The salmon are returning to spawn in Renton’s Cedar River, and the Seattle Aquarium is sending volunteers to teach the community about one of the ecological events that defines the Puget Sound region.
Sockeye and other kinds of salmon are returning to the Cedar River to lay and fertilize eggs in the very waterway where they were born. After spending most of their adult lives at sea, their bodies and physiology changed with the hormones of breeding season, with their faces morphed into curling hooked beaks and their bodies red like the autumn leaves.
Throughout the month of October, the Seattle Aquarium is posting volunteer educators at some of the best salmon viewing points in Renton, including Renton Library at 100 Mill Ave. S.; Cedar River Park at 1717 Maple Valley Hwy.; Riverview Park at 3201 Maple Valley Hwy.; and Belmondo Reach Natural Area at 16248 SE. Cedar Mountain Pl.
Volunteers will be at those selected locations on Oct. 14, 15, 21, 22, 28 and 29, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Dani Kendall, event organizer with the Seattle Aquarium, said she has been working on the Cedar River Salmon Journey program for 10 years, with some volunteers who have been a part of it for up to 20 years.
“I believe the connection we have to these animals and our shared environment helps us to connect with one another and hopefully take actions that can benefit salmon and people for many generations to come,” Kendall said of the salmon.
Kendall said she hopes people will learn about actions they can take to benefit the salmon and the environment, for example, such as using less water, planting native plants, using a commercial car wash, sharing what you know, and telling your legislators why salmon are important.