April 2019 Newsletter
Lake Washington/Cedar/Sammamish Watershed
Water Resource Inventory Area (WRIA) 8

Survive the Sound

Pick Your Fish for Survive the Sound

Long Live the Kings' annual Survive the Sound program is back. Long Live the Kings has transformed real fish tracking data into a fun competition to raise awareness about salmon and steelhead populations in peril around the Pacific Northwest. Pick your fish and build a team to compete for the most surviving fish at the end of the 5-day migration (May 6-10). Sign up before May 5.

2nd Annual Lake Sammamish Perch Derby — May 18, 2019

Trout Unlimited 2nd Annual Lake Sammamish Perch Derby - Saturday, May 18, 2019

Trout Unlimited is hosting the 2nd annual Lake Sammamish Perch Derby, which is a fishing tournament open to everyone. This event will occur on May 18, which coincides roughly with the migration of our Lake Sammamish Kokanee from the streams to the Lake. These little fish have to survive the gauntlet of predators to survive and become future spawners. You can help- catch a perch to save a Kokanee! There will be adult and kid divisions with prizes awarded to the person catching the longest perch, the heaviest perch, and the heaviest 25 perch, and also a bonus prize for the largest pikeminnow caught by registered anglers. Register on Eventbrite.

Edmonds Seeking Beach Docent Volunteers

Beach docent volunteer

The City of Edmonds is seeking Beach Docent Volunteers for their summer 2019 program. Beach Docents work side-by-side with Ranger-Naturalists to educate the public about the Edmonds Marine Sanctuary during the summer. No experience is necessary, and training will be provided. Volunteer Beach Docents typically work 2-3 hour shifts Memorial Day through Labor Day at the Olympic Beach Visitor Station at the base of the Edmonds Fishing Pier. Docents help monitor the touch tank, distribute brochures, answer questions, and help with low-tide beach walks and other special events. Applications are due June 7, 2019. For more information or to request an application, view the description online or contact Jennifer Leach, 425-771-0227.

Snohomish County Study of Southwest Urban Growth Area Boundary (Little Bear Creek basin)

Snohomish County is conducting a study of the rural area adjacent to the fast-growing south-easterly edge of the County's Southwest Urban Growth Area. The purpose of the study is to provide background about existing conditions in the area, and opportunities and constraints to consider if adjustments to the boundary are proposed in the future. The study will provide data and information for future county planning efforts, such as the 2023 Snohomish County Comprehensive Plan Update, when alternatives for accommodating future growth will be developed. The study commenced in late October 2018, and a study report is expected in June 2019. For more information on the study and opportunities to provide input, see the study website on Snohomish County Planning and Development Services website.

New Report Provides Overview of Toxics Research in the Salish Sea

The 2018 Salish Sea Toxics Monitoring Synthesis report released by the Puget Sound Ecosystem Monitoring Program compiled summary information covering recent contaminant research and monitoring in the Salish Sea. The report found that chemical contamination continues to be widespread in the Salish Sea and contaminants in stormwater runoff negatively affect the health of salmon and forage fish species.

Celebrating our new Mountains to Sound Greenway Designation

Mountains to Sound Greenway National Heritage Area map

After eight years of tireless advocacy and support from partners, the Mountains to Sound Greenway has become a National Heritage Area. National Heritage Areas are places designated by Congress where historic, cultural, and natural resources combine to form cohesive, nationally important landscapes. The designation will allow the Greenway to more effectively conserve natural resources, protect our cultural heritage, and contribute to the economic vitality of the region. The Greenway can also serve as a national model for collaborative conservation. It is a creative, non-regulatory approach to conservation that is rooted in cooperation among tribal, federal, state, and municipal agencies, and local residents.

Funding opportunities

National Fish and Wildlife Foundation logo

National Coastal Resilience Fund
The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation recently released a Request for Proposals for its National Coastal Resilience Fund. This fund restores, increases, and strengthens natural infrastructure to protect coastal communities while enhancing habitats for fish and wildlife. Eligible activities include restoring wetlands, rivers, and floodplains in coastal counties. There is a focus on interventions that help reduce threats from flooding, coastal erosion, increased frequency and intensity of storms, etc. Pre-proposals are due May 20th; full proposals are due July 22nd.

Workshops and Conferences

Webinar: Beautify & Care for Your Streamside Property May 9, 2019
King Conservation District (KCD) is offering a free 1-hour webinar for homeowners living along the water at 8:00 am on May 9, 2019. The webinar will cover what it takes to return stream, lake, or wetland property to a more natural state, enhance aesthetics, and reduce maintenance needs. Register on Eventbrite.

Stream Monitoring Workshop: Bacteriological Monitoring — May 11, 2019
The Sno-King Watershed Council, Sustainability Ambassadors, and Cascade Water Alliance are co-facilitating a workshop to understand and apply the Bacteriological Monitoring Protocol to identify human health risks associated with drinking and recreational water contact. The workshop provides hands-on learning for secondary-level teachers, students, and residents who want to study, understand, and contribute real-time data for the long-term monitoring of local streams. The workshop will be held from 10:00 am — 4:00 pm on Saturday, May 11. Lunch is provided. Register online and for more information, contact Mike Brent at 425-453-1810.

Salmon Ocean Ecology in a Changing Climate — May 28-20, 2019
The second International Year of the Salmon Workshop on "Salmon Ocean Ecology in a Changing Climate" will be held in Portland, OR on May 18-20, 2019. Hosted by the North Pacific Anadromous Fish Commission, the workshop will bring together scientists, managers and other stakeholders to consider the current status and future of salmon and their habitats for the conservation of anadromous populations in a changing world. Registration opens in early March, 2019.

Where the Water Begins Workshop — Multiple dates/locations
King Conservation District (KCD) is offering a free workshop and beach walk for property owners along marine shorelines of King County. The workshop will provide an opportunity to learn how to manage eroding beach or bluff property using vegetation to stabilize slopes. Register for the Federal Way (June 8), Vashon (July 13), or Discovery Park (July 22) workshops on Eventbrite.

Salmon in the news

Chinook salmon
Photo: NOAA Fisheries

With billions more in state budget, it's time to fully fund salmon recovery
Todd Myers and David Troutt urge the legislature to make salmon recovery funding a priority. "Nine of 11 salmon recovery projects prioritized by the state's own Puget Sound Acquisition and Restoration Fund are unfunded in any budget." Myers and Trout note that "fully funding salmon recovery would cost an additional $125.8 million, less than 10 percent of tax revenue added to the forecast since December alone." Given the perilous state of Puget Sound salmon and orca populations, funding salmon habitat projects is crucial.

Northwest Now: Salmon Recovery
Northwest Now interviews members from Tribes, Puget Sound Anglers, and Environmental law groups to discuss the collaborative efforts to restore Puget Sound salmon.

King County purchases 24.6 acre parcel to restore creek and salmon habitat
King County has purchased a 24.6 acre property south of Issaquah containing a portion of Holder Creek, where the county intends to do restoration work. King County plans to enhance riparian buffers and add wood to the creek to benefit salmon.

Spawning Grounds trailer video

New Trailer - Spawning Grounds Film
Kokanee salmon are in the spotlight in the new trailer for Spawning Grounds: A Rapidly Growing Community's Struggle to Save its Native Little Red Fish.

Revisit fisheries study to save orcas
The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) is re-evaluating a conclusion it made in 2009 that commercial and recreational salmon fisheries did not jeopardize orca survival. If NMFS finds that commercial salmon fisheries are harming endangered whales, it could limit harvests. The Seattle Times editorial board urges NMFS to hasten and prioritize this analysis with the goal of influencing decisions about 2019 Chinook harvests. The Center for Biological Diversity filed a lawsuit on April 3 to order NMFS to finish the analysis.

The World Is Losing Fish to Eat as Oceans Warm, Study Finds
A recent study looked at the impact of warming oceans on global fisheries, and found that "the amount of seafood that humans could sustainably harvest from a wide range of species shrank by 4.1 percent from 1930 to 2010, a casualty of human-caused climate change."

STREAM Team program fills after-school need
STREAM Team, a program that provides programming in science, technology, reading, recreation, environment, arts and math for students aged 5 to 14 in Renton was highlighted in the Renton Mayor's newsletter. WRIA 8 Partner Environmental Science Center is one of the groups that facilitates the program.

Building a seawall? These 'fish cops' might come knocking
New legislation that has passed through the House and Senate would give the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife (DFW) the authority to protect ecologically critical shorelines. Under the new legislation, DFW would have more effective tools, including stop-work orders and civil fines, to stop people and businesses from building seawalls, docks, and other structures without the proper permits. The legislation is an effort to reverse a trend of increased armoring along Puget Sound shorelines, which negatively impact small fish, salmon, and orcas.

Homeowners keep building walls around Puget Sound. Biologists are taking out more
Three quarters of King County's shores have been armored, which means landowners have used seawalls, riprap, or other hardened beach structures to protect the land from erosion. However, for the past two years, more walls have been taken down than have gone, which helps small fish at the base of the food chain that salmon and orcas rely on.

Most Washington state salmon returns predicted to be worse than last year
As a result of lingering effects of The Blob, a large mass of warm ocean water off the West Coast in 2014-2015, fisheries professionals expect poor salmon returns for many species in 2019.

Scientists see improving ocean conditions off West Coast, but 'we are not quite out of the woods yet'
While ocean conditions are improving for salmon entering the ocean this year, adult fish sought out by hungry orcas will still be limited due to their first few years in the ocean during The Blob.

Chinook salmon (also known as king salmon) are listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. In WRIA 8, citizens, scientists, businesses, environmental and community organizations, and local, state and federal governments are cooperating on protection and restoration projects and have developed a science-based plan to conserve salmon today and for future generations. Funding for the salmon conservation plan is provided by 28 local governments in the watershed. For more information visit our website at www.govlink.org/watersheds/8/.

If you would like to submit an item for inclusion in the next WRIA 8 e-newsletter, please email lwest@kingcounty.gov.