August 27, 2012
NEW — 2 p.m. Aug. 27, 2012
Salmon spawning season at the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery started early Aug. 25 as a hatchery docent-in-training spotted the first fish, a small chinook in Issaquah Creek.
The recent drop in temperature aided the salmon on a long journey from the Pacific Ocean to Issaquah Creek. Cool conditions often prompt the fish to depart Lake Sammamish and head upstream.
The initial fish, a female, or hen, appeared just below the weir across the creek at the hatchery. The arrival occurred as Friends of the Issaquah Salmon conducted training for docents and other volunteers.
Late August is a typical arrival time for spawning salmon. The hatchery recorded the initial fish last year, a pair of chinook, early Aug. 23.
August 14, 2012
The annual salmon fishing season will open in Lake Sammamish beginning Aug. 16.
There will be a daily limit of four salmon, of which an angler may retain up to two chinook or king salmon and complete the catch limit with other salmon species. Silver or coho salmon may be part of the catch. Sockeye salmon must be released so barbless hoods are required.
Of course, the smaller kokanee salmon are still illegal to have in one’s possession and must be released.
All fishing is closed within 100 yards of the mouth of Issaquah Creek. You will find that area well-surrounded by a parade of trolling boats.
To park at the Lake Sammamish State Park boat launch you must have purchased a Washington State Discover Pass. If you launch your boat there, you will pay an additional $7 launching fee using the pay box at the ramp.
Because the feeding portion of these salmon’s lives is over, you either have to appeal to their instinct to bite what once was food, or trade on their aggressive nature. The former is touted by those who use bare, red, size 4/0 hooks trolled behind a Dodger flasher.
August 7, 2012
Drivers for the garbage hauler in most Issaquah neighborhoods fielded questions in late July as a strike paralyzed another hauler and led to festering containers on street corners in many King County cities.
The strike did not affect either contract hauler operating in Issaquah, but drivers for CleanScapes received questions from customers along collection routes. Many customers assumed the drivers to be nonunion replacement drivers for Waste Management.
CleanScapes drivers, members of Teamsters Local 174, operate under a contract signed last year. The company operates under a single labor agreement with garbage, recycling and yard waste drivers.
July 17, 2012
Land near Lake Sammamish is up for auction, as a Seattle-based real estate auction company markets 46 acres.
The undeveloped site — once owned by the Weyerhaeuser family — is the focus of interest from developers, investors, conservation organizations and recreation groups. The parcel contains open space and forest.
The land is across the street from Lake Sammamish State Park, between Issaquah and Redmond. The parcel is zoned for single-family suburban development. Environmental rules and a conservation easement limit the developable area to 4.8 acres.
“A year or two ago, there would have been very little interest in this property, despite the outstanding location,” auction manager Paul Thomas said in a statement. “Today, in contrast, we’re only halfway through the marketing campaign and already our website has had over 11,000 hits. This level of interest would seem to indicate that at long last, the real estate market really has turned the corner.”
The company expects the winning bid to reach the mid to high six-figure range. The live auction is scheduled to occur Aug. 8 in Issaquah. Learn more about the parcel and the auction at www.nwauctions.com.
July 17, 2012
For 5 million years, an ancient class of salmon has been swimming in lakes and streams once connected to the Pacific Ocean. They are kokanee, a small species of freshwater salmon.
Kokanee live in Lake Sammamish and spawn in its creeks. Their scientific name is Oncorhynchus nerka. It is a combination of hooked-nose in Latin together with a complex, Latin-Polish name for red salmon. They share the nerka name with their ancestral, but genetically distinct, sockeye salmon. The name, kokanee, comes from the Okanagan-Salish language and means red fish.
Lake Sammamish kokanee embrace their red fish name when they return in November through January to their birth creeks to spawn. In the lake, they are mostly silver with small scales, not spotted like trout, and have a distinctively forked tail. At spawning time, the bodies of males turn a bright red with green heads and a hooked nose. The females’ bodies turn red with a faint green stripe.
