Kennedy Creek

Protecting a wild salmon run and a community treasure for Washington’s Puget Sound

A chum salmon makes its way up Washington's Kennedy Creek, which is home to one of the largest runs of chum salmon in the Puget Sound. Western Rivers Conservancy is working to conserve the entire lower river to ensure that the stream's crucial salmon spawning habitat remains healthy forever. Photo by Josh Humbert.

Children watch from a bridge as chum salmon push their way up Fiscus Creek, a tiny tributary to Kennedy Creek, where shallow water makes for impressive salmon viewing. WRC's efforts will ensure that the Kennedy Creek Salmon Trail, which skirts both streams, remains open to future generations. Photo by Josh Humbert.

Each November, thousands of school children from around the south Puget Sound, along with their teachers, visit Kennedy Creek to witness the magnificent sight of returning chum salmon. This rare outdoor classroom provides children an educational experience that will be remembered a lifetime. WRC's efforts at Kennedy Creek will forever protect this important resource for all. Photo by Josh Humbert.

Kennedy Creek is typical of a small Pacific Northwest salmon stream, shaded by forest and shallow enough to walk across for much of the year. With the rains of fall, the creek rises and tens of thousands of salmon begin their annual return to the river. Photo by Josh Humbert.

Kennedy Creek in early fall, before the salmon have returned and the leaves have fallen from the trees. Photo by Josh Humbert.

Western Rivers Conservancy's efforts at Kennedy Creek will safeguard the Kennedy Creek Salmon Trail, which provides wildlife viewers a rare glimpse of the Pacific Northwest's most iconic fish. Photo by Josh Humbert.

Look closely: In the lower right hand corner of this photo, what appear to be a large patch of rocks is actually a school of chum salmon, holding in a stretch of slow water before continuing upstream to spawn. Photo by Justin Bailie.

The Kennedy Creek estuary is already protected within the Kennedy Creek Natural Area Preserve. WRC's efforts upstream will ensure that the entire lower river is protected, from the upstream extent of salmon spawning habitat, downstream to the estuary. Photo by Josh Humbert.

A docent at Kennedy Creek explains the life cycle of the chum salmon for children and teachers visiting the stream during a school field trip. Children who see these fish will rarely forget the experience, and instead will carry with them the knowledge of just how important our rivers are to all. Photo by Josh Humbert.

A chum salmon, on its return to Kennedy Creek, Washington. Photo by Justin Bailie.