The SeaTac Community Center has exciting news for young and old alike – their Coho salmon eggs have officially hatched!

According to the City of SeaTac, the tiny fish, now known as alevin, are already swimming around their tank, fueled by their orange yolk sacs.

Over the next two months, these fry will grow and develop, transitioning to a special fish food diet. By spring, they will be ready for their grand release into Des Moines Creek, where they will embark on a journey to the Pacific Ocean.

“The salmon spend about a year feeding and growing in the creek before migrating out to the Puget Sound and ocean,” the city’s website says. “There, they continue to grow for about a year and a half. At the end of their life, the salmon will return to their “natal stream”, or the stream they were born in, to spawn. They will lay eggs and the cycle starts over again.”

Visitors to the Community Center can not only witness the salmon’s development but also learn about protecting their aquatic habitat through a unique model city exhibit. The model showcases “Green Stormwater Infrastructure” (GSI) practices, highlighting how nature can be harnessed to clean polluted runoff.

Stormwater – a major source of waterway contamination – carries pollutants like oil, chemicals, and litter from streets, roofs, and parking lots. GSI solutions like rain gardens and tree box filters offer natural alternatives to traditional drainage systems. Rain gardens utilize plants and mulch to filter stormwater as it collects in designated areas, while tree box filters employ underground chambers filled with mulch, where water is cleaned before nourishing the tree above.

By learning about GSI and witnessing the salmon’s journey, the SeaTac Community Center hopes to foster environmental awareness and empower residents to play a role in protecting local waterways.

Learn more about the city’s salmon program here.