First chance to fling a salmon carcass this season

Staff reportDecember 1, 2013 

Salmon recovery technician Nano Perez tosses frozen salmon carcasses to the ground. Returning the salmon carcasses to the waterways helps supply nutrients to the ecosystem.

BETH SPAIN/STAFF FILE, 2010

Volunteers of all ages are needed to help with a salmon restoration project, and they can have a little fun along the way.

The Nisqually Stream Stewards will hold its first salmon carcass tossing of the season Dec. 14 in Eatonville.

While tossing salmon carcasses into a stream might be fun, it also provides an important food source for juvenile salmon and other species throughout the watershed.

Salmon carcasses are a critical part of the Nisqually River’s ecosystem. When salmon return to their native streams and die, the marine nutrients they brought with them are eaten by organisms such as insects or bears and absorbed by plants, according to a news release from the Stream Stewards. Where salmon carcasses are plentiful, juvenile salmon grow bigger by feeding on the carcasses and the increased abundance of stream insects.

The carcasses for the salmon tossing program come from Nisqually Tribe’s hatcheries.

The Nisqually Stream Stewards has put, with the help of volunteers, more than 3,000 carcasses during recent carcass tossing seasons.

Participants should meet at Smallwood Park in Eatonville. The event will run from 10 a.m.-1 p.m.

To register for the carcass toss or to find out more information about the Stream Stewards, contact Don Perry, outreach and education coordinator at 360-438-8687, Ext. 2143, or perry.don@nisqually-nsn.gov.

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