Join Us for the Salish Sea Marine Survival Project

Tuesday, March 31, 2015 at 08:39PM

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Join Friends of the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery on May 7, for a fascinating, insightful presentation about the survival of salmon, steelhead and other marine life in the Salish Sea.

The public is invited as Jacques White, executive director of the nonprofit organization Long Live the Kings (LLTK), discusses what we are learning about the environmental state of this area, and its impacts on Puget Sound salmon and orca populations.

The presentation will be held in the Watershed Science Center at the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery on May 7, 2015. Doors will open at 6 p.m., and the program will begin at 6:30 p.m. There is no charge for the program, although FISH will gratefully accept donations.

The presentation is the second in a series called FISH Talks, a program to educate and inform our community about issues and activities affecting salmon raised at the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery.

The Salish Sea includes the coastal waterways located between the southwestern tip of British Columbia, and the northwestern tip of Washington State.

The Salish Sea Marine Survival Project leverages human and financial resources from the United States and Canada to determine the primary factors affecting the drastic reduction in survival of juvenile salmon and steelhead in the Salish Sea. It is the largest and most important research of its kind in the shared waters of British Columbia and Washington State, addressing a key uncertainty impeding salmon recovery and sustainable fisheries.

White is the executive director of LLTK, a nonprofit organization committed to restoring wild salmon and steelhead to the waters of the Pacific Northwest. LLTK pursues projects and partnerships that compel coordinated, scientifically-credible and transparent changes to harvest, hatchery and habitat management.

FISH Offers Screening of Elwha River Film

Tuesday, January 13, 2015 at 06:44PM

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Friends of the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery will offer a screening of the film “Return of the River” (The Elwha) on Friday, February 20, 2015, in the Watershed Science Center at the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery. “Return of the River” follows a group of strong-minded committed people as they attempt the impossible: to change the public opinion of a town and eventually the nation to bring a dam down. The community comes to a consensus, setting the Elwha River free and showing the way to more sustainable future. The film is produced by Jessica Plumb and co-directed by Jessica Plumb and John Gussman.

The screening is open to the public. Doors will open at 6pm, the program will begin at 6:30pm. The film runs 70 minutes. There will be a sampling of salmon hors devours and a discussion following the viewing. The event is free but contributions will be gratefully accepted.

In her review Seattle Times film critic Lynda V. Mapes said: "Return of the River vividly portrays the epic story of the freeing of Olympic National Park's mighty Elwha River from two salmon-blocking dams. The Elwha Klallam people, scientists, fishermen, politicians, enviros, and townsfolk all add their voices to a film that is visually dazzling, lyrically evocative, and fluid as mountain snowmelt."

Fundamentally, the Elwha River is a story about people and the land they inhabit. The film captures the tenacity of individuals who would not give up on a river, mirroring the tenacity of salmon headed upstream to spawn. It is a narrative with global ramifications, exploring the complex relationship between communities and the environment that sustains them.

Memorial Services Set For Charles “Stan” Staniforth

Tuesday, September 9, 2014 at 07:19PM

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The Friends of the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery lost a wonderful friend in September of 2014. Charles "Stan" Staniforth passed away leaving a long legacy of devotion to the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery and the Friends of the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery. He became a member in 2003 and could be found almost every day at the hatchery helping to do chores, spawn fish, mow the lawn or whatever needed to be done. He loved to help people understand the annual miracle of the salmon return to Issaquah Creek and enjoyed giving tours, especially to school children.

Memorial services are scheduled for Thursday, September 25 at 2PM. St. Margaret's Episcopal Church, 4228 Factorial Blvd. SE, Bellevue WA

“Stan was such a positive influence on so many children who came to the hatchery to learn about salmon. His legacy will live on in the many lives that he touched.” Gestin Suttle, former Executive Director of FISH

“It's hard to put in words - but he was a friend, a mentor, and just an overall good guy. To know him was to love him.” Norb Ziegler, FISH Volunteer

“Stan was an amazing man and I will miss him. He really loved being at the hatchery and we all benefited from his presence.” Darin Combs, Manager, Issaquah Salmon Hatchery

“Issaquah lost a true friend of the Hatchery and FISH.” Fred Butler, Mayor of Issaquah

“Not only did Stan lead tours and spawn fish, but he worked at the hatchery like he was part of the hatchery staff. He cleaned restrooms, mowed lawns, fire hosed raceways, sampled fish, etc. Because of this he is the only volunteer who we gave a complete set of keys for the hatchery. He was also given a pin number to use the fuel cards since he refueled the vehicles and went to fill gas cans for the off road equipment and gas powered grounds equipment. In 2009 the Director of the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife presented Stan with the Volunteer of the Year award, something very few volunteers receive. The hatchery staff is going to miss him!” John Kugen, Hatchery staff

“So sad! It won't be the same without Stan! I'll miss seeing him ride up on his motorcycle! RIP Stan!” Debi SanChez, Hatchery staff

Where's the Fish? Part 3

Monday, September 8, 2014 at 10:18PM

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The Chinook count is up to 4,827! And, the recent rain has brought the first of them into Issaquah Creek. And, we have jumpers! Few Chinook are being reported at the Shilshole Public Ramp, but the Coho count is picking up! Pretty soon the official count will start tracking the Coho return – presently they have counted about 500 Coho at this time. That forecast is for over 22,000 fish, so we should have lots of Coho action at the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery.

Can you spot whether these fish are hatchery-reared or naturally spawned? Please “comment” with your observations.

Where's the Fish? Part 2

Friday, August 15, 2014 at 05:20PM

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Our favorite salmonids are on their way back! The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) forecast (including the Issaquah Hatchery runs) expects “similar [to last year] Chinook fisheries” and “. . . a strong run of Coho salmon.” All our returning fish pass through the Chittenden (Ballard) Locks where they are counted as they make their way into the Lake Washington basin. Many of the Chinook and Coho are on their way to Issaquah Creek – most of the Sockeye are on their way to the Cedar River. The current count is pictured below:

The Chinook count has taken a nice bump up to 1,697. This is still short of the historic numbers at this time, but not scary. Yet. The Issaquah Salmon Hatchery only needs about 800 pair of Chinook to hit our typical egg allotment. More sport-caught Chinook have been reported at the Shilshole Public Ramp, which is right at the entrance to the Locks. The Neah Bay Chinook fishery has peaked and is dropping; one of the routes our fish take to get to the Puget Sound from the Pacific Ocean.

With these sparse numbers it is unlikely that fishing for the Chinook would be open in the Sammamish River or Lake Sammamish. The official word is on the WDFW site current regulations and Special Rules, which can change from day to day.

The sport catch out of Westport is still excellent. Now most of those fish are headed for the Columbia and other watersheds, but we can hope, can’t we, that some of these fish will continue up the coast to head to Issaquah.

The coho count has not started yet – the forecast is for over 22,000 fish, so that is very heartening!

Darin Combs, Issaquah Hatchery Manager, caught this 35 pound Chinook earlier this summer.

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April 16, 2015

Please mark your calendars for May 5th to participate in the GiveBIG Day sponsored by The Seattle Foundation. FISH relies on your donations to support our organization. Every dollar helps us to educate more people about the miracle of our salmon and to keep them returning to Issaquah Creek each year!

Your contribution will be "stretched" by the Seattle Foundation on this ONE DAY so be sure to go to anytime on May 5th (midnight to midnight PST). Simply search for Friends of Issaquah Salmon Hatchery (or FISH) and click "Donate Now" to make a (tax-deductible) donation using your credit card. Thank you for your support. We can't do it without you!