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Issaquah salmon need your help!

Hello FISH fans!

We need your help! I've just learned that the Issaquah Creek salmon passage project is in jeopardy because it was not included in the State Senate's budget bill (SHB 1128). The funding was included in the House bill, but it was not included in the Senate bill, which means it is dead unless we can get it reinstated when the two chambers meet in conference committee later this week.

If you could take a moment to contact your state senator to ask that they support this funding, I'm sure it will improve our chances of getting the funds for this vital project. If you live in Issaquah, your senator is Cheryl Pflug. Her e-mail address is pflug_ch@leg.wa.gov and her phone number is 360-786-7608. If you don't live in Issaquah and want to find out who your state senator is, go here: State Representatives

It would also be very helpful if you would contact State Sen. Margarita Prentice, the chair of the Senate Ways and Means Committee. Her number is (360) 786-7616 and her e-mail address is prentice.margarita@leg.wa.gov. The more voices she hears from on this issue, the higher the chances are that she will approve funding for this project.

Here is some helpful background info:
We are requesting $562,000 for the Department of Fish & Wildlife's capital budget to improve an aging salmon passage gravity intake on Issaquah Creek.
This is about one-third of a $2.3 million fish passage project on upper Issaquah Creek. Most of the funding will come from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for a project that has been in the works for nearly a decade. This is a good investment -- we are getting nearly $3 of federal money for every state dollar. The Corps will do all the engineering, all the project management and all the permitting on this project. It's a definite "win" for Washington citizens, but we will not get the federal money if we don’t provide our share.
This project would fix an intake structure or diversion dam located mile upstream of the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery. The current system creates barriers to adult and juvenile fish during both high and low water flows. The current infrastructure is inadequate, largely dysfunctional and requires high maintenance. Part of the problem involves a concrete apron that attracts adult fish during times of low flow, diverting them from the fish ladder entrance and causing them to become beached on the apron.
Fixing this structure would improve fish passage at the dam. This will provide access to a significant amount of good spawning and rearing habitat for several species of salmon. The project will also reduce the deaths of adult and juvenile salmon passing through the dam/fish ladder structure.
This project also works in conjunction with the habitat restoration work that citizens have been carrying out for many years along Issaquah Creek. It truly would be unfortunate to restore an area that salmon cannot reach, which is the risk we face if this project is not funded.

I thank you and I’m sure the salmon thank you for your help!
Gestin Suttle
Executive Director
Friends of the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery (FISH)
425.392.1118
www.issaquahfish.org
Keep the salmon coming home.

 

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