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Volunteer: Watch For Native Fish in Kelsey Creek

The city is seeking volunteers to watch for peamouth, a fish that travels from Lake Washington to Kelsey Creek each spring. A training workshop will be held at City Hall Thursday.

The city is seeking volunteers to watch for peamouth, a native fish that travels from Lake Washington to Kelsey Creek each spring to spawn. A peamouth patrol training workshop will be Thursday, April 12, 6:30-7:30 p.m. at City Hall, Room 1E-109.

Attendees need to register at streamteam@bellevuewa.gov or call 425-452-5200. Volunteers are asked to attend the training, check streams at least twice a week for 15 minutes through mid-June, fill out a data sheet of their observations and call if they see fish.

Each spring thousands of peamouth, a large minnow, suddenly show up in Kelsey Creek to spawn. For 24 to 48 hours, masses of peamouth deposit millions of sticky little eggs near rocks in the stream where they are fertilized by male peamouth. Then, as quickly as they come, the peamouth return to Lake Washington.

In about a week, the eggs hatch in Kelsey Creek, and the juvenile peamouth become an excellent food source for other fish and wildlife, such as salmon, blue heron, wood ducks, river otter and bald eagle.

One of the best places to see peamouth is in Kelsey Creek near the Wilburton Trestle. Last summer, the city restored this site to improve fish passage. Too much water was going through the smaller section during low flows instead of concentrating in the main channel. Jagged rip rap rocks were replaced with stream cobble, huge boulders, logs and root wads. During lower flows, more water should now flow through the main channel, making it easier for spawning fish to travel. 

To find out the best places to see peamouth or sign up for peamouth alerts, visit the city’s website atwww.bellevuewa.gov/peamouth.htm.

-- Information from the city of Bellevue

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