Fish and Wildlife in Mukilteo's Japanese and Big Gulch
27 Pages Posted: 30 Jan 2015
Date Written: January 28, 2015
Urban streams and their associated riparian zones in western Washington contain important fish and wildlife habitat. This report summarizes the results of two seasons of in-stream salmon spawner surveys from November and December 2013 and 2014 and three years of wildlife surveys using tracking and camera traps from January 2012 to December 2014. Students from the Learn and Serve Environmental Anthropology Field (LEAF) School at Edmonds Community College conducted the surveys in Japanese and Big Gulches in response to requests from the City of Mukilteo and Snohomish County Airport. The surveys demonstrate that adult coho have returned to Japanese Gulch for the third year in a row after the completion of a significant stream restoration project removing four major barriers to salmon migration. The surveys confirm reports of salmon (both coho and chum) returning to spawn in Big Gulch and provide the first evidence of coho pre-spawn mortality in this stream. The surveys add six news species to lists of known fish and wildlife using Japanese Gulch and confirm an additional 27 species reported by other sources. This report initiates a new list of 34 species documented in Big Gulch, 30 of which had not been reported in other consulted sources. Collectively, the surveys demonstrate the ecological value of these two urban streams as fish and wildlife habitat. With contributions from 122 students, faculty, staff, and community members over a three year period, this project also demonstrates the value of citizen science and community engagement to the education of community college students and the endeavors of municipalities to protect fish and wildlife habitat.
Keywords: Environment, anthropology, salmon, urban, ecology, wildlife, citizen science, Snohomish County, Mukilteo
JEL Classification: Z10
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation