More kokanee return as community works to restore species

December 4, 2012

Homeowner funds $175,000 culvert project

Lake Sammamish kokanee salmon swim Nov. 27 in the restored stretch of Ebright Creek at Wally Pereyra’s property in the 100 block of East Lake Sammamish Parkway Southeast. By Greg Farrar

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.

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Darigold donates water for Lake Sammamish kokanee

November 6, 2012

Darigold joined the effort in recent weeks to preserve dwindling Lake Sammamish kokanee salmon, Friends of the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery announced Oct. 26.

The downtown Issaquah dairy is donating water from a well to the Lower Issaquah Valley Aquifer for the hatchery to use in the ongoing effort to restore kokanee. The contribution from Darigold should save the hatchery about $50,000 over the program’s anticipated lifespan through 2021.

Experts said the Darigold water is ideal for kokanee due to consistent quality and temperature. Using the water allows hatchery teams to prevent the fish from imprinting on Issaquah Creek water, and instead allows fry to imprint on Ebright, Laughing Jacobs and Lewis creeks.

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Hatchery celebrates 75 years as Salmon Days returns

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.

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Celebrate National Public Lands Day on Tiger Mountain

September 25, 2012

Washingtonians can celebrate National Public Lands Day in the Tiger Mountain State Forest, other state forestlands or at national parks.

The state Department of Natural Resources said the lineup for National Public Lands Day, Sept. 29, includes a mountain bike trail construction event on Tiger Mountain.

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Lake Sammamish kokanee need long-term fix

September 25, 2012

Dallas Cross

Oncorhynchus nerka, our kokanee salmon in Lake Sammamish, is a threatened native species with greatly reduced numbers spawning in streams feeding the lake.

Most of their historical spawning areas are now denied by barriers or degraded as a result of land development.

Until recently, Lake Sammamish kokanee have not been included with other salmon species in conservation measures and have been low in profile for public concern.

For the past several years, an effort of the environmentally concerned and governmental communities adjacent to Lake Sammamish have participated in defining the problem, setting goals and taking action to address the threatened loss of the kokanee.

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Celebrate National Public Lands Day in Tiger Mountain State Forest, national parks

September 19, 2012

NEW — 3 p.m. Sept. 19, 2012

Washingtonians can celebrate National Public Lands Day in Tiger Mountain State Forest, other state forestlands or at national parks.

The state Department of Natural Resources said the lineup for National Public Lands Day, Sept. 29, includes a mountain bike trail construction event on Tiger Mountain.

The annual event is meant to encourage people to head outside and enjoy the outdoors.

State Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark invited the public to join volunteers to celebrate the event on Department of Natural Resources-managed lands across Washington.

Statewide, hundreds of volunteers plan to join the agency and partner organizations to repair trails, clean up litter, clear brush, remove invasive plants and complete other projects in recreation lands and conservation areas.

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FISH hosts Lake Sammamish kokanee salmon lecture

May 15, 2012

Friends of the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery is hosting U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service biologists and a state Department of Fish and Wildlife manager to discuss the Lake Sammamish kokanee salmon recovery program May 23.

The event starts at 6 p.m. at the Watershed Science Center at the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery, 125 W. Sunset Way. The lecture is free and open to the public.

The event includes U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service biologists Jeff Chan and Roger Tabor, plus state Department of Fish & Wildlife Region 4 Hatchery Manager Doug Hatfield.

Participants can learn about the Lake Sammamish kokanee and the status of the population from the federal biologists. Hatfield plans to cover the details of the innovative effort going on at the hatchery to preserve the species.

FISH, a nonprofit organization, is dedicated to the preservation of the historic hatchery through educational programs in school classrooms and at the hatchery.

Kokanee fundraiser nets almost $10,000 for preservation

April 3, 2012

Lake Sammamish kokanee salmon supporters raised almost $10,000 last month to protect the disappearing fish species.

Friends of the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery and Coho Café organized a March 16 fundraiser to net dollars for a kokanee restoration program.

The sold-out event raised funds from ticket sales for a reception at the Watershed Science Center on the hatchery grounds and a silent wine auction benefit.

Matt Baerwalde, a Snoqualmie Nation representative, presented a $5,000 check to FISH Executive Director Jane Kuechle for the kokanee spawning program.

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Fundraiser to aid dwindling Lake Sammamish kokanee

March 13, 2012

The message from groups toiling to save a fish species from extinction is simple and stark: SOS, for Save Our Salmon.

Kokanee S.O.S. is a planned fundraiser organized by Coho Café and Friends of the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery to aid the diminishing Lake Sammamish kokanee salmon population. The restaurant and the nonprofit organization are planning a March 23 fundraiser to benefit kokanee restoration efforts.

“This possible extinction is literally happening right in our own backyard and if a community as educated and affluent as King County cannot turn this critical situation around, then I’m not sure there is hope for any people to protect a dwindling and important resource,” said Heather VanDorn, Coho Café Catering manager.

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Lend a fin to kokanee at local fundraiser

March 6, 2012

Coho Café Catering and Friends of the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery plan to help a salmon species in decline.

The organizations planned Kokanee S.O.S. — for “save our salmon” — a fundraiser at the Issaquah restaurant to raise dollars for Lake Sammamish kokanee salmon preservation. The species is dwindling, but the federal government declined last year to list the fish as endangered.

The fundraiser is scheduled for 6 p.m. March 23. Purchase tickets at Coho Café, 6130 E. Lake Sammamish Parkway S.E., Suite A, or by calling 391-4040.

Proceeds from the fundraiser benefit a long-term effort to restore the salmon species. The effort brings together U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, the King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks, the state Department of Fish and Wildlife, and FISH to collect and spawn kokanee.

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