August 21, 2012
Friends of the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery is hosting a photo contest to celebrate the hatchery’s 75th anniversary.
Organizers encourage amateur and professional photographers to document the hatchery, salmon in the stream, and the flora and fauna that inhabit the grounds.
Photos must be taken on hatchery property in places open to the public, between Sept. 1 and Oct. 31. Winners will be announced Nov. 10 at the hatchery.
Learn more about the contest and submit entries at www.issaquahfish.org. Click on the “FISH Celebrates 75th Anniversary” link at the top of the home page.
The hatchery, a Works Progress Administration project, opened in 1937. The property is owned by the city and operated by the state Department of Fish and Wildlife.
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.
July 24, 2012
The state Department of Fish and Wildlife has made finding up-to-date information about salmon runs and salmon recovery efforts easier, by unveiling a salmon scorecard.
The online tool —Salmon Conservation Reporting Engine, or SCoRE — consolidates information about Washington salmon populations, hatchery production, conservation guidelines and other aspects of salmon management into a single website, http://wdfw.wa.gov/score.
SCoRE outlines major recovery initiatives under way around the state to restore salmon habitat, restructure hatchery operations and redesign fisheries to conserve wild salmon runs.
“Our goal was to make this information as easy to access as possible,” Sara LaBorde, a special assistant to the agency director, said in a statement. “With SCoRE, people can switch from an overview of statewide habitat-restoration efforts to spawning data for a specific salmon run with a few mouse clicks.”
The website breaks down increases and decreases in salmon and steelhead populations, activities at specific hatcheries, information about wild salmon and steelhead runs, and opportunities for the public to participate in salmon recovery efforts.
“Our state made a major commitment to salmon recovery, and people have a right to know how that’s going,” LaBorde said.
July 17, 2012
Motorists should expect lane closures on eastbound Interstate 90 near Issaquah as crews remove a narrow culvert — a barrier to fish.
To complete the $2.8 million project, crews must work double shifts in order to wrap up construction before Aug. 31. The deadline is tied to the return of chinook and coho salmon, and steelhead, to the East Fork of Issaquah Creek.
The state Department of Transportation alerted motorists to prepare for closures through 3 p.m. July 20. Crews plan to reopen the lane for afternoon travelers and then close the lane again from July 21-27.
The project location is east of Highlands Drive Northeast and the Sunset Interchange between Issaquah and Preston.
Officials do not expect the closures to cause traffic backups. In the westbound direction, around-the-clock closures started several weeks ago.
Transportation planners envision a wider replacement to better accommodate the 25-foot-wide streambed in the area near the culvert.
The existing culvert impedes salmon and trout headed to historic rearing and spawning grounds.
July 10, 2012
Plans to replace a problem-plagued dam upstream from the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery surged ahead July 2, as City Council members steered dollars to complete designs for a proposed replacement.
Crews intend to add boulder weirs to Issaquah Creek and demolish the dam, perhaps as early as next spring.
The legislation approved by the council increased city dollars for the project by $268,700 from the $155,000 municipal leaders initially set aside in the 2012 municipal budget for the replacement. Now, after the council decision, the total amount in the budget is $423,700.
June 28, 2012
So, you think you know Issaquah? Is the city just another buttoned-up suburb? Nope. Issaquah is home to more than 30,000 people — and more than a century of secrets. Issaquah anecdotes stretch deep into the past and continue into the 21st century. Look beyond the basics to discover tidbits and trivia.
Test your Issaquah IQ. (Scroll to the bottom to check the answers, but please, no cheating!)
June 19, 2012
Issaquah salmon-restoration projects could garner grant dollars after all, even though a lawsuit threatened to cut off funds for conservation projects countywide.
King County Flood Control District leaders decided to fund salmon-recovery projects after the King Conservation District stopped doling out grants amid a legal challenge.
Flood Control District officials approved $3 million May 14 for projects to improve water quality, protect and restore habitat, and support salmon recovery efforts. King County Council members sit as the executive board for the Flood Control District.
The decision is meant to plug a gap left after the King Conservation District halted a separate process to issue salmon-recovery grants. Read more
June 12, 2012
Motorists should prepare for closures along westbound Interstate 90 as crews improve a passage beneath the highway for salmon and other fish.
Crews started construction last month on a fish passage east of Highlands Drive Northeast and the Sunset Interchange between Issaquah and Preston in unincorporated King County. The $2.8 million project is meant to replace a narrow culvert on the East Fork of Issaquah Creek.
The stream is home to chinook, coho and sockeye salmon, as well as steelhead, sea-run cutthroat trout and resident trout.
Officials identified the 12-foot-wide culvert as a barrier to fish in January 2006. The state Department of Transportation planned a wider replacement to better accommodate the 25-foot-wide stream bed in the area near the culvert.
June 5, 2012
For Issaquah School District students, learning about the lifecycle of a salmon is just a part of the regular curriculum.
But for nearly 20 Fulbright scholars from all around the world, their May 30 visit to the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery represented a true introduction to the fish at the heart of Pacific Northwest culture.
The scholars were in town as part of the “From Lab to Market” seminars, held in Seattle this year. The visit, designed for Fulbright scholars studying in the science and technology fields, encourages students to explore how to apply their studies to benefit global communities. The trip includes introductions to scientific innovators and experts, as well as exposure to the culture of the host city.
May 15, 2012
Questions about long-term funding for a proposed concession and event facility at Lake Sammamish State Park led Gov. Chris Gregoire to eliminate the $3.1 million legislators had set aside for construction.
The long-term plan for the state park included the concession and event facility as a supplement to the aging amenities at the lakeside destination. Officials questioned a plan from the cash-strapped state parks system to pay for the facility.
The governor struck the state park facility from the supplemental capital budget. The document authorized more than $1 billion in public works spending statewide, including a $4 million project to replace a problem-plagued Issaquah Salmon Hatchery dam.
Gregoire signed the supplemental capital budget April 24.
State Sen. Cheryl Pflug, a Maple Valley Republican and the representative for Issaquah, joined other senators to pressure the governor to preserve funding for the state park facility, but also raised questions about long-term funding.