Embark on a Kokanee Quest — a real-world treasure hunt for geocaches designed to connect you with the effort to restore native Lake Sammamish kokanee salmon.
The geocache adventure takes place now through summer 2016 along nine locations that highlight the restoration of the kokanee salmon in the Lake Sammamish watershed.
Participants venture into the Lake Sammamish area to learn about the kokanee's life cycle and where the little red fish live and grow.
Kokanee Quest can be done as a family or on your own and is suitable for all ages. As a participant, you'll learn about Lake Sammamish kokanee as you hike or bike in search of geocaches hidden in places that are important to kokanee.
To participate, set up an account with geocaching.com, where location pages are posted.
To qualify for a prize, participants must print a Kokanee Quest passport and stamp it with the ink stamp inside each cache.
Geocachers should expect adventure and to become kokanee experts as they visit creeks, the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery and wildlife areas along the Lake Sammamish watershed. They may even see a kokanee.
A Discover Pass is required to park at the two Lake Sammamish State Park locations.
Lake Sammamish kokanee, a landlocked salmon species that lives in the Lake Sammamish watershed, have filled a critical ecological role. But the species has experienced a dramatic decline, leading to near-extinction in recent years.
To address the kokanee's plight, citizens, landowners, nonprofit agencies, and local, state, tribal and federal governments — including the City of Issaquah — have united to restore native kokanee salmon populations and the ecological integrity of the greater Lake Sammamish basin.
Unlike other salmon, the Lake Sammamish kokanee salmon lives its entire life in fresh water. Kokanee spawn in tributary creeks, and their offspring migrate to the lake as they mature, then return to their home creeks as adults to spawn the next generation.
Kokanee Quest is sponsored by the Lake Sammamish Kokanee Work Group and the Lake Sammamish Urban Wildlife Refuge Program partnership, a consortium led by the King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.