October 2021 Newsletter
Lake Washington/Cedar/Sammamish Watershed
Water Resource Inventory Area (WRIA) 8

How "bug-seeding" could help urban creek restoration efforts

King County's bug-seeding team transplants rocks with invertebrates to Seattle's Taylor Creek this past August. From front to back, Emily Schwabe, Ella Wagner, Amani Moyer-Ali, Morgan Smith and Nathan Rutledge-Gorman, all with King County Water and Land Resources Division, and Katherine Lynch of Seattle Public Utilities. Photo: King County

Restoring urban streams to their pre-development condition may not be possible. Yet, studies show that steps taken to enhance healthy stream conditions help improve the surrounding ecosystem and water quality.

Recently, King County has convened a small team to collect rocks, native plants and benthic invertebrates (i.e., bugs) from healthy streams to transplant them to urban streams, including Taylor Creek along the south end of Lake Washington in Seattle's Lakeridge Park neighborhood to support repopulating the compromised food web. This work would supplement a Seattle Public Utilities salmon habitat restoration project at the lower end of the stream, which has received WRIA 8 salmon habitat restoration grant support.

Full article.

Crosscut Article — "Urine trouble: High nitrogen levels in Puget Sound cause ecological worry"

Caption: South Wastewater Treatment Plan in Renton

A recent article in Crosscut discusses the issue of nutrients in Puget Sound, highlighting the Washington Department of Ecology's plans to release a new permit to reduce the amount of "nutrient waste" released by wastewater treatment plants into Puget Sound. This "nutrient general permit" would impact 58 wastewater treatment plants around the Sound. While some tribes and local governments welcome this effort, others have concerns about significant costs, equity for ratepayers, and the relative benefit of these investments to Puget Sound recovery. Public comments on the draft permit can be viewed here.

Full article.

RainWise panel discussion on green stormwater infrastructure and Salmon SEEson

King County convened a public presentation on green stormwater infrastructure, the RainWise program, and how addressing stormwater helps improve conditions for salmon. Jason Mulvihill-Kuntz, WRIA 8 Salmon Recovery Manager, participated on a panel to discuss salmon recovery efforts, incentive programs for managing stormwater, and opportunities for the public to see salmon returning to local streams this fall through the Salmon SEEson program! Link to presentation.

RainWise Webinars.

Video of the Cedar River Rainbow Bend restoration project featured at River Restoration Northwest

View the Rainbow Bend video featured at the River Restoration Northwest "2021 Stories of our Watersheds".

Salmon in the news

Salmon SEEson's Piper's Creek salmon viewing site highlighted in Seattle Times

Piper's Creek is being featured in Seattle Times series "One Foot in Front of the Other" along with other Salmon SEESon sites! Nature interpreters will be at Piper's Creek beginning Saturday, November 6 through to December 6 to discuss the importance of salmon recovery and stream restoration.


Edmonds community volunteers complete marsh restoration project

This past summer, community volunteers participated in 11 work parties to remove invasive plants and fencing that were blocking flows from Shellabarger Creek into the Edmonds Marsh, a rare remnant salt marsh habitat along Puget Sound. Studies by Edmonds-Woodway Students Saving Salmon and Edmonds Stream Team noted stream flow was being blocked by invasive plants, and the students' data was used to identify and obtain approval to conduct the project on Washington State Department of Transportation property. Restoring the connection between the Marsh and Puget Sound as important rearing and refuge habitat for juvenile salmon is a priority for WRIA 8.

Read the full story.

South Prairie Creek Preserve project moving forward

When agencies, tribes, local governments, and community organizations collaborate, important habitat restoration can be accomplished. Pierce Conservation District, in partnership with Pierce County Flood Control Zone District, Puyallup Tribe Fisheries Department, South Puget Sound Salmon Enhancement Group, Forterra, and Pierce County Surface Water Management, recently acquired 73-acre Soler Farm to advance the 20-year restoration of South Prairie Creek, a critical habitat for salmon.

Read the press release, including project video.


Salmon Recovery Funding Board grants announcement

The Washington State Salmon Recovery Funding Board approved $21 million in grants supporting salmon habitat protection and restoration, including grant funding directed by WRIA 8 to the City of Issaquah supporting implementation of the Lower Issaquah Creek Stream and Habitat Enhancement project.

Full announcement.

Conserving water helps salmon-use water wisely!

We share our drinking water supply with salmon, trout and other fish. It's particularly important to conserve water in the summer and fall months when streamflows are naturally low and adult salmon are returning to rivers to spawn. Salmon have a challenging journey; please be fish-friendly and use water wisely. Visit the Saving Water Partnership for tips and tools to reduce water use.

See salmon spawning in May Creek!

Courtesy of Larry Reymann

Larry Reymann provided this stunning footage and some insights from his hike along May Creek: "We're told the First Nations' name for May Creek translates "drying out place", and for the last few years, salmon runs had seemingly dried out. There were no salmon at all last year, and three lonely coho in 2019, but heavy rain scoured out the creek bed and redds that winter.

Hiked from the mouth to above the I-405 overpass on Indigenous Peoples Day, and this year, salmon have kept their promise to return! Observed nine redds, six occupied with spawning fish: about 20 sockeye, three suspected chinook. Captured this video of spawning sockeye interacting, the female near the end of her journey, her partner newly arrived to begin his courtship. Their tenderness with each other is striking; regard a mammal might envy.

More salmon spawning naturally in the Cedar than we've seen in the last decade or so, too. Let's pray for a milder winter and successful out migration."


Issaquah Hatchery goes live

Larry Franks (Friends of Issaquah Salmon Hatchery) announced that the Issaquah SalmonCam is now live streaming. Now, you can watch the Issaquah Hatchery Live Underwater Stream via YouTube.

He also thanked the organizations that provided grants to make this possible, including the King County Flood Control District, WRIA 8 (encompassing the Cedar River, Issaquah Creek, and Bear Creek basins), and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Watchable Wildlife program.


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 Jason.Mulvihill-Kuntz@kingcounty.gov.