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.
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.
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.
April 30, 2013
After donating more than $175,000 of his own money to restore kokanee salmon habitat on his land, the modest Wally Pereyra has begun to receive wide attention.
The week of April 22, King County announced the winners of its Green Globe awards, an annual recognition of dedicated citizens for efforts ranging from environmental conservation to education and sustainable building. Pereyra was on the list and the county honored him with an award.
“Pereyra has been a tireless advocate for habitat conservation and restoration in the watershed, investing his own time and resources to improve access to high quality spawning and rearing habitat for Sammamish kokanee,” a press release from the county read. “Most recently, Wally led an effort to replace an undersized culvert on his land along Ebright Creek that for decades had been a barrier to fish passage.”