skip to main content

Salmon and trout

Science, volunteer opportunities, and Endangered Species Act response

To offer a suggestion or report an error on the Natural Resources and Parks' website, please contact Fred Bentler, webmaster.

Salmon and trout in King County, Washington and the northwest

Lake Sammamish kokanee
King County, Washington

Kokanee: The little red fish that could!
Click for high-resolution | pdf version (76 Kb)
Copyright free for print, decals, patches, t-shirts etc.

Kokanee are smaller relatives of sockeye salmon. They are the same species, but unlike sockeye, they don't migrate to the ocean. Instead, Sammamish kokanee live in Lake Sammamish or Lake Washington and return to a few streams to spawn in the fall. Their numbers have been declining rapidly in the past decade.

Kokanee identification
Pictures, drawings and descriptions to help identify landlocked sockeye salmon or kokanee.

Kokanee pictures
Photos of kokanee in tributary creeks of Lake Sammamish in King County, Washington.
Lewis Creek kokanee picture for identification

Kokanee videos
Watch videos of spawning, rearing and reintroduction of kokanee in Lake Sammamish tributaries since 2007.

Kokanee studies, reports and documents

Kokanee and chinook restoration projects in the Sammamish Watershed
List of projects scoped for fast-action and to benefit kokanee and chinook salmon populations in Lake Sammamish tributaries (2011).

Kokanee conservation presentations
Briefing materials presented to regional partners interesting in Lake Sammamish kokanee science, status and conservation efforts.

Lake Sammamish Kokanee Workgroup products


For questions about Lake Sammamish kokanee, please contact David St. John, government relations administrator, DNRP Water Policy Unit.

Related information

Related agencies

News and announcements

Sep. 17, 2013
External article, Issaquah Press
Lake Sammamish earns federal designation

May 7, 2013
External article, Sammamish Review
Kokanee Work Group progress is heartening

May 8, 2013
External report, KING5 News
Next generation of kokanee salmon released into Lake Sammamish video

Apr. 30, 2013
External article, The Issaquah Press
Kokanee restoration earns local philanthropist a Green Globe award

Apr. 30, 2013
External article, The Issaquah Press
Kokanee release celebrates species recovery

Apr. 26, 2013
Earth Week Sammamish kokanee release caps off strong year for ‘little red fish’
Partners in Lake Sammamish Kokanee Work Group join with area students in juvenile fish release on recently rehabilitated Ebright Creek

Apr. 24, 2013
External article, Issaquah-Sammamish Reporter
Fun with fry— and an educational experience

Dec. 6, 2012
External article, Sammamish Review
Kokanee salmon make their return in greater numbers 

Dec. 4, 2012
External article, Issaquah Press
More kokanee return as community works to restore species

Nov. 29, 2012
External article, Sammamish Reporter
Lake Sammamish kokanee return to local streams in full force

Nov. 17, 2012
External report, KOMO News
Many happy returns: East side creek again brims with salmon video

Oct. 2, 2012
External article, The Issaquah Press
Tribal tales from a kokanee salmon, as told to Dallas Cross

July 18, 2012
External article, Sammamish Review
Where did the Lake Sammamish kokanee salmon go?

Apr. 23, 2012
External article, Issaquah Reporter
Rare Kokanee spawn bigger numbers this spring

April 18, 2011
Lake Sammamish kokanee get boost on road to recovery with Earth Week fish release

» Archived news and announcements