Sammamish’s leading savior of the threatened kokanee salmon, the only salmon native to Lake Sammamish, is taking the next step to save the species: the restoration of Zaccuse Creek.
Wally Pereyra, who already spent hundreds of thousands of dollars of his own money to restore Ebright Creek and to appeal City of Sammamish approvals of upstream development he believes would harm Ebright Creek, is preparing to restore Zaccuse Creek in cooperation with the local Snoqualmie Tribe and, he hopes, the City.
Planning began several years ago. A June 2012 study with King County surveyed the creek, a culvert that goes underneath East Lake Sammamish Parkway and upstream and downstream from Pereya’s property. The study has several photos illustrating the 25 page report.
Pereyra owns several large parcels of land south of Thompson Hill Road, continuously along the Parkway to his residence.
Project cost estimates have yet to be identified. Pereyra said that the Snoqualmie Tribe and the Sammamish Rotary Club are potential funding sources. Without a project estimate, seeking funding from the City is problematic, but Pereyra is concerned that the pending annexation of the Klahanie area to Sammamish, which becomes official January 1, may inhibit staff time and funding.
“I think this push is very important now before Klahanie is fully incorporated into Sammamish,” wrote in an email. “The addition of that major subdivision community comes with some serious traffic issues that can only be solved with financial and staff resources that the City does not have. Because of commitments made to the folks in Klahanie prior to the vote on incorporation, these public works are going to have a high priority. Therefore, I don’t think we can rely on City funding so will most likely require grant funding.”
Current culverts block returning salmon and need to be replaced. One of the culverts goes under the East Lake Sammamish Trail, Section 2B, that is eventually slated for final development. Section 1 development, from Inglewood Hill Road to the Redmond City Limits, included culvert replacement and the design for Section 2A, from the 7-11 to the Issaquah City Limits, does, too. It’s likely Section 2B will include King County funding for the culvert replacement. This project is years away from proceeding, however.