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Posted on: August 25, 2023

Salmon SEEson: Where to Spot Our Iconic Fish

With the return of the first salmon to Issaquah's creeks, it's officially Salmon SEEson. This is your annual opportunity to spot chinook, coho and other salmon species in Issaquah Creek and other local waterways. Great salmon-viewing opportunities abound within Issaquah and throughout the Lake Washington/Cedar/Sammamish Watershed, as salmon return from several years of living in the open ocean back to the stream where they were born years ago. In Issaquah, spot salmon at the following locations:

  • Issaquah Salmon Hatchery, 125 W. Sunset Way: See salmon return to Issaquah Creek daily from the bridge or through viewing windows through November. Trained Friends of the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery (FISH) docents lead guided tours.
  • Lake Sammamish State Park, 2000 N.W. Sammamish Road: Visit Lake Sammamish State Park and walk the boardwalk to see salmon migrating up Issaquah Creek from the lake. Fish return as early as late August, with the best chance of spotting salmon in early October. Use your Discover Pass and park free. Friends of Lake Sammamish State Park offers docent activities and events.
  • Ebright and Lewis creeks, near Lake Sammamish: Don’t miss your chance to see little red kokanee salmon, a smaller relative of sockeye. Between early November and late January, kokanee can sometimes be viewed at Lake Sammamish, the only place to see them within 90 miles of Seattle.

Salmon are an important cultural, economic, and environmental resource for our region, especially to indigenous people. Local governments, Tribes and community groups around King County and Puget Sound are working to recover salmon populations by protecting and restoring habitat; managing polluted and untreated stormwater runoff from streets and other hard surfaces; and educating people about what they can do to help protect salmon. 

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