Fall is here, and salmon are returning to streams and rivers around Puget Sound. Watch for these natural beauties at viewing sites listed here - and cheer them on if you see them!

Look for kokanee salmon near Lake Sammamish (Ebright, Lewis, and Laughing Jacobs Creeks)!

Dates: Between early November and late January (self-guided)
Locations: Ebright Creek at the East Lake Sammamish Trail, Sammamish; Lewis Creek at 185th Place SE, Issaquah; Laughing Jacobs Creek at Lake Sammamish State Park Boat Launch
Contact: Call 206-477-4746 before you go to make sure kokanee are visible.
Kokanee in Lewis Creek

Don't miss this chance to see one of the only six known native populations of kokanee in all of Washington State.  Lake Sammamish kokanee or little red salmon are a smaller version of the larger sockeye salmon that have been isolated since the early 1900’s. Unlike other salmon that migrate to the ocean and then back to fresh water to spawn, kokanee spend their entire lives in freshwater. To view kokanee they can sometimes be seen on their spawning runs from early November through late January in only a handful of streams that flow into Lake Sammamish, the only place to see them within 90 miles of Seattle.

Call 206-477-4746 before you go to make sure fish are visible.

Self-guided locations are Ebright Creek at the East Lake Sammamish Trail in Sammamish, Lewis Creek at 185th Place SE in Issaquah, and Laughing Jacobs Creek near Lake Sammamish State Park.

Kokanee have also occasionally been seen in Tibbett’s Creek in Lake Sammamish State Park.

To learn more about kokanee and recent efforts to help them, visit http://www.kingcounty.gov/environment/animalsAndPlants/salmon-and-trout/kokanee.aspx.

Sponsored by: City of Issaquah, City of Sammamish, and King County.

Driving directions:

To Ebright Creek:
From SR 520: Take the exit at NE Redmond-Fall City Road and turn right onto NE Redmond-Fall City Road. Drive about a half mile and make a slight right onto East Lake Sammamish Parkway NE. Continue about 4.5 miles to 127 East Lake Sammamish Parkway SE. 

From I-90 westbound: Take Exit 17 (Front Street - Issaquah). At the end of the exit ramp turn north/right onto Front Street. Front Street soon becomes East Lake Sammamish Parkway SE. Drive about 5.7 miles to 127 East Lake Sammamish Parkway. 

From I-90 eastbound: Take Exit 17 (Front Street - Issaquah). At the end of the exit ramp turn north/left onto Front Street. Front Street soon becomes East Lake Sammamish Parkway SE. Drive about 5.7 miles to 127 East Lake Sammamish Parkway. 

NOTE: At this address the viewing site and a small unmarked parking area are on the west side of Lake Sammamish Parkway SE, between the Parkway and the East Lake Sammamish Trail. Walk south from the parking area onto the East Lake Sammamish Trail about 50 feet from the parking area to where the creek crosses under the trail to view the stream. Please be courteous to the neighbors in this residential area.

To Lewis Creek:
From I-90 westbound: Take Exit 13 (Lakemont Blvd SE/SE Newport Way).  At the end of the exit ramp turn right onto Lakemont Blvd SE and then enter the roundabout. Take the first exit onto West Lake Sammamish Parkway SE. 

From I-90 eastbound: Take Exit 13 (Lakemont Blvd SE/SE Newport Way).  The exit ramp is an overpass that circles back to merge with Lakemont Blvd SE. Merge with traffic and then enter the roundabout. Take the first exit onto West Lake Sammamish Parkway SE. 

Drive about 0.7 miles and take a left onto 188th Ave SE. Drive about 0.4 miles and turn left onto SE 43rd St. SE 43rd St winds through a residential neighborhood for less than 0.25 miles, eventually becoming 185th Place SE. The viewing site is the bridge over Lewis Creek, located at about 4100 185th Place SE. Parking is on the street at the bridge. Please be respectful of the neighbors in this residential area.

To Laughing Jacobs Creek:

Parking is available at Lake Sammamish State Park Boat Launch with a discovery pass or a purchased day pass from the boat launch. From the boat launch, walk east back to towards the entranced, and head north on East Lake Sammamish Trail until you reach the roundabout where East Lake Sammamish Pkwy SE meets SE 43rd Way. Cross E Lake Sammamish Pkwy SW and head back south on the east side of the road until you reach the Hans Jensen Group Camp. Follow the gravel road into the group camp. Please note: the mobile home at the gate to the group camp is a private residence. A short walk past the gate and into the group camp there is a small bridge that often has spawning kokanee. If there looks to be a private event, call Lake Sammamish State Park at 425-649-4275 for access information. 

Kokanee identification


Salmon SEEson map - Salmon SEEson calendar