SULTAN, Wash. - Larry Lowe is fishing today. In fact, the environmental coordinator for Snohomish PUD will be fishing just about every day from now until July. He'll catch tens of thousands by the time he's done and none of them will be keepers.
Lowe is using an in stream fish trap to capture as many young salmon as he can to see what kind of fish and how many are migrating down the Sultan River this time of year on their way to the ocean. He is most interested in the Chinook, Coho and Steelhead, but he is finding mostly Pinks.
Pinks or 'humpies' are filling the trap every day. Some Chinook and coho are also showing up and biologists expect there'll be more of them in the weeks ahead. They are using the trap to get a baseline numbers against which to measure the success of their attempts to make hydro projects on the Sultan more fish friendly.
The PUD plans to create several new restoration areas on the river. They'll know it's working if the number of fish using the river grows substantially beyond the numbers they are getting today. They put the trap in February and will keep it in until June or July.