Chum festival celebrates salmon, healthy water

"It Takes a Fish to Raise a Village" is the theme for the third annual Donkey Creek Chum Festival in Gig Harbor. The free event takes place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at Donkey Creek Park, 8714 N. Harborview Drive.

Every year since 1972, the Gig Harbor Commercial Fisherman’s Club has incubated chum salmon eggs at Donkey Creek, releasing more than 1 million smelt into Gig Harbor Bay. Each fall, after two to three years in the ocean, the mature chum find their way to Austin Estuary, fighting their way up the culvert and into Donkey Creek to spawn.

To celebrate this event, the Fisherman’s Club, the City of Gig Harbor, Harbor WildWatch environmental group, the Gig Harbor Canoe and Kayak Team and other local organizations have teamed up to save salmon for future generations.

The festival includes information booths by Gig Harbor and Pierce County environmental groups and local service clubs, plus kayak races, make-your-own salmon art and an endurance paddle race held by the Gig Harbor Canoe and Kayak Team. For information, go to www.cityof gigharbor.net.

The News Tribune