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

Summary

Salmon are coming home to spawn in King County’s rivers and streams – find details on where to watch these Pacific Northwest icons on the Salmon SEEson website.

Story

Native salmon – bearcrksockeye_salmon_seeson_19including sockeye, chinook, coho, pink and chum – have begun the journey from the open ocean to their birthplaces in streams and rivers that feed into Puget Sound. Kokanee, landlocked sockeye salmon that spend their entire lives in the freshwater of Lake Sammamish, can also be seen spawning in streams feeding into the Lake. The Salmon SEEson program helps people witness this amazing migration at locations around King County.

The Salmon SEEson website provides information on salmon-spotting locations throughout King County – from small streams and large rivers, to the Ballard Locks and hatcheries.
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.

There are dozens of salmon-viewing events scheduled from September into December that likely offer the best chances of seeing salmon – particularly during a year when many stocks are returning in below-average numbers. 

The 2019 sockeye run returning through the fish ladder at the Ballard Locks is the lowest return on record. Sockeye are affected by the changing climate, with variable ocean conditions and warming of streams and lakes. Warmer water increases predator metabolism and consumption of juvenile salmon and makes salmon more susceptible to disease. Numbers of returning chinook salmon also continue to trend below historic levels. Lake Sammamish’s native kokanee population has also declined in recent years, and King County and partners have taken emergency actions to prevent possible extinction.

 Local governments and community groups around King County and Puget Sound are working to recover salmon populations by protecting and restoring habitat, managing stormwater runoff from streets and hard surfaces, and educating the public about what they can do to help.

Practicing water conservation and pollution prevention year-round helps salmon thrive, which means more fish can survive and continue their journey to the ocean and back to local streams and rivers.

For more information on the salmon-viewing sites listed below, visit the Salmon SEEson website, or call 206-477-7574. The website also includes tips for keeping water clean for salmon, orcas, 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, the Snoqualmie Watershed Forum, King County, Duwamish Alive Coalition, and the Saving Water Partnership.

For more information, visit kingcounty.gov/salmon and click on Salmon SEEson, or call 206-477-7574.

Look for salmon on these dates at these locations:

Chittenden Locks in Seattle (Ballard)
Best viewing through September (free tours/talks daily) 
More info: 206-783-7059, visit ballardlocks.org/salmon-at-the-locks.html
Sponsored by U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Duwamish River in Tukwila 
Best viewing through November (self-guided) 
North Wind’s Weir, 2914 S. 112th St.; Codiga Park, 12585 50th Pl. S.; Tukwila Gardens, 11269 E. Marginal Way S.; and Tukwila Urban Center Pedestrian Bridge, 6800 Green River Trail, Tukwila.
More info: info@duwamishalive.org or DuwamishAlive.org 
Sponsored by Duwamish Alive Coalition

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

Issaquah Salmon Hatchery in Issaquah 
Best viewing through November (self-guided and drop-in tours 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. on weekends, Sept. 14-Nov. 3) 
125 W. Sunset Way, Issaquah
More info: 425-392-1118 or issaquahfish.org/tours 
Sponsored by Friends of the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery

Issaquah Creek in Issaquah

Best viewing through November (self-guided)
Confluence Park, 595 Rainier Blvd. N and Salmon Run Nature Park, 930 5th Ave. NW
More info: education@issaquahfish.org 
Sponsored by City of Issaquah

North Creek Trail in Bothell
Best viewing through November (self-guided) 
Start at trail behind Country Inn and Suites at 19333 North Creek Pkwy., Bothell 
More info: 425-806-6790 or christi.cox@bothellwa.gov or bothellwa.gov/salmontours
Sponsored by City of Bothell 

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

Issaquah Creek boardwalk in Lake Sammamish State Park
Best viewing through mid-October (self-guided)
2000 NW Sammamish Rd, Issaquah (park free with Discover Pass) 
More info: parks.wa.gov/533/Lake-Sammamish or lakesammamishfriends.org 
Sponsored by Friends of Lake Sammamish State Park

Bear Creek at Keep It Simple Farm in Redmond
Best viewing through mid-November (self-guided daily during KIS Farm hours) 
12526 Avondale Rd. NE, Redmond
More info: 425-558-0990 or jamie@kisfarm.com
Sponsored by ROSE (Redmond Organization of Shared Environments)  

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

Bear Creek in Woodinville
Best viewing through October (Meet the Salmon events from 1-4 p.m. on Oct. 5-6, 12-13, and from 3-6 p.m. Oct. 2 and 9)
Tolt Pipeline Trail where it crosses Mink Road NE (between NE 148th St and NE 150th Pl) in Woodinville
More info: 206-437-8754 or susan@watertenders.org 
Sponsored by Water Tenders

Cedar River Salmon Journey near Renton
Best viewing through October (learn from volunteer naturalists from 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. on Oct 5-6, 12-13, 19-20, and 26-27)
Renton Library, Cedar River Park, Riverview Park, Cavanaugh Pond, and Landsburg Park and Dam
More info: 206-792-5851 or seattleaquarium.org/salmon-journey 
Sponsored by the Seattle Aquarium

Piper’s Creek in Seattle’s Carkeek Park
Best viewing through early December (learn from Salmon Stewards from 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. on weekends from Nov. 2 to Dec. 1)
More info: 206-733-9697, bill.malatinsky@seattle.gov or carkeekpark.org
Sponsored by City of Seattle

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

Miller Creek in Normandy Park
Best viewing October through early December (self-guided)
Where Miller Creek intersects 13th Avenue Southwest
Call first for recent salmon activity: 206-263-6826 or mgoehring@kingcounty.gov
Sponsored by WRIA 9 Watershed Ecosystem Forum

Snoqualmie and Tolt Rivers near Carnation
Best viewing through October (self-guided)
Chinook Bend Natural Area, foot bridge over the Snoqualmie River at Tolt-MacDonald Park, and Snoqualmie Valley Trail foot bridge over the Tolt River
More info: view the King County Parks’ websites for each site
Sponsored by the Snoqualmie Watershed Forum

Flaming Geyser State Park near Auburn
Best viewing through November (self-guided)
Bridge over the Green River on Southeast Flaming Geyser Road at the entrance of Flaming Geyser State Park
Find out recent fish activity: Chris.gregersen@kingcounty.gov
Sponsored by WRIA 9 Watershed Ecosystem Forum

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