Finley and Gillda have a new fishy friend at the hatchery

January 7, 2014

Finley and Gillda, the two Issaquah Salmon Hatchery mascots, turned in for the night after New Year’s Day, and slept so soundly that they were not awakened by an anonymous overnight visitor with a delivery.

If they have ever yearned for an addition to the family, that wish was being fulfilled while they dreamed.

By Greg Farrar Jane Kuechle, executive director of Friends of the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery, enjoys the 5-foot salmon chainsaw art mysteriously donated in the wee hours of Jan. 2. The anonymous sculptor left it at the front entrance to the hatchery.

By Greg Farrar
Jane Kuechle, executive director of Friends of the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery, enjoys the 5-foot salmon chainsaw art mysteriously donated in the wee hours of Jan. 2. The anonymous sculptor left it at the front entrance to the hatchery.

When the two steel sculptures awoke the early morning of Jan. 2, they had a new buddy, 5 feet tall, made of a wooden log, with “Issaquah” carved in its base. The obvious intention was of it being a new permanent artistic attraction for local residents and annual Salmon Days visitors to enjoy.

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Who dropped off mystery fish at Issaquah Salmon Hatchery?

January 2, 2014

NEW — 2 p.m. Jan. 2, 2014

Jane Kuechle, executive director of Friends of the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery, enjoys the 5-foot-tall salmon chainsaw art mysteriously donated in the wee hours of Jan. 2 by an anonymous sculptor at the front entrance to the hatchery. ‘It’s gorgeous, and thank you,’ is what she said she would like to tell the artist. ‘We’d love to know who did it.’ — By Greg Farrar (See story in the Jan. 8 Issaquah Press.)

Jane Kuechle, executive director of Friends of the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery, enjoys the 5-foot-tall salmon chainsaw art mysteriously donated in the wee hours of Jan. 2 by an anonymous sculptor at the front entrance to the hatchery. ‘It’s gorgeous, and thank you,’ is what she said she would like to tell the artist. ‘We’d love to know who did it.’ — By Greg Farrar (See story in the Jan. 8 Issaquah Press.)

Come out for food, fun and flair at 44th annual Salmon Days

October 1, 2013

As the salmon return, so do the thousands of people expected for this year’s Salmon Days Festival.

Oct. 5 and 6 will see coho, chinook, sockeye, kokanee and many festivalgoers make their way to the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery for a weekendlong celebration full of events, activities, food and music.

The homegrown event celebrates the return of local salmon as they make their pilgrimage from the Pacific Ocean back to the spawning grounds of Issaquah Creek and the hatchery. Approximately 180,000 people attended last year’s event, which was met with sunny, mild weather.

The Grand Parade will kick off the weekend beginning at 10 a.m. Oct. 5. It will wind its way down Front Street to the hatchery in a bright display of community spirit and appreciation of the surrounding environment.

By Greg Farrar Two Chinook salmon struggle at the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery weir Sept. 26 to return upstream seeking a place to spawn in Issaquah Creek.

By Greg Farrar
Two Chinook salmon struggle at the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery weir Sept. 26 to return upstream seeking a place to spawn in Issaquah Creek.

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FISH hosts Public Officials Day Sept. 25

September 24, 2013

The Friends of the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery is hosting a special event to educate local elected leaders and the public about the importance of the hatchery and salmon conservation.

Officials from the area have been invited to a special presentation at 2 p.m. Sept. 25. FISH’s board of directors has invited City Council members, school district directors, water district commissioners, Metropolitan King County Council members, and state lawmakers from cities and districts that surround Lake Sammamish.

The purpose of Public Officials Day is to acquaint those who make decisions within the Lake Sammamish watershed with the value of this historic and active facility in their own backyard.

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FISH hosts Public Officials Day Sept. 25; public is invited

September 21, 2013

NEW — 6 a.m. Sept. 21, 2013

The Friends of the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery is hosting a special event to educate local elected leaders and the public about the importance of the hatchery and salmon conservation.

Officials from the area have been invited to a special presentation at 2 p.m. Sept. 25. FISH’s board of directors has invited City Council members, school district directors, water district commissioners, Metropolitan King County Council members, and state lawmakers from cities and districts that surround Lake Sammamish.

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‘Salmon Seeson’ has arrived, so go view local fish

September 15, 2013

NEW — 6 a.m. Sept. 15, 2013

Fall has arrived, and with it comes the return of salmon to Puget Sound streams and rivers. Sightseers can get a good look at the fish at several local waterways.

Spectators can watch the salmon return to Issaquah Creek from the bridge or through viewing windows at the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery, 125 W. Sunset Way, through November.

Visitors can take self-guided tours of the hatchery daily, but the Friends of the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery offers guided tours on weekends through Nov. 10 at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.

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Hatchery gift shop opens today

August 31, 2013

NEW — 6 a.m. Aug. 31, 2013

The Issaquah Salmon Hatchery FISHop opens today for its third season.
New items include salmon mobiles, wall hangings, salmon species book marks and a new hatchery patch. The embroidered patch also appears on hats and fleece vests.
Proceeds from the FISHop, which is staffed by volunteers, are used to support Friends of the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery’s  educational programs for students and adults.
The shop will be open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays until Thanksgiving. Aside from the new items, the shop has books, T-shirts, cards, pins and holiday ornaments.

Hatchery to drive salmon upstream due to dam construction delay

August 27, 2013

By Greg Farrar Workmen with SNC-Lavalin place a temporary lateral brace lowered by crane Aug. 16 for permanent sheet pile walls, which will surround the new hatchery water intake structure at Issaquah Creek.

By Greg Farrar
Workmen with SNC-Lavalin place a temporary lateral brace lowered by crane Aug. 16 for permanent sheet pile walls, which will surround the new hatchery water intake structure at Issaquah Creek.

With the Issaquah Creek dam renovation falling behind schedule, trucks will take spawning salmon upstream.

For a number of reasons, some vague, the project completion date has been pushed back from Sept. 15 to sometime in early to mid-October. That will heavily interfere with the spawning run of returning chinook and coho salmon. As a contingency, Issaquah Salmon Hatchery workers will gather the fish, truck them to a point beyond the construction and return them to the creek.

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Learn about FISH plans for aquarium July 26

July 23, 2013

Volunteer organization Friends of the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery will host an informational and fundraising meeting July 26.

In an attempt to outline a newly launched project, FISH invites the public to learn about replacing the aquarium exhibit in the entrance to the hatchery.

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Hatchery eyes new aquarium exhibit

July 16, 2013

Volunteer organization Friends of the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery looks to replace an exhibit aquarium and is holding a fundraising meeting July 26.

In the public entryway to the hatchery, an aquarium gave an underwater view of the spawned salmon. After the old aquarium sat on display for more than 10 years, the hard-working docents who give their time to educate the community determined that it would be better for hatchery tours if the tank were replaced.

“It was just a real chore to keep the aquarium clean,” FISH Executive Director Jane Keuchle said. “Volunteers discovered that the whole thing needs to go. Then, they got this idea to make it like Issaquah Creek.”

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