April 30, 2013
Marking the fourth year of a successful effort, The Kokanee Work Group, along with the cities of Issaquah and Sammamish, held its annual kokanee fry release last week with the help of area fourth-graders.
On a sunny and mild April 26, a group of students from Elizabeth Blackwell Elementary School placed several hundred young kokanee salmon into their home waters of Ebright Creek. The concentrated effort to save the species, which lives most of its life in Lake Sammamish, celebrated the results of a recovery after the fish had hovered on the edge of extinction.
Sammamish Mayor Tom Odell praised the citizens who have come together to help the native fish.
April 23, 2013
January 29, 2013
Salmon Days Festival organizers adore puns. For the next festival theme, expect a blend of homespun and high-tech.
The theme for the October celebration is “Streaming Live” — a nod to instantaneous communication and salmon habitat.
“Even after 44 years, our Salmon Days Festival promises to be more current than ever,” Robin Kelley, lead Salmon Days organizer, said in unveiling the theme Jan. 24. “Innovation and interpretation, pixilation and Pinterest, in the cloud, going viral, browsing and blogs. This year’s theme is today and looking to the future.”
December 31, 2012
NEW — 2 p.m. Dec. 31, 2012
The need is up nonprofit organizations, but as donors start to make out checks for year-end donations, local organizations sometimes struggle to stand out in a field crowded with requests for giving.
In King County, end-of-year charitable giving to nonprofit organizations is on the to-do list for many donors. The average person makes 24 percent of annual donations between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve, according to research from the Center on Philanthropy.
Issaquah and the Puget Sound region maintain a long-held reputation for generosity to charitable causes. The key for nonprofit organizations to successfully solicit donations, local leaders said, is to highlight successes.
December 25, 2012
Challenges — whether economic, political or social — defined the year.
December 4, 2012
Homeowner funds $175,000 culvert project
Lake Sammamish kokanee salmon — a landlocked cousin of sockeye and a species noted for distinctive red coloration — dwindled in recent decades, since before Wally Pereyra moved into a house along Ebright Creek in 1973.
November 20, 2012
Friends of the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery and the Issaquah Community Network garnered a top honor for offering employment opportunities for young people with disabilities, officials announced Nov. 1.
The organizations received the Youth Employer Award from the Governor’s Committee on Disability Issues and Employment. The honor recognizes the organization’s partnership to accommodate workers with disabilities, and for efforts to create a productive and inclusive workforce.
The state-level committee behind the award advises the governor, legislators and state agencies on policy affecting people with disabilities.
November 6, 2012
Issaquah Salmon Hatchery workers and volunteers sloshed around in 40-degree water Oct. 30, as the annual effort to spawn coho salmon started again.
Teams from the state Department of Fish and Wildlife and Friends of the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery plan to collect 1.2 million coho eggs. The process to spawn coho started about a month after hatchery workers and volunteers started spawning chinook. In the resulting effort, teams collected 2.2 million eggs.
FISH Executive Director Jane Kuechle and John Kugen, hatchery foreman, said the partnership between the nonprofit organization and the state agency is essential for the survival of Issaquah Creek salmon — and the hatchery.
The hatchery, a fixture in downtown Issaquah for 75 years, spawns and raises coho and chinook.
State fisheries experts expected a more robust chinook salmon return but a smaller coho salmon return to Puget Sound streams in 2012.
“It comes and goes,” Kugen said. “The best one that we had that I can remember was 2001, when we had 18,000 coho and then a couple years ago we had 13,000. Coho come back in bigger numbers because they’re released as bigger smolts. They’re about 7 or 8 inches long, so there’s less predation on them than chinook.”
November 6, 2012
Darigold joined the effort in recent weeks to preserve dwindling Lake Sammamish kokanee salmon, Friends of the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery announced Oct. 26.
The downtown Issaquah dairy is donating water from a well to the Lower Issaquah Valley Aquifer for the hatchery to use in the ongoing effort to restore kokanee. The contribution from Darigold should save the hatchery about $50,000 over the program’s anticipated lifespan through 2021.
Experts said the Darigold water is ideal for kokanee due to consistent quality and temperature. Using the water allows hatchery teams to prevent the fish from imprinting on Issaquah Creek water, and instead allows fry to imprint on Ebright, Laughing Jacobs and Lewis creeks.
November 6, 2012
The state Department of Fish and Wildlife is planning to release some of those big rainbow trout you may have seen in a rearing pond at the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery. In fact, you may have fed them through the fence with fish food provided by the Friends of the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery during Salmon Days.
Beaver Lake in Sammamish will be the fortunate recipient site. The department announced it will release about 2,000 rainbow trout weighing from 2-3 pounds, and open the lake for fishing at sunrise Nov. 8. The lake was to be closed for fishing Tuesday and Wednesday prior to the reopening.
The daily limit for Beaver Lake is five fish of which only two may exceed 15 inches in length. Two of those big trout should be more than enough to feed most families.
Now, here is an easy-to-access, urban lake that is close by and only 15 minutes from downtown Issaquah. To cast and wade from shore, do so from Beaver Lake Park, maintained by the city of Sammamish. It has a lot of parking and is accessible from Southeast 24th Street that intersects 228th Avenue Southeast at Discovery Elementary School.