Saturday, February 12, 2011

Release - Federal Way City Hall Gets Salmon Friendly

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February 10, 2011    

Hollie Shilley 
Water Quality Specialist 
Chris Carrel 
Communication & Grant Coordinator 

Federal Way City Hall Gets Salmon Friendly 

Federal Way Mayor Skip Priest recently welcomed 250 new guests to City Hall – an aquarium  full of baby Coho salmon. The recently hatched fish are being raised by staff and are on display as part of an educational program on stormwater and healthy creeks.

“These 250 little fry are ambassadors to the public, reminding us of the importance of protecting our environment,” said Mayor Skip Priest. “Salmon are an important part of Federal Way. They live in our local streams like Hylebos Creek and are an indicator of the health of our environment.”

The Salmon in City Hall project is being nurtured by Water Quality Specialist Hollie Shilley, who acquired the tank and equipment through Department of Ecology grant funding intended to support the City’s stormwater permit.  The eggs were obtained from the Soos Creek Hatchery January 13th and hatched two weeks later. The juvenile salmon are on display in the Community Development department public area and will be released to Hylebos Creek this spring.

“They may be less than a month old, but these baby salmon are the best outreach specialists we have,” said Hollie Shilley. “We have a lot of visitors to City Hall and everyone – residents, developers, children – wants to see what the fish are doing.”

The tank is topped with a scale-model neighborhood, designed and constructed by Hollie Shilley, showing common household activities that contribute to stormwater.  Salmon in City Hall is part of the Surface Water Management division’s ongoing efforts to protect the health of local streams and lakes through improving education about stormwater issues.

The project is supported through the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Salmon in the Classroom program. The baby salmon are currently less than an inch long and are still absorbing the orange egg sac into their bodies. City staff will raise the fish to the fry stage –– where the fish are still only a few inches long, but will be big enough to find food on their own in the wild.  Come on in and check it out!

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