Receive email or text notification when this page is updated
ALERT! Updated 3 p.m. May 28, 2014: About 50 peamouth were just spotted at Kelsey Creek, site 13B at the Wilburton Trestle! We don’t know if this is the beginning of a spawning event, the end of an event, or if this is actually the peak. We do know it is a beautiful afternoon to go outside. It has been 10 days since the last group of fish was recorded. That’s the longest span of time between events we’ve seen this season. Let’s keep watching until Mid-June and if we don’t see many more fish, we’ll retire our polarized glasses for the season. The latest we’ve recorded fish is June 14/15.
The photo above shows a peamouth tail at the site earlier this season.
Countless peamouth minnows return to Kelsey Creek in the spring to spawn. For 24 to 48 hours, the stream is thick with the usually elusive fish. Groups of peamouth have been observed one to four times every year from late April through June since 2004.
Volunteers in the Peamouth Patrol monitor Bellevue streams for the peamouth's arrival and track their numbers and wildlife when they visit. The city makes an effort to alert residents when the fish are around. Sign up for an Alert, and you will receive an email or text as soon as staff can post it when the peamouth arrive.
Unlike the stereotypical minnow, peamouth average a foot long. A Lake Washington fish, they can live an average of eight years. Unlike salmon, peamouth don't mind warmer water and lower stream levels in the spring.
Peamouth spawn in our streams, then return to the lake. The stream is plastered with gazillions of sticky little eggs that only take about a week to hatch.
The best spots to watch the peamouth are by Kelsey Creek, under the Wilburton Trestle and at the Mercer Slough Fish Ladder. Watch quietly at these sites and, in addition to the peamouth, you may see other wildlife looking for dinner, including blue heron, wood ducks, river otters and bald eagles.
Peamouth primer and directions to watching sites