Lake Sammamish earns federal designation

September 17, 2013

Lake Sammamish is one of only two places in the nation to earn a new federal designation. While the details of the program are unclear, it seems to mean that local officials will get some federal help in explaining the importance of the lake and its ecosystem.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has placed Lake Sammamish, and Masonville Cove in Baltimore, in its Urban Partnership Program, according to Denise Hawkins, of fish and wildlife.

The idea for the program came from the group that designates wildlife refuges. Typically, that means designating huge tracts of land as a refuge in order to protect wildlife habitat, Hawkins said. These typically end up in more rural areas, so in order to allow more people to be able to visit an area and learn about it, they decided to work in more populous settings.

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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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Salmon Hatchery Aquarium Installed / Sept. 5, 2013

September 10, 2013

Rain brings fish ladder construction trouble

September 6, 2013

NEW — 2:50 p.m. Sept. 6, 2013

Thunderstorms lifted the Issaquah Creek over its construction boundaries Sept. 5.

Work crews on the weir construction to allow for easier fish passage and an updated intake for the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery were scrambled late in the night as storm water rose over the temporary dam placed in the creek. Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Project Manager Tim Ward said workers had to quickly remove harmful materials before they were swept downstream.

“We did have a high water event,” Ward said. “The upper intake was flooded and every pollutant was pulled out. It was way too much.”

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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.

Salmon Days Festival volunteer sign-up party is Sept. 10

August 30, 2013

NEW — 10 a.m. Aug. 30, 2013

Salmon Days organizers need all the help they can muster to accommodate the more than 150,000 visitors expected to stream into Issaquah for the annual festival Oct. 5-6.

Prospective volunteers can join the iconic festival at the annual Salmon Days volunteer sign-up party Sept. 10. Organizers need volunteers for a variety of activities, including manning booths, selling souvenirs and cleaning up after the event concludes.

“We look forward to seeing the smiling faces of longtime volunteers as well as meeting new members of the community, who we hope, like our salmon, return each year,”  Salmon Days Festival Director Robin Kelley said in a statement.

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A dam shame

August 29, 2013

Salmon Cartoon copy

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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Issaquah Creek Hatchery Intake Dam Construction / Aug. 22, 2013

August 27, 2013

Beaver Lake will get
 1,200 large hatchery rainbow trout for Aug. 21

August 16, 2013

NEW – 5:45 p.m. Aug. 16, 2013

Get out your fishing pole. It will soon be time to catch large trout in Beaver Lake, thanks to the release of about 1,200 hatchery rainbows averaging about 1 pound each.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is scheduled to release the fish Aug. 20. The agency will close the Beaver Lake access site at sunset Aug. 19 and reopen the site at sunrise Aug. 21. Beaver Lake, however, will remain open to fishing while the access site is closed.

The trout are part of an educational display at the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery.

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