An anadromous, year-round creek fed by springs and runoff, Fauntleroy Creek is on the West
Seattle peninsula, across Elliott Bay from downtown Seattle, Washington, USA. It drops 300 feet
in elevation over its one-mile course from wetlands in Fauntleroy Park to Puget Sound, due north
of the ferry pier in Fauntleroy Cove. Thanks to Fauntleroy Park, smaller park spaces, and an
undeveloped city right-of-way, much of the creek corridor is in public ownership.
Water Volume and Quality
Discharge is typically .5 cubic feet per second. During heavy rain, it increases to as much as 4
cubic feet per second. Water temperature (about 50o F. year round) and dissolved oxygen are
healthy for salmonids and aquatic insects. As in other urban creeks, fecal coliform bacteria,
primarily from pet waste, are an ongoing pollution concern.
Historically a habitat for cutthroat trout, the creek has provided nurturing habitat for coho
salmon since 1991, when schoolchildren began releasing fry reared through the statewide Salmon
in the Classroom program. Coho have spawned in the lower creek between Halloween and
Thanksgiving since 1994; the number has ranged from 0 to nearly 200, principally dependent on
nearshore and ocean conditions, as well as predation.
Cove Park and Lincoln Park provide the public with glimpses of nearshore habitat in Fauntleroy
Cove, where juvenile salmon come from far and near for food and protection as they prepare for
their time in open water.