April 22nd was warm and sunny. F.I.S.H. was happy to welcome nearly 500 to our Open House to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery. Highlights of the event included opening remarks by Eileen Barber, Issaquah City Council Member, Ava Frisinger, Mayor of Issaquah and F.I.S.H. Board President, Deputy King County Executive, Fred Jarrett and Sara LaBorde, Special Assistant to the Director of the Washington State Department of Fish & Wildlife. The 75th Anniversary logo was unveiled and will be used to commemorate a year of celebrations. You can see that logo at the top of this page.
Families enjoyed tours of the hatchery by F.I.S.H. volunteer docents, a scavenger hunt around the grounds, the opportunity to help create fence fish art, examine pond water under a microscope, make fish prints and more. Here Volunteer Docent Dave Clemens helps a young visitor explore the innards of a salmon. The highlight for children at the end of the day was to release a chinook salmon fry into Issaquah Creek and start the little guy on the journey to the ocean.
Read about the open house and see pictures in the Issaquah Press. Although unable to attend the event, Governor Chris Gregoire congratulated the hatchery on 75 years of successful fish culture along Issaquah Creek. See more great pictures of the event at Sammamsih-Issaquah Patch.
The best surprise of the day was the announcement by Washington Fish & Wildlife that $4 million in funding has been dedicated to replacement of the upper intake dam across Issaquah Creek. F.I.S.H. and community leaders have long advocated for creating an easier way for migrating salmon to navigate beyond the dam to the 10 miles of favorable spawning habitat upstream from the hatchery dam. Construction is expected to get under way in 2012.