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Saturday, January 29, 2011

Friends of Issaquah Salmon Hatchery Response

Salmon in the Classroom Issue Elicits Response

Gestin Suttle representing Friends of the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery group has requested an opportunity to reply to our article last week on Salmon in the Classroom program being discontinued. They are a non-profit that supports the work of the salmon hatchery as an economic development factor in their community.

Her reply as follows:

I would like to clarify that the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery has provided eggs to Seattle School District. Seattle Schools retrieved 6,000 eggs on 1/18/11. The participating schools are Bagley, Beacon Hill, Bryant, Cooper, Dearborn Park, Dunlap, Graham Hill, Laurelhurst, Lowell, McGilvra, Montlake, Olympic Hills, Olympic View, Roxhill, Stevens, Summit Alt., Tops/Seward, Van Asselt, & View Ridge.
Thornton Creek is listed as one of the viable release sites (other creeks within the Lake Washington watershed are also listed as acceptable release sites).

I cannot address the situation with the University of Washington, however, it is unfortunately true that the Washington State Dept. of Fish & Wildlife (WDFW) has cut the Salmon in the Classroom program statewide – this affects not only Seattle Schools but all schools that participated in the program. While I do not speak for WDFW, I can say that the department is exploring ways to maintain the program in the future – options might include using private funding to maintain the program at WDFW, or finding one or more non-profits that would be interested in assuming responsibility for administration of the program in certain communities or statewide.

Meanwhile, any school that had already obtained its permit to raise eggs this year (and which turned in the necessary documentation – as required – in order to do so) that is within the Lake Washington Watershed has been able to pick up eggs from the Issaquah Hatchery. (I cannot address the situation outside the Lake Washington system).

This is an extremely valuable education program and we fully support its continuation.
-          Gestin Suttle, executive director, Friends of the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery

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