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Salmon Monitoring Program - Community Salmon Investigation (CSI) for Highline

Salmon Monitoring Program - Community Salmon Investigation (CSI) for Highline

Miller and Walker Creeks stewardship

Chum salmon redd
Chum salmon spawning in Miller Creek, 2017.

How many adult salmon return to Miller and Walker Creeks in Burien, Normandy Park, and SeaTac each year? How many coho salmon are dying from polluted water before they have a chance to spawn? We are finding out, thanks to many dedicated volunteers. As we learn how many of these fish are stricken by pre-spawn mortality each year, we find out how many survive long enough to lay the eggs of the next generation. Coho pre-spawn mortality has been linked to polluted road runoff - and the good news is, filtering polluted stormwater through soils made of sand and compost makes it non-toxic to fish! 

A better understanding of the numbers of fish returning to the streams in the Highline community and the extent of pre-spawn mortality is one of the top recommendations the community identified as part of coordinated monitoring of the streams (see the 2009 monitoring coordination recommendations). Adult salmon in our streams are the Pacific Northwest equivalent of the “canary in the coal mine” – they reflect the health of our lands and water. This important data is helping us make priorities for the watershed and track our progress.

The Community Salmon Investigation has collected salmon data since 2010 to help us learn more about this community resource.

rsz_live_fish Number of live coho and chum observed in Miller and Walker Creeks (2010-2022).

rsz_psmplotPercentage of female coho with observed pre-spawn mortality in Miller and Walker Creeks (2010-2022). Patterned bars indicate mortality without observable predation marks.


Miller-Walker Survey Findings

2022 Results Presentation

Coho salmon and car tires: guest presentation from Dr. Ed Kolodziej, University of Washington

2021 Results Presentation

10-Year Highlights
2019 Summary Results

2018 Summary Results
2018 Results Presentation

2017 Summary Results​
2017 Results Presentation

2016 Summary Results
2016 Results Presentation

2015 Results Presentation 
2015 Summary Results 

2014 Results Presentation 

2013 Results Presentation 

2012 Results Presentation
Video of coho salmon exhibiting PSM Symptoms 

2011 PSM Data
2011 Results Presentation
Video: Coho Walker Creek, Nov. 11, 2011

2010 PSM Data
2010 Results Presentation


Stewardship of the Miller/Walker Creeks basin is jointly funded by the City of Burien, City of Normandy Park, City of SeaTac, King County, and the Port of Seattle. On behalf of the partners, this page is proudly hosted by King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks - Water and Land Resources Division.

Sign up for Miller-Walker emails

Sign up for salmon surveys in 2023! 

Adventurous volunteers are needed for salmon surveys starting in October 2023. Click here to sign up and attend the training workshop on September 28, 5:30-7:30pm at Normandy Park City Hall. Email Iris Kemp, Basin Steward, if you have any questions.

Learn more about COVID Safety Protocols.

As a volunteer, here is what to expect:

  • No prior experience required.
  • Sign up to survey on one day a week (e.g., every Tuesday). 
  • Surveys take ~ 2-3 hrs. to complete.
  • Surveys must be completed during daylight hours. 
  • Surveys routes can be rocky, wet and slippery. 
  • Daily survey distance is about one mile.
  • Surveys occur rain or shine, but will be cancelled for high/muddy flows.
  • Volunteers work in pairs for safety and to ensure data quality.
  • Volunteers count and record information on live and deceased fish.
  • Volunteers need waders. Rubber hip waders can be purchased for around $45.
  • Click here to see the Volunteer Position Description for CSI

For more information, email Iris Kemp or call 206-477-7680.

Related information

King County Salmon Watcher Program

Salmon SEEson - Where to view fall salmon