Coho salmon released in Coal Creek

Spawning salmon have returned to Coal Creek! In partnership with the Muckleshoot Tribe’s Fisheries Department and the state Department of Fish and Wildlife, the City of Bellevue celebrated the release of nearly 600 adult coho salmon into the creek on Wednesday, Nov. 3.

The fish release is part of a broader effort by the Muckleshoot Tribe and WDFW to reseed salmon in local waterways to expand natural production of native fish populations. Urban streams play an important role, and Bellevue Utilities has made significant efforts to improve Bellevue’s stream habitats to support salmon, including drafting a 20-year Watershed Management Plan (now in development).

These coho are expected to spawn, then die within weeks. If all goes well, their eggs will incubate in the gravel and hatch next spring, and the juvenile fish will stay in Coal Creek for a year before migrating to the Pacific Ocean. Three years from now, the adult salmon should return to Coal Creek.

For a short time, visitors to Coal Creek can see the salmon spawning, particularly at the Red Cedar trailhead. Trail users are asked to stay out of the stream and keep their pets out of the water at all times. Fish carcasses can be harmful to dogs, and the salmon eggs need protection to hatch successfully. Staying a safe distance from the stream will protect aquatic organisms and vegetation along the stream, and help prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species.

For more information about salmon populations in Bellevue, see Salmon in the City.

Source: City News