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hydnsek: The Kokanee Quest series had a good run - nearly six years - but time to retire the final caches.


KQ: Tibbetts Creek

A cache by hydnsek Send Message to Owner Message this owner
Hidden : 10/18/2015
2 out of 5
1.5 out of 5

Size: Size:   small (small)

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Geocache Description:

This cache was originally part of the Kokanee Quest, a series of nine geocaches that highlighted the restoration of the kokanee salmon in the Lake Sammamish watershed.

The geocache is not at the posted coordinates. Read the page to figure out the correct coordinates to find the cache.

Historically, lower Tibbetts Creek in Issaquah was one of the primary spawning streams for kokanee salmon, based on observations in the 1930s. However, erosion at old mines and quarries upstream damaged the creek and destroyed wildlife habitat and spawning areas in subsequent years. Rainstorms washed huge amounts of sediment into the stream - enough to fill 130 dump trucks each year!

No kokanee had been spotted in the two decades before restoration efforts began in the early 2000s. The stream banks were restored, trees and shrubs planted, and fallen trees and woody debris were added to the stream, which provide ideal kokanee spawning habitat by slowing the water flow, allowing sediment to settle, creating pools, and providing hiding spots for fish.

Build it, and they will come: In 2012, more than 400 adult kokanee were observed in Tibbetts Creek, and in 2013-14, an estimated 167 kokanee spawned in the creek, more than any other stream in the Lake Sammamish watershed. The goal for Tibbