Kennedy Creek is a small low-land stream that flows into the head of Totten Inlet in Southern Puget Sound. It
is one of the most productive chum salmon production streams in
Washington State, with escapements averaging 41,000 spawners during
the ten-year period of 1992 - 2001.
The creek is accessible
for anadromous salmon migration and spawning from saltwater up-stream
for 2.3 miles to an impassible water fall. Since the large numbers
of chum salmon escaping to Kennedy Creek are confined to this relatively
short distance, there are extraordinary opportunities for viewing
Creek chum are a fall-run stock, generally returning to the stream
between mid-October and mid-December. The best viewing opportunities
are during the month of November.
For visitors to
wishing to view the chum salmon, the Kennedy Creek Salmon
Trail provides a unique opportunity. The trail was developed
by the South Puget Sound Salmon Enhancement Group, with the assistance
of numerous partners (see below) Visitors will find easy access, multiple
salmon viewing platforms, interpretive signs, and Trail Guides to
Creek chum salmon are on view as they make their way home to spawn.
The Kennedy Creek Salmon Trail is open for visitors every weekend
in November. This is an excellent opportunity for local residents
and school groups to see chum salmon in their natural environment.
trail, hosted by the South
Puget Sound Salmon Enhancement Group (SPSSEG), is almost entirely
ADA accessible. The interpretive trail is a low-impact trail system
with interpretive signs and viewing platforms for watching wild
chum salmon. The trail traverses riparian areas and pleasant second
growth lowland forest.
Purpose: The Trail offers salmon viewing and habitat interpretation in a
natural setting that educates students, teachers, and the general
public about what Washington's at-risk salmon runs need to survive
Open: Weekends in November. Also Veteran's Day and the day after Thanksgiving. Hours: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
get there: From Highway 101 in south Mason County, approximately
halfway between Olympia and Shelton, turn west at milepost 356
onto Old Olympic Highway. Go ¾ mile to the turn-off to
a gravel road signed "Kennedy Creek." Go ½
mile on the gravel road to the Salmon Trail parking area.
Field Trips, Group Tours and Classroom Programs: Reservations
for weekday visits in November for schools and other organized
groups and the new fish dissection in the classroom program
more than 2,200 school aged (K-12) children visited with their
teachers and chaperones.
more information or reservations: Contact the Trail
Coordinator, Stephanie Bishop, at Mason Conservation District
at (360) 427-9436 ext. 22 or 1-800-527-9436, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also contact the South Puget Sound Salmon Enhancement
Group (SPSSEG) at (360) 412-0808, website: http://spsseg.org/ or email email@example.com
Partners: The Kennedy Creek Salmon Trail was developed by South Puget Sound
Salmon Enhancement Group and Taylor United Shellfish Company, with
generous cooperation and assistance from: Eld Inlet Watershed Council,
The Evergreen State College, Mason Conservation District, People
for Salmon, Puget Sound Water Quality Action Team, Resource Action
Council, Robert W. Droll Landscape Architect, Simpson Timber Company,
South Sound Fly Fishers, South Sound GREEN, Southwest Puget Sound
Watershed Council, Squaxin Island Tribe, Washington Council B Trout
Unlimited, United States Navy Seabees, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service,
Washington Department of Natural Resources, Washington Department
of Fish and Wildlife, WSU Cooperative Extension, Washington Conservation
Corps, and many local teachers and volunteers.