Salmon Spawning Field Trip
December 20, 2021 @ 10:00 am - 4:00 pm PST
Love is in the Water!
After the first big winter rain, Coho Salmon make their way up Lagunitas Creek in Marin County to spawn. We will start from the Leo T. Cronin Fish Viewing Area on Sir Francis Drake Blvd. From there we will search for spawning redds in the creek and look for mushrooms under the redwood canopy (it is often chilly under the trees so dress in layers). If we have had no rains by the day of the trip, the salmon may not be in, but we will still meet at the viewing area and may hike up the road to a nearby dam to sketch the lake and other features (about a mile on an uphill grade). Lunch is a potluck feast so bring a portable treat to share (in your backpack), and your bowl and spoon. This trip is open to all ages and ability levels and no registration is necessary. Sound like fun? Just show up!
When visiting the site, please remain behind the fence, minimize noise, and avoid sudden movements so that salmon may spawn here undisturbed. Catching or disturbing the fish during the spawning season is prohibited by law and would be a crummy thing to do anyway. In spite of what you may have heard, fish puns are welcome at any time.
Fish Drawing Practice
If you’d like to practice drawing fish before the trip, check out my blog for several free instructional videos and tutorials on how to draw fish: https://johnmuirlaws.com/category/art-and-drawing/drawing-fish/
Directions From Highway 101
- Take the Sir Francis Drake Blvd exit and head west. Travel about 9 miles, through Greenbrae, Kentfield, Ross, San Anselmo, Fairfax, and out to the San Geronimo Valley.
- Continue west for about another 5 miles, past the San Geronimo Golf Course and past the towns of Woodacre, San Geronimo, Forest Knolls, and Lagunitas.
- Cross over Shafter Bridge, which is about ½ mile west of the Lagunitas store, and immediately turn left, into the parking lot of the Leo T. Cronin Fish Viewing Area. If you pass the sign on the right for Samuel P. Taylor State Park you have gone too far. During the fish spawning season, parking is limited to one hour in the official lot so look for a safe place to park along Sir Francis Drake Blvd and walk over to the viewing area lot (be careful crossing SFD Blvd.).
If rain is forecast for the day of the field trip, the trip may be canceled or relocated to an indoor venue. Check this online program description on Sunday morning before leaving for updates and schedule changes.
$20 suggested donation.
What to bring
- Plenty of water.
- Potluck food to share for lunch. If the field trip involves a longer hike, pack your food in your backpack. Please bring your own bowl or plate and utensils.
- Sun hat, sunscreen, and seasonally appropriate attire.
- Your journaling supplies
- Binoculars and spotting scope if you have them
- Warm clothing
- A portable stool
- A sense of wonder and humor
Special thanks to Mark Simmons for the sketchnote page above!