It’s Salmon SEEson! See it for yourself — don’t leave it to salmon else!

chinook_salmonSalmon are a Pacific Northwest treasure and essential to a healthy ecosystem. In some locations, salmon are threatened by habitat loss, overfishing, and overuse of water resources. Here is how we can help salmon play their vital role in the wild.

  • Wash your car at a  commercial car wash. Washing your car in the driveway can lead to runoff of oil, grime, and soap into our storm water system which goes untreated directly into our streams, and lakes.
  • Use natural yard care. Avoid fertilizers and pesticides, which can lead to toxic runoff.
  • Save water!
  • Volunteer your time restoring areas near salmon sites. Check out this program.
  • If you see someone fishing in a creek during spawning season, report it!

Ready to see some salmon?
Here are some salmon viewing sites!

These two sites provide on-site education about salmon:

  • Issaquah Creek- Watch salmon mid-September through November at Issaquah Salmon Hatchery in downtown Issaquah. The hatchery has a docent program that answers public questions about the fish. Call Friends of Issaquah Hatchery (FISH) at 206-427-0259 for more information.
  • Cedar River- Follow the Cedar River Salmon Journey at various locations along the river. Volunteer naturalists are at each location on weekends.

Can you identify common PNW salmon?

If you’re at a site without a docent or naturalist, refer to this page for information on how to identify salmon species.

Here are a couple of species you’ve probably heard about:


Female Chinook salmon

Chinook salmon range in length from about 24-60 inches. Spots cover the tail and also appear along the back with a few spots on the fins. The lower gum line is black and the body color is olive brown to dark brown, and sometimes almost black. They spawn September to mid-December.


Kokanee salmon (female left; male right)

Kokanee salmon are 8-18 inches long, with bright red to dirty-red bodies. They have pale to olive green heads and tails and may have spots on their backs. they spawn from August through January.

What are some of your favorite viewing spots? Leave us a comment or picture of salmon you have spotted.

Have a safe and fun salmon SEEson!