Winter in the Lagunitas Watershed is the most spectacular season for salmon viewing. Join our highly-successful Creekwalk Naturalist Training Program, gain the knowledge and experience to become a salmon ambassador, and make a positive difference for Marin's watersheds!
Our next training workshop is set for November 3 & 4, 2012. It is a two-day training, with classes on Saturday and field tours Sunday. Click here to download the 2012 SPAWN Creekwalk Naturalist Training Manual. For questions contact Dr. Chris Pincetich, firstname.lastname@example.org, 415-663-8590 ×102.
No experience or salmonid background required! We'll train you during two days, each lasting approximately 7-hours, all about the biology, ecology, and conservation challenges of endangered coho salmon in the Lagunitas Creek. Additional evening lectures by experts in salmonid and watershed ecology and biology, take-home training manuals, and pairing with our experienced naturalists will give you the additional information and confidence needed to lead your own SPAWN Creekwalk!
Click here for secure online registration to the 2012 Creekwalk Naturalist Training.
The field training days will teach you to recognize a salmon redd (nest), differentiate the four salmonid species that spawn in the creek, and the basics of transmitting your knowledge and passion to to our salmon viewing guests. You'll visit each of our most popular salmon-viewing sites, and discover the secrets of where the wily spawners "hide," and where they do their most exciting leaps over natural and man-made barriers.
Our popular evening seminars featuring local ecologists are open to both the public and the naturalist trainees, and are 1-2 hour slide lectures on various aspects of salmonid and watershed life. Through the lectures you'll gain both a broader understanding of watershed issues and a particular and in-depth comprehension of salmon natural history.
The training manual, available on cd-rom, on-line or on paper, contains all the information you need to get started leading creek walks, including a 10-things-to-know-for-your-first-creekwalk checklist, life-cycle charts for each of the 4 salmonid species, checklist of most common birds seen in the watershed and how to identify them, and riparian habitat plant identification guide.
Once you've completed the training program, you'll be paired up with an experienced naturalist for at least the first several tours. You'll have plenty of opportunity to gain experience and ask questions before you lead your first solo walk. If we have enough naturalists participating, we'll provide two naturalist leaders for each salmon tour. We require each naturalist to participate in two 3-hour tours per month during the spawning season: November through January. Tours are at 10AM and 1PM on Saturdays and Sundays, and on weekdays as scheduled when naturalists are available.
Why do we lead these walks? Here are some quotations from our wonderful creek naturalists.
I love leading creek walks because there is nothing more exciting than putting a pair of binoculars up to the eyes of a person who is gazingly blankly at the creek and hearing them say "Oh my!!!" I love leading creek walks because I adore the salmon soap opera, seeing the flashing fish in the roiling water, males muscling and bumping each other out of the genetic stream, females toiling on their nests until their flesh falls from their bones --- and I love to see people get excited what they realize what they are seeing. I love to get people so interested about the great struggle of these endangered animals that they stay out in the pouring rain for three hours and consider it a well-spent day. And I love an excuse and a reason to be out in the watershed, under the deep grey sky and the mighty trees, held in the arms of nature, every chance I get.
I enjoy being out in nature. I enjoy showing people things like the salmon, the trout, slender salamanders and California newts. I enjoy educating people about those creatures."
Noah Lani Litwin Sella
"The Naturalist Program allows me to interpret the natural world and help guests find a connection to nature that encourages them to feel part of the world instead of just living on it."