Update: Sockeye Salmon Make Their Way More Easily Through Woodinville

The Adopt A Stream Foundation is celebrating with an event at 10:30 a.m. Friday at Little Bear Creek.

Update Oct. 4: The Adopt A Stream Foundation is celebrating the removal of three large culverts that blocked salmon access on Little Bear Creek with an event at 10:30 a.m. Friday at Little Bear Creek, the Seattle Times is reporting. The event will take place at 10:30 a.m. Friday, Oct. 5 at Little Bear Creek, adjacent to the Woodinville Wine Cellars, 17721 132nd Ave. N.E. in Woodinville.

The struggle faced by sockeye salmon making their way up Woodinville's Little Bear Creek will be a little easier this year, KING 5 is reporting. The Adopt-A-Stream Foundation has pulled off a feat – convincing government and private property owners to support a plan to remove an old road resting on collapsing concrete culverts, the report continues. 

The rarely used road and crumbling pipes blocked the path of migrating salmon, especially during low water periods. The foundation used a grant to help fund the project, which they hope will help set the table for many more removals, the report said.

Little Bear Creek, the largest creek flowing through Woodinville into the Sammamish River, is recognized as an important salmon-bearing stream in the Lake Washington-Cedar-Sammamish Basin. Rotary Community Park “protects the salmon habitat,” said Zach Schmitz, management analyst for the city. “It protects about 465 feet along Little Bear Creek.”

The park has just over 18 acres of critical habitat for sockeye, Kokanee, Coho and Chinook salmon. The fish venture up the Sammamish River from the Puget Sound, spawning in the headwaters of various creeks such as Little Bear Creek. Eggs hatchin the spring, sending fry -- young salmon -- back to the ocean for four years before returning to their home waters to spawn.

An interpretive walk to learn about salmon is easy to do near the creek starting at Rotary Community Park.

The park, near Woodinville High School, has a boardwalk and gravel trail that leads visitors along Little Bear Creek, making a nearly one-mile loop back to the starting point. Interpretive signs inform about the necessity of wetlands, plant species and salmon habitat.

Volunteers from the King County Salmon Watcher Program count the salmon annually from August until the end of January. They monitor the streams and rivers around Woodinville and King County, keeping track of the frequency and types of salmon they observe.

Click here to watch the KING 5 report with video of the salmon swimming in the Woodinville creek.


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