Spawning pairs seek gravel beds in the same streams where they were hatched. In these streams, they move gravel around making redds in which the female lays eggs to be fertilized by the ever-attendant male. The eggs incubate in the gravel redds for three to four months during which an alevin with an egg sac forms. Alevin then absorb the sac and mature into kokanee fry. The fry wait for a stream temperature of about 52 degrees and a dark night to leave their gravel beds and make a run downstream to the lake.
July 3, 2012
Motorists should prepare for lane closures near Lake Sammamish throughout the summer as Puget Sound Energy relocates power poles and lines.
Crews started work July 2. Plans call for relocation of power poles and underground and overhead power lines on West Lake Sammamish Parkway Southeast between the Interstate 90 roundabout near Sunset Elementary and Southeast 34th Street in Bellevue.
The work makes way for a transportation project along West Lake Sammamish Parkway Southeast. Crews should start working on the transportation upgrade in the fall.
The effort is meant to enhance safety for pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists by providing a 10-foot-wide multiuse trail along the west side of West Lake Sammamish Parkway Southeast and a 4-foot-wide shoulder on the east side. Crews plan to restore the existing pavement.
The proposed construction plan breaks the roadway into five segments, each about a mile long.
Contact Kelly Purnell at 462-3488 or firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about the pole relocation work.
June 28, 2012
The summer months have arrived.
School is out, the anticipation of summer weather is almost too much to bear, and now you’re ready to head outdoors and enjoy it.
But wait! Before you head out the door, there are summer hazards to be aware of and ways to make sure you stay safe.
June 28, 2012
Like the matter-of-fact name suggests, the Mountains to Sound Greenway starts amid fried fish counters and souvenir shops along the Seattle waterfront, unfurls along Interstate 90, encompassing cities and forests, and continues on, across the Cascades.
The greenbelt represents decades of effort to protect the natural landscape along the interstate, even as Issaquah and other Eastside cities experienced a population explosion in recent years.
Issaquah Alps Trails Club members spearheaded a 1990 march from Snoqualmie Pass to Puget Sound to attract attention to the proposed greenbelt — a sort of Central Park for Western Washington.
June 28, 2012
Rumor has it there’s a season in the year where the sun outmuscles the clouds and shines for more than once a week.
Were that rumor to come true, some rain-drenched, sun-starved Washingtonians will no doubt choose to spend their days tubing in one of the state’s rivers and lakes.
Don Martin, an experienced rescuer, river guide and owner of whitewater rafting company River Recreation, said rivers and lakes offer different advantages.
“The allure of rivers is that you’re traveling to a different section of river,” as you float, he said. A lake offers a calmer alternative, with not so much moving water. Washington state is full of lakes like that, he added.
June 28, 2012
Puget Sound starts in Issaquah — among other places — and problems in local streams can impact the sound’s overall health.
Glance at any storm drain in downtown Issaquah, and the connection between runoff from city streets and Puget Sound comes into focus.
“Puget Sound Starts Here” read placards about the same size as a deck of cards.
The shortest distance between Issaquah and Puget Sound is about 15 miles, separated by open spaces set aside for conservation and acres sealed beneath concrete. The actual division between suburb and sound is shorter.
Curbside storm drains throughout Issaquah drain to Issaquah and Tibbetts creeks, and then into Lake Sammamish. The lake is connected through a broad, interconnected watershed to Puget Sound.
“It’s all of us that live in the watershed,” said Michael Grayum, director of public affairs for the Puget Sound Partnership, a state agency formed to spearhead cleanup. “The work of the Puget Sound Partnership goes from the snowcaps to the whitecaps, and everything is connected to Puget Sound in between.”
Many sources of pollutants in Puget Sound exist far from the shoreline.
The most common way toxic chemicals reach Puget Sound is through polluted surface runoff from residential, commercial and industrial lands. Untreated runoff sluices into freshwater lakes, streams and then drains into Puget Sound.