Fishing and hunting
are only two of the recreational activities that people enjoy in the state
of Washington. Others include boating, riding off-road vehicles and wading
and swimming in streams and lakes.
Five species of salmon
(coho, king, sockeye, chum, pink) and steelhead use our streams and lakes
for spawning and rearing during the same time people use them for recreational
Salmon and steelhead
lay their eggs in spawning nests called “redds”. For the eggs
to survive and develop they need clean, loose gravel. If silt fills in
the spaces between the gravel, clean water cannot circulate and the eggs
may die from lack of oxygen or from accumulated waste products.
Even seemingly casual
recreational activities may decrease the spawning success of the very
fish that we enjoy. Many recreational activities can cause impacts that
we don’t even consider.
The following information
and web links will provide you with life history facts related to salmon
and steelhead, a summary of the spawning habitat requirements for salmon
and steelhead, and general timing information that identifies the time
of the year when spawning and incubation of salmon and steelhead eggs
occurs and therefore when caution should be taken when recreating in or
near streams or lakes.
Thank you for your
concern for the protection of salmon and steelhead spawning beds. As citizens
and visitors to the state of Washington we all wish to preserve and protect
the valuable natural resources that we enjoy. Salmon and steelhead are
one of our most valuable aesthetic, economic, and cultural resources.
It is our privilege to share the habitat that these species utilize to
spawn and rear. It is also all of our responsibility to ensure that we
do not impact these areas to the detriment of their successful reproduction.
It is our hope that
everyone will have fun, will have a rewarding outdoor experience, and
that everyone will recreate wisely.
For additional information
check out these links: