A sharp increase — biologists observed over 2,000 returning from Lake Sammamish to spawn in tributary creeks — represents positive signs for the health of our native kokanee salmon population. Kokanee are one of the four genetically distinct salmon populations in the state and culturally significant to our area.
Issaquah City Council Member Victoria Hunt shared, "We are excited that our science-based salmon recovery efforts are paying off with a strong kokanee return in 2021. This kokanee partnership is central to the city’s identity, our thriving economy and our healthy environment, and it helps a culturally important native fish species come back from the brink of extinction."
The Lake Sammamish Kokanee Work Group, an alliance of tribal and local governments, state and federal agencies, non-governmental organizations, landowners and residents of the watershed, recommended steps to combat the decreasing numbers of kokanee salmon after a sudden decline in spawning salmon returning to streams around Lake Sammamish. King County Executive Dow Constantine enacted the Working Group's recommendations in 2018 to prevent the possible extinction of the kokanee salmon.
These are encouraging results for the return of kokanee salmon only three years later.
For more information, read the King County press release.