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‘Salmon SEEson’ returns: Spot fish coming home to King County rivers, streams

Summary

Several Pacific salmon species have begun returning from the open ocean to streams across King County to spawn - and the 'Salmon SEEson' program offers tips about the best locations to see and learn about these amazing icons of the Pacific Northwest.

Story

Native salmon – sockeye, chinook, spawning_sockeyecoho and chum, kokanee and pinks – have begun their journey from the open ocean to their birthplaces in the streams and rivers that feed into Puget Sound. The Salmon SEEson program helps you be able to witness their amazing journey at locations around King County.

The Salmon SEEson website provides information on salmon-spotting locations – from Bear Creek in Redmond to the Green River in Auburn, and from Piper’s Creek in Seattle’s Carkeek Park to Ebright Creek in Sammamish. This is the 11th year of the program.

Some salmon-viewing opportunities are self-guided, while volunteer naturalists are available at other locations on select dates to help visitors spot the fish and learn about the salmon’s lifecycle and habitat needs.

Despite the wettest winter-spring period on record, this summer has been warm and the driest in more than a century. The hot, dry weather makes the migration home more stressful for salmon returning to spawn.  

Counter to predictions, sockeye salmon are returning in larger numbers than expected, but still far below numbers that would be considered “good” and enable recreational fishing on Lake Washington. Numbers of returning chinook salmon continue to be well below historic levels.

For more information on any or all of the sites listed below, visit the Salmon SEEson website, or call 206-477-4780.  The website also includes links to tips for keeping water clean for salmon and people.

Salmon SEEson is sponsored by the WRIA 8 Salmon Recovery Council as part of its effort to recover salmon in the Lake Washington/Cedar/Sammamish Watershed. Additional sponsors include the Green/Duwamish and Central Puget Sound Watershed, King County, Duwamish Alive Coalition, and the Saving Water Partnership.

For more information, visit kingcounty.gov/salmon and click on Salmon SEEson, or call 206-477-4780.

Look for salmon on these dates at these locations:

Best viewing through September (free tours/talks twice a day)
Chittenden Locks in Seattle (Ballard)
More info: 206-783-7059, visit ballardlocks.org or search web for “Chittenden Locks”
Sponsored by U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Best viewing through October (self-guided)
Duwamish River, Tukwila: North Wind’s Weir, 2914 S. 112th St., and Codiga Park, 12585 50th Pl. S.
More info: info@duwamishalive.org or DuwamishAlive.org
Sponsored by Duwamish Alive Coalition

Best viewing through October
Locations along the Sammamish River Trail in Redmond
More info: 425-556-2822 or pholte@redmond.gov
Sponsored by City of Redmond

Best viewing daily through November (self-guided)
(Drop-in tours 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. on weekends, Sept. 17-Nov. 20)
Issaquah Salmon Hatchery on Issaquah Creek, 125 W. Sunset Way, Issaquah
More info: 425-392-1118 or issaquahfish.org
Sponsored by Friends of the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery

Best viewing through November (self-guided)
Locations along North Creek Trail in North Creek Business Park
Start at trail behind Country Inn and Suites at 19333 North Creek Pkwy., Bothell
More info: 425-806-6796 or janet.geer@ci.bothell.wa.us
Sponsored by City of Bothell

Best viewing through December (self-guided)
Whitney Bridge Park on the Green River
212th Way SE and SE Green Valley Road, near Auburn
More info: 206-529-9467
Sponsored by Mid-Sound Fisheries Enhancement Group

Best viewing through mid-October (self-guided)
Issaquah Creek boardwalk in Lake Sammamish State Park (free with Discover Pass)
More info: parks.wa.gov/533/Lake-Sammamish or lakesammamishfriends.org
Sponsored by Friends of Lake Sammamish State Park

Best viewing through October
Open daily, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Soos Creek Hatchery, 13030 Auburn-Black Diamond Rd.
More info: 253-931-3950
Managed by Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife

Best viewing late September to mid-November (self-guided daily during KIS Farm hours)
Bear Creek in Redmond, 12526 Avondale Rd. NE
For info on docent-led visits: Linda at 425-882-1846 or lyhussey@comcast.net
Sponsored by ROSE (Redmond Organization of Shared Environments) 

Best viewing October through December (self-guided)
Along Longfellow Creek in West Seattle
Start at the corner of 28th Avenue SW and SW Dakota Street
More info: 206-297-7002 or Kathryn@pugetsoundkeeper.org
Sponsored by Puget Soundkeeper Alliance and City of Seattle

Through October (self-guided)
Along Kelsey and Coal creeks in Bellevue
Contact 425-452-5200 or streamteam@bellevuewa.gov to learn where fish have been spotted
Sponsored by City of Bellevue

Sept. 20 (3-5 p.m.); Sept. 23 and 24 (1-4 p.m.); Sept. 27 (3-5 p.m.); Sept. 30 and Oct. 1 (1-4 p.m.)
Bear Creek in Woodinville, on the Tolt Pipeline trail where it crosses Mink Road NE
More info: 206-437-8754
Sponsored by Water Tenders

Oct. 7, 8, 14, 15, 21, 22, 28, and 29 (11 a.m. - 4 p.m.)
Several locations along the Cedar River near Renton
More info: 206-792-5851 or seattleaquarium.org/salmon-journey
Sponsored by the Seattle Aquarium

Weekends from Nov. 4 to Dec. 3 (11 a.m. - 2 p.m. Sat. & Sun.), and Nov. 19 with special activities 11 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Piper’s Creek in Seattle’s Carkeek Park
More info: 206-733-9697, bill.malatinsky@seattle.gov or carkeekpark.org
Sponsored by City of Seattle

Early November through late January (self-guided)
Ebright Creek at the East Lake Sammamish Trail, Sammamish, and Lewis Creek at 185th Place SE, Issaquah
Call first to learn if fish are present: 206-477-4746
Sponsored by City of Sammamish, City of Issaquah and King County

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