Federal money not coming for salmon hatchery project

July 11, 2009

By Warren Kagarise

 NEW — Noon, July 11, 2009

A proposal to replace a dam near the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery with a structure friendlier to migrating salmon will not receive federal dollars, leaving city and hatchery officials to search for new funding sources.

City and hatchery officials unsuccessfully sought a $3.2 million National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration grant to pick up the bulk of the $3.9 million project tab.

Local officials said the fish passage project competed for federal money against a crowded field.

“There were $3 billion in applications and only 6 percent were funded,” city Surface Water Manager Kerry Ritland said.

The dam is located on Issaquah Creek about a half-mile upstream from the hatchery. A poorly designed fish ladder blocks chinook, coho and other salmon as the fish migrate upstream. About 10 miles of prime salmon spawning habitat exist beyond the dam.

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