Bay Brewery

Moon Walk


Trove Web
Eat Local Month

10:00am|Whatcom County

Vendovi Tours

10:00am|Vendovi Island

Boating Center Open

10:00am|Community Boating Center

Bard on the Beach

12:00pm|Vanier Park

Banned Books Week


Baker Lake Cleanup Signup Deadline

8:00am|Baker Lake

Wheelchair Gangball

3:30pm|Bloedel Donovan

Monday Night Pizza

5:30pm|Ciao Thyme Commons

Books on Tap

6:30pm|El Agave 2

Open Mic Night

7:00pm|Village Books


9:00pm|Firefly Lounge

Village Books Cascadia Weekly Subscribe Ad 1
Eat Local Month

10:00am|Whatcom County

Boating Center Open

10:00am|Community Boating Center

Bard on the Beach

12:00pm|Vanier Park

Banned Books Week


Rainbow Reads Book Club

3:00pm| Ferndale Library

All-Paces Run

6:00pm|Fairhaven Runners

Bellingham Reads

6:30pm|Bellingham Public Library

Skagit Folk Dancers

7:00pm|Bayview Civic Hall

Seabird Struggles

7:00pm|Whatcom Museum's Old City Hall

Beginning Square Dance Lessons

7:00pm|Ten Mile Grange

Warlbers and Woodpeckers

7:00pm|Village Books

Comedy Open Mic


see our complete calendar »

Cascadia Weekly Subscribe Ad 1 Village Books Trove Web