December 4, 2012
Homeowner funds $175,000 culvert project
Lake Sammamish kokanee salmon — a landlocked cousin of sockeye and a species noted for distinctive red coloration — dwindled in recent decades, since before Wally Pereyra moved into a house along Ebright Creek in 1973.
December 4, 2012
Lake Sammamish State Park, a 512-acre urban oasis surrounded by Issaquah and a destination long overdue for a makeover, is in the spotlight again as city and state officials seek residents’ ideas for the park’s future.
Issaquah and the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission leaders scheduled a Dec. 10 open house about the state park. The event is meant to restart the conversation about options for the park, including a stalled plan approved in 2007 and meant to guide upgrades to aging facilities and the expansion of recreation opportunities.
Options to revive the plan could include a partnership between the state parks agency, city and a nonprofit organization to help the park. The state parks agency is also open to commercial ventures on parkland as a potential way to generate funds for the facility.
October 6, 2012
NEW — 6 a.m. Oct. 6, 2012
Salmon Days draws an average of 150,000 visitors to the streets of Issaquah. However, over the course of the fall season, between 9,000 and 10,000 students alone journey from all over the Puget Sound region to the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery to learn more about the star of the show.
Celebrating its 75th year in operation, the hatchery has evolved to include more learning opportunities for the young and young-at-heart. Bringing that history lesson to the masses via PowerPoint is Jane Kuechle, hatchery executive director.
The hatchery site actually was once part of the aptly named City Park, connected to downtown Issaquah via a wooden bridge over Issaquah Creek. The park, with its bandstand and speaking platform, played host to holiday celebrations and many a family picnic along the creek.
September 4, 2012
See salmon, Snoqualmie carver at open house
Salmon reached the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery late last month, but the arrival is not the only celebration at the downtown landmark.
May 1, 2012
John Mullen shares tribal customs during Mother Joseph Pariseau Day
John Mullen, a member of the Snoqualmie Tribe, has been a carver and sort of spokesman and educator for the tribe for about 11 years.
In addition to spreading and teaching the Snoqualmie tradition of carving, Mullen also carries on the tribe’s tradition of singing and drumming.
On April 16, he was at Issaquah’s nonprofit Providence Marianwood skilled nursing facility, with his handmade tools, one of his handmade dugout canoes and plenty of stories to share.
Mullen’s visit was part of Marianwood’s marking of April 16, formally Mother Joseph Pariseau Day in Washington.
A member of the Catholic order of the Sisters of Providence, Mother Joseph is credited with building 29 hospitals, schools, orphanages and shelters for the aged or mentally ill in the late 1800s in Washington and surrounding states.
April 17, 2012
The iconic Issaquah Salmon Hatchery opened along Issaquah Creek 75 years ago and, in the decades since, developed into a symbol for the community and a lifeline for fish species.
The anniversary celebration is due to start April 22, Earth Day, as the nonprofit organization Friends of the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery hosts a public open house. The daylong celebration launches a series of events to mark the milestone.
“The hatchery brought back the salmon to Issaquah,” FISH Executive Director Jane Kuechle said.
April 10, 2012
Conservationists plodded along rain-soaked creek banks last autumn to collect mature Lake Sammamish kokanee salmon in a soggy slog and pluck fish from a handful of streams to preserve the fading species.
The groups responsible for the salmon run restoration effort plan to return to Laughing Jacobs Creek on April 19 to release minuscule fry — a sign of success for the local, county, state and federal agencies entwined in the preservation program.
The annual kokanee fry release celebrates the ongoing push to restore the declining kokanee population in Lake Sammamish and launches Earth Day observances in the area. The community is invited to participate and learn about the salmon species — a landlocked cousin of sockeye — and the preservation program.
October 4, 2011
Population is in decline, but local stock is not ‘distinct’ from other kokanee
Federal officials decided dwindling Lake Sammamish kokanee salmon do not qualify for protection under the Endangered Species Act, prompting a chorus of disapproval from local officials.
The species’ decline concerned U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service officials, but did not merit the fish being listed under the act. The agency announced the decision Oct. 3.
The once-abundant kokanee declined in recent decades, perhaps due to construction near creeks, increased predators, disease or changes in water quality.
In recent years, the number of salmon in the late-fall and early-winter run has dwindled to fewer than 1,000 in some seasons. Kokanee return to only a handful of creeks — Ebright, Laughing Jacobs and Lewis — to spawn. Scientists estimated the total 2010 run at 58 fish, including the 40 kokanee spawned at the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery in a last-ditch effort to save the species.
The decision came after the agency spent four years to review the Lake Sammamish stock’s health.
October 3, 2011
NEW — 11:15 a.m. Oct. 3, 2011
Federal fish and wildlife officials decided Lake Sammamish kokanee salmon do not qualify for protection under the Endangered Species Act.
The species’ decline concerned U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service officials, but did not merit the fish being listed under the act.
The once-abundant kokanee has declined in recent decades, perhaps due to construction near creeks, increased predators, disease or changes in water quality. Scientists estimated the total 2010 run at 58 fish, including the 40 kokanee spawned at the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery in a last-ditch effort to save the species.
Local environmental groups, governments and the Snoqualmie Tribe petitioned in 2007 to list the landlocked salmon species as endangered. In the meantime, local, county and state agencies started spawning kokanee at the Issaquah hatchery to aid the species’ survival.
August 2, 2011
In a rare bipartisan effort, the U.S. House of Representatives backed a proposal July 27 to allow officials to add animals and plants to the Endangered Species Act — a measure important to a coming protection decision for Lake Sammamish kokanee salmon.
In a spending bill, House Republicans called for only allowing the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to remove species from the endangered list, rather than add others. U.S. Rep. Norm Dicks, a powerful Washington Democrat, led the effort to strip the so-called “extinction rider” from the spending bill.
U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert, Issaquah’s representative in Congress and a Republican, joined 36 other GOP representatives and 187 Democrats to support Dicks’ amendment.
Under a recent legal agreement between the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and the Center for Biological Diversity, the agency is required to decide by the end of the year whether the Lake Sammamish kokanee proposal should proceed.
Local environmental groups, governments and the Snoqualmie Tribe petitioned in 2007 to list the landlocked salmon species as endangered.