Hope the Salmon returns to Lyon Creek

Sunday, February 11, 2024

Bringing Hope back to her found resting spot so that she could regenerate the creek
and surrounding environment.

By Sarah Phillips

On Sunday February 4, about 60 people stood on the edge of Lyon Creek and carefully placed juvenile salmon in a remote site incubator for the fourth time since 2021.

Juvenile salmon ready to be released into an
incubator in Lake Forest Park, Lyon Creek
Over 1000 coho salmon from the Issaquah hatchery will live in the gravel bottom tank until they leave the tank for Lyon Creek. 

The coho were raised by Jeff Jensen, a Lake Forest Park resident and UW faculty member. 

Dr. Jensen built the remote site incubator in collaboration with the Lake Forest Park Stewardship Foundation and Trout Unlimited, and supported by a grant from King County.
LFP resident and UW prof Jeff Jensen, 
shares the life cycle of salmon, and the
potential for the return of kokanee (the
little red fish) to our creeks and streams.
The remote site incubator collects water from McKinnon Creek, passes it through a series of settling tanks and the gravel containing the eggs. 

Once the eggs have developed into fry, the fish can exit the incubator on their own through an exit pipe which extends to Lyon Creek.

Three years ago, when first releasing eggs into the incubator, the gathered group named a newly released egg, Hope. 

Last fall a local streamside family found a returning adult salmon in the stream. 

Jensen found it was in fact three years old -- Hope returned to Lyon Creek, her spawning ground. 

Her long journey in the stream, Lake Washington and after about a year and a half in the ocean was completed. She made her return.

A Coho Salmon named “Hope” returned to her
spawning site in October 2023. She was
three years old and 18” long.
Unfortunately, Hope when found, was dead and all of her beautiful eggs were unable to spawn. 

This is the fate of many returning salmon. 

Lately scientific research has told us that there is a chemical that leaches into the streams from the wear and tear of tires. 

Coho returning to streams have mortality when in contact with the chemicals. Fish that have been impacted swim in erratic patterns and then die.

How can we all protect salmon? Make our streams and creeks safer by reducing fertilizer. Encourage tire makers to change the chemical makeup of tires.


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