Chris Dunagan at the Sun does a good job every year with his “salmon spawning” story. This year he features the Suquamish Tribe’s spawning surveyors (reg required):

“I’m really impressed with the amount of fish I’m seeing and how far up they are in all the tributaries,” said Jon Oleyar, a biologist for the Suquamish Tribe. “It’s really refreshing to see that. This is where the salmon are supposed to be.”

It is becoming a great year to watch the amazing migration of chum salmon, especially when compared to the past few years. Last year, for example, a light rain in October wasn’t enough to get the chum moving. And low streamflows kept large numbers of fish huddled in lower portions of the streams. Much of the potential spawning grounds went unused.

About once a week, Oleyar walks the major salmon streams that drain to the eastern shoreline of Kitsap County. He knows the streams like the back of his hand, and his regular counts of living and dead salmon are used to calculate the overall salmon runs.

Included in this year’s story is an interactive map of salmon spawning sites on the Kitsap Peninsula (well worth the free registration). You can also report your own spawning sightings here.