July 15, 2014
The Lake Sammamish Kokanee Work Group is one of those little committees that government seems to form all the time. Typically, these sorts of bodies get together, author an important-sounding report and disband. The report gathers dust, and nothing actually happens.
This one is different. The kokanee work group has certainly done its share of fact-finding, but the facts are being put to use. The little red fish is recovering, and the efforts of the work group should be applauded.
April 29, 2014
U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell joined local conservation leaders April 25 to announce that Lake Sammamish has been chosen as one of eight pilot partnerships nationwide under the Urban Wildlife Refuge Initiative.
The partnership will help connect people in the Seattle metro-area to the great outdoors and, in particular, efforts to restore kokanee salmon runs in the Lake Sammamish Watershed.
“Children have become increasingly disconnected from nature,” Jewell said in a news release. “The Lake Sammamish Urban Wildlife Refuge Partnership seeks to reverse this trend by providing meaningful opportunities for urban residents in the region, especially young people, to get outdoors and engage in hands-on learning and conservation of kokanee salmon and its habitat.”
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.
September 17, 2013
On Oct. 19, the Bellevue-Issaquah chapter of Trout Unlimited will host its second annual Run with the Kokanee.
The race is a 5K and 10K run and walk through Lake Sammamish State Park, beginning at 9 a.m., and proceeds from the registration will go to support Trout Unlimited’s efforts to conserve the kokanee salmon.
Trout Unlimited works frequently with the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife to help count the number of fish in Lake Sammamish during spawning season. Over the past five years, Trout Unlimited has seen record lows in number of kokanee, according to Mark Taylor, who is in charge of conservation and education efforts for Trout Unlimited.