Salmon have been spotted in Kelsey Creek, and the number will steadily increase, peaking about the second week in October.
The city over the last few years has completed a number of projects that make salmon migration easier, including fish ladders, culvert improvements and habitat restoration.
The number of salmon returning to spawn in Bellevue streams has been increasing. Last fall, spawning surveys in Kelsey Creek recorded more than 200 chinook and more than 500 sockeye.
Salmon born in Bellevue creeks make their way to the Pacific Ocean by swimming through Mercer Slough to Lake Washington, on to Lake Union via the Lake Washington Ship Canal, through the locks into Puget Sound, and eventually out to the ocean. They stay in the ocean for two to four years and then return in the fall months to the stream of their birth to spawn (deposit and fertilize eggs).
The best public places to spot salmon include:
- Fish ladder at 118th Avenue Southeast, just south of Southeast Eighth Street. Look for the blue Mercer Slough signs.
- Kelsey Creek Farm - West Tributary adjacent to main parking. Fish have been seen all along the stream, from the parking lot to the pioneer cabin.
- Kelsey Creek Farm - over the hill on the east side of the farm - the footbridge or a stream viewing area, down the trail to the south.
Salmon Watcher volunteers working with the Utilities Department track salmon return rates and other data that reveal how salmon are using Bellevue’s streams, identify possible fish passage barriers and help target professional salmon recovery work.
Salmon watchers have already been recruited for this year, but residents can contact the Stream Team (contact information in the right column of this page)to learn about the program and find out about training for next year.
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