Construction will start later this spring on a project to make Issaquah Creek more accessible to salmon swimming upstream.
Plans call for a series of rock weirs to replace a concrete dam upstream from the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery. The aging dam blocks most fish from accessing more than 10 miles of habitat in the upper Issaquah Creek watershed.
The City of Issaquah is working with the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) to complete this project.
Improving fish passage in the creek will significantly increase the number of Chinook salmon, a fish listed under the Endangered Species Act.
The project also will provide a reliable long-term water source for the hatchery.
The estimated project cost is about $3 million, which was authorized by the Washington State Legislature in 2012.
Once completed, the project will be among the largest and most significant habitat restoration efforts in the region.
WDFW published the advertisement for construction bids Feb. 26 and is scheduled to open bids March 19. Expect construction to extend into the fall.
The dam removal completes a series of improvements of the hatchery that started in the late 1990s.