Watch chum salmon return to spawn in Kennedy Creek

Trail guides will be on hand weekends through Dec. 1

Staff reportOctober 27, 2013 

A chum salmon pokes its head out of the water as it churns the gravel to make a nest in Kennedy Creek west of Olympia.


The Kennedy Creek Salmon Trail, located between Olympia and Shelton, will open for the season Saturday.

The trail offers visitors a chance to see thousands of chum salmon as they make their way upstream to spawning sites. The trail will be open 10 a.m.-4 p.m. weekends through Dec. 1, as well as Veterans Day (Nov. 11) and the day after Thanksgiving (Nov. 29).

The Kennedy Creek trail open house will be held from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Nov. 16.

Volunteer trail guides will be on site during the weekends to answer any questions. There also are interpretive signs along the way.

Now in it 14th year, the trail attracts more than 5,000 visitors a year.

The half-mile trail is hosted by the South Puget Sound Salmon Enhancement Group and Taylor Shellfish, and it is partially handicap accessible. Taylor Shellfish owns the trail property and has committed to a 20-year lease with SPSSEG.

Visitors should dress appropriately for the weather and leave dogs at home.

The trail is off U.S. Highway 101. Visitors traveling south from Shelton should turn west on Old Olympic Highway at milepost 356. Those coming north from Olympia, will turn west on Old Olympic Highway between milepost 358 and 357. Go three-fourths of a mile to a gravel logging road signed “Kennedy Creek Salmon Trail.” Follow the gravel road half a mile to the Kennedy Creek Salmon Trail parking lot.

Weekday visits for schools and other organized groups are available by reservation only. For more information or reservations, contact Adam at 360-412-0808, ext. 107 or

For more information, go to spsseg. org.


Chambers Creek hatchery: The best place to see them is at the dam, not far upstream from the mouth. A trail follows the stream as well. Coho should be moving into the creek now. From December to February, the winter chum will go up to Flett Creek. The hatchery is at 8315 Phillips Road SW, Tacoma. Information: Call 253-589-7234

Issaquah Salmon Hatchery: Coho should return through late November. Check out the webcams at the hatchery at Information:

Minter Creek hatchery: Fish will be coming upstream and up the fish ladder at this Key Peninsula hatchery through Christmas. The coho should be slowing down, but in mid-November, chum salmon will begin returning to the hatchery. The hatchery has a good viewing platform. The hatchery is at 12710 124th Ave. Court KPN. Information: Call 253-857-5077 to find out when the staff are taking eggs from fish.

Olympic National Park: In November and December, a small tributary of the Hoh River, accessed by walking a nature trail from the Hoh Visitor Center, is a good place to see returning coho. Information:

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