Kokanee salmon make a comeback in Zackuse Creek

Issaquah Reporter

After four years of restoration efforts by the Kokanee Work Group, kokanee salmon have been spotted returning to spawn at Zackuse Creek following a nearly 40-year absence.

Zackuse Creek has historically been one of several streams used by kokanee as a spawning ground, but until recently, the area underneath East Lake Sammamish Parkway had been unpassable for fish, and much of the creek bank had been degraded.

In 2018, the Kokanee Work Group, a collaborative partnership between multiple levels of government, the Snoqualmie Tribe, nonprofits, the Issaquah Hatchery and others, began restoration work at the creek in hopes of restoring its natural salmon runs.

“This whole group came together not because they had to, but because they recognized there was a species in trouble and wanted to do something,” said David Kyle, a Lake Sammamish kokanee restoration project manager with nonprofit Trout Unlimited. “It’s really a great story of a community coming together.”

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