LAGUNITAS (KPIX 5) — The Marin Municipal Water District has counted 563 Coho salmon in Lagunitas Creek, the highest number in 12 years. Every year around this time, the endangered species swims in from the Pacific Ocean, making their way into the creek to lay their eggs.

“We’ve seen over 500 Coho salmon this year,” said Gregory Andrew, Marin Municipal Water District’s Fisheries Program Manager. Andrew said that in previous years, there have been “as few as about a 100.”

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The researchers are not sure why the numbers have jumped up. They said that stream habitat projects have helped as well as improved ocean conditions. Whatever the reason, it’s good news.

“They come back as large adults that are awesome to see,” said Andrew.

Seeing the salmon on rainy days is a problem. The rain and cloudy skies are keeping most of the fish in deeper water, where they hide until the sun comes back out.

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Creek-goers Flora and Alice said a lot of fish were moving around spawning yesterday.

“To increase the drama, there was a little silvery 10-inch male that was trying to get in on the action,” said Flora.

The rain and increased flow in the stream is what triggers the salmon to find their way back to the woods.

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“This coming weekend is supposed to be clear, so that will be a good time to come see some salmon spawning,” said Andrew.