Introducing Kokanee Quest

Kokanee Quest is a real-world treasure hunt for geocaches hidden around Lake Sammamish. 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. When you see the cache, you might also see some kokanee!

Kokanee Quest is an opportunity get into the great outdoors, have some fun, get fresh air and see the landscape and its wildlife.

People protect what they love, love what they know and know what they experience.

Warren Neilson

What are kokanee?
The big reason we launched Kokanee Quest was to spread the word that Sammamish kokanee are in trouble and need help. Kokanee are landlocked salmon that live in Lake Sammamish. Kokanee swim up surrounding creeks to reproduce, where their offspring live, grow and continue their cycle of life. Sadly, Sammamish kokanee numbers have been declining for years. Because their future is in danger, fishing for kokanee is prohibited. People and governments are working to restore Sammamish kokanee populations back to health. If you live in the area that drains to Lake Sammamish, please consider learning about kokanee and helping them out by providing good stewardship.

How to get started

The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.

Lao Tzu

Before you do anything else,

Then, prepare for Kokanee Quest by setting up an account with Geocaching.com, where cache pages with clues and coordinates are published (important: coordinates posted at the top of cache pages are not precise-- you'll need to work through the clues on the cache pages to get exact coordinates). Once on Geocaching.com you can fill out your profile, watch how-to videos, download geocaching apps, learn about geocaching etiquette and start your quest.

To locate geocaches, you'll need a navigational device - a GPS-enabled mobile phone or tablet or a dedicated GPS unit. GPS stands for "global positioning system" and refers to specialized satellites that can work with ground-based receivers to calculate the exact location of any spot on earth.

Once you navigate to a location, you'll search for a hidden container. Note: Geocaches are never buried! If you have trouble finding it, the cache page usually has clues to help you. Once you find the geocache, you sign the physical logbook and then share your experiences on the cache's online page and by posting about it using the hashtag, #KokaneeQuest.

Wherever you go, no matter what the weather, always bring your own sunshine.

Anthony J. D'Angelo

Where to go

Geocache reference mapThis map shows where geocaches are hidden, approximately. Browse the sites here and visit individual cache pages to get the clues you'll need to get exact cache coordinates.
Idylwood Creek in Redmond This geocache is located in Redmond's Idylwood Park and highlights a stream-restoration project that improved fish habitat. Get clues from the Idylwood Creek geocache page to find where we hid the cache.
Lewis Creek in Bellevue This site highlights the importance of headwaters and wetlands, and how human impact can affect water quality and fish survival. The Lewis Creek Park geocache page provides the clues you'll need to find this cache.
Tibbetts Creek in Issaquah Tibbetts Creek is a primary salmon-spawning stream, and this site in Tibbetts Valley Park showcases the restored riparian habitat and creek, where you may see kokanee in late fall. Visit the Tibbetts Creek geocache page to get going.
Issaquah Creek at Lake Sammamish State Park Issaquah Creek is the largest tributary to Lake Sammamish, and historically one of the primary kokanee spawning streams. This geocache highlights the restoration of the habitat around the creek mouth and shoreline, which are critical to the survival of young kokanee. For clues to find this cache, visit the Issaquah Creek geocache page.
Issaquah Hatchery in Issaquah The Issaquah Salmon Hatchery is helping ensure the survival of the Lake Sammamish kokanee through an innovative breeding program that helps expand the creeks where they spawn. Check for clues on The Hatchery geocache page to find where we hid this cache.
Laughing Jacobs Creek in Issaquah Laughing Jacobs Creek is one of three primary spawning sites for kokanee, and you may be able to see some from November to January. It's one of three Kokanee Quest sites that can be accessed by walking or biking on East Lake Sammamish Trail. Visit the Laughing Jacobs geocache page to find clues to lead you to the right hiding place.
Ebright Creek in Sammamish Ebright is one of the primary salmon spawning streams, and this cache site highlights the amazing stewardship of a local resident who helped pay to restore the creek. It's one of three sites that can be accessed by walking or biking on East Lake Sammamish Trail. Go to the Ebright Creek geocache page now and follow the clues.
George Davis Creek in Sammamish The view of George Davis Creek from the East Lake Sammamish Trail shows clear fish barriers, but the cache showcases the innovative work done at the creek mouth to reconnect it to Lake Sammamish and encourage salmon spawning. It's one of three sites that can be accessed by walking or biking on East Lake Sammamish Trail. Read the clues to start your quest for the George Davis Creek geogcache.
Ebright Creek Park in SammamishEbright Creek Park is the first Park in Sammamish dedicated to preserving the natural environment of kokanee salmon. This site illustrates the importance of headwaters and impact of human-caused changes on a kokanee-supporting creek. Get clues from the Ebright Creek Park geogcache page to find where it's hidden.

Learn about kokanee

Kokanee illustration

About kokanee and how you can help

Brief overview of Lake Sammamish kokanee describing the fish and its habitat needs, the problem they face and how you can help them survive and thrive in the Lake Sammamish watershed.

Sammamish girls at a tree planting

Lake Sammamish Urban Wildlife Partnership

Learn about a plan to establish an Urban Wildlife Area around Lake Sammamish to help connect residents with nature, and to help restore the native kokanee.

Kokanee underwater

Lake Sammamish kokanee

See a map of the Lake Sammamish area and its kokanee streams, view pictures and videos of kokanee and review plans and timeline to restore kokanee populations.