Residents will help city restore Lewis Creek
June 8, 2010
By Warren Kagarise
The city and landowners plan a joint effort to remove sediment and create salmon habitat in ecologically sensitive Lewis Creek near Lake Sammamish.
The plan aims to restore habitat for the Lake Sammamish kokanee salmon — a dwindling freshwater salmon species. The city will guide landowners through the project, and the landowners nearest to the impacted stretch of creek will pay the $40,000 to $50,000 tab. City Surface Water Engineer Kerry Ritland expects work to last about two weeks.
Starting in July or August, crews will clear the channel at the mouth of the creek, in the Meadowbrook Pointe neighborhood along the southwestern shore of Lake Sammamish. Sediments built up and created a drop from the creek to the lake — another hurdle salmon must overcome in order to spawn upstream.
Ritland said the creek upgrades could help limit the scour, or disturbance, of the gravel where the kokanee deposit their eggs.
“The problem is too much water coming down Lewis Creek,” Ritland said.
The city worked with the Mid-Puget Sound Fisheries Enhancement Group, a nonprofit organization established by the Legislature, to navigate the planning process. The group has been authorized to exempt projects from local permits; as a result, the city does not need to permit the Lewis Creek project.
Upstream residents ran into trouble in January 2009 after they made emergency repairs to a bridge without the necessary city permits.
Warren Kagarise: 392-6434, ext. 234, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Comment at www.issaquahpress.com.