A Fishy Time of Year

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Chinook in Issaquah Creek, photo by Larry Franks

Every year, fall rains herald salmon upstream to spawn.  For millennia, the fall salmon season gathered people together who relied on the fish as a critical food source to get through the impending winter.  Today, we don’t rely so heavily on salmon as food source, but the fall is still an exciting time to gather and celebrate clean water improvements that are helping to preserve our salmon runs.

The Salmon Days festival presented by the City of Issaquah’s Chamber of Commerce honors the return of the salmon.

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Since 2013, the City is officially renamed “Fishaquah” for the weekend, and a variety of activities and events attract well over 100,000 people who gather to enjoy all things fishy.

King County Wastewater Treatment Division attended Salmon Days to promote what we do- and what everyone can do- to protect our waters for salmon, along with many other creatures, including people.

At our booth, located by the Salmon Hatchery, WTD employees helped visitors plant seeds in compost made with Loop® biosolids, and water them using recycled water.  Recycled water provides a special benefit to salmon by replacing river water as a resource for irrigation, industrial use, and wetland recharge.  At 60 Acres Park in Redmond, recycled water is now replacing water from the Sammamish River to irrigate soccer fields, benefiting the next generation of kids and salmon.

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WTD’s Salmon Days booth was a great success.  Employees talked to thousands of visitors, many who moved here from around the world.  Bert the Salmon returned from retirement to support the Sammy the Salmon in the City’s creative campaign to get out the vote and support salmon and water quality.

People who missed Salmon Days can still celebrate water quality and the return of salmon as part of Salmon SEEson.  You can find places to view salmon on your own, or find an event with a naturalist on site to tell all about the amazing journeys of our region’s salmon.

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