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

Salmon SEEson 2019 Recap

Salmon SEEson 2019 wrapped up in early December, with a few last sightings of spawning salmon in some local streams. The 2019 program included 17 salmon viewing sites around King County and the second annual Salmon SEEson photo contest. The winner of the photo contest received a two-night stay in a yurt at Tolt-MacDonald Park near Carnation. Similar to last year, there were fewer than average salmon returning this year, and a couple runs that were the lowest on record, making it challenging to get a glimpse of salmon at many locations. However, visitors enjoyed seeing fish at several sites, and many sites had very positive experiences successfully sharing educational messages and information with the public.

WRIA 8 2020 Legislative Priorities

In the lead up to the 2020 Washington State legislative session, which is scheduled to begin on January 13, WRIA 8 has developed state legislative priorities to advance Puget Sound watershed health and salmon recovery. WRIA 8 has also developed a set of federal legislative priorities to support salmon recovery and Puget Sound restoration funding and policy. WRIA 8's 2020 state and federal legislative priorities can be found online.

State Salmon Recovery Funding Board Approves Funding for Salmon Habitat Restoration Projects

The Washington Salmon Recovery Funding Board (SRFB) recently awarded more than $26 million state-wide in grants for projects to protect and restore salmon habitat around the state. The majority of the funded projects will benefit Chinook salmon, which make up a large part of the southern resident orca whale diet.

In WRIA 8, a $424,065 SRFB grant was approved for the Royal Arch Reach Floodplain Reconnection project design located on the Cedar River. The Royal Arch project will eventually reconnect the Cedar River to the adjacent floodplain and enhance an existing side channel, helping to restore rearing habitat.

Also approved was a $816,866 SRFB grant for the Riverbend Floodplain Restoration project. This project will reconnect over 50 acres of Cedar River floodplain, including side channel and backwater channel features and large wood placements to improve channel complexity.

“Spawning Grounds: Saving the Little Redfish” film premiere on January 18th at North Bend Theater

Trout Unlimited is hosting the film premiere, which tells the story of the community-based partnership to recover native Lake Sammamish kokanee salmon. The event starts at 6pm and the film will show at 7:30pm. There will be raffles, a silent auction, and a panel discussion after the film.

A second screening will take place in Seattle on Saturday, February 8 at 5pm, at University of Washington Intellectual House, 4249 Whitman Court, Seattle.

For more information, visit

2019 State of the Sound Report issues a Call to Action for Puget Sound Recovery
On December 2, the Puget Sound Partnership released the 2019 State of the Sound report, which indicates Puget Sound is still in trouble but emphasizes that recovery is still possible. The report provides the latest information on the condition of the ecosystem, and is intended to help Puget Sound restoration partners and decision makers better understand: (1) how well the recovery effort is going, (2) ecosystem health and progress toward Puget Sound recovery goals, and (3) the role each partner can play in achieving Puget Sound recovery.

Funding Opportunities

Workshops and Conferences

Salmon in the News

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

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