The Issaquah City Council approved the acceptance of a $400,000 grant during the Monday night city council meeting, paving the way for a feasibility study to be conducted on the intake dam half a mile upstream from the Issaquah Hatchery.
The city applied for a grant last year, and a grant agreement was provided in March.
The dam in question was built in the 1930s with a fish ladder, but the ladder acts as more of a barrier for the fish.
“The salmon see fast-moving water and they seem to see it as upstream,” said Issaquah Mayor Ava Frisinger, who is also Executive Director for Friends of the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery. “They hurl themselves up the dam.”
The grant will cover most of the cost for a feasibility study which will look at potential dam removal or modification, modified hatchery production to maximize benefits to salmon spawning naturally and ways to minimize the potential of hatchery fish straying to other streams.
The total cost of the study is $470,000. The city will contribute $40,000, while the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife will put forth $23,000 and the remaining $7,000 will come from donations from other organizations.
Once the study has been completed, it will be up to the state to pay for any construction costs, Frisinger said.
The study is slated to start soon.
For an article and pictures of Clark Elementary School students releasing salmon into Issaquah Creek, see page 14.
Kyra Low can be reached at email@example.com or 391-0363, ext. 5052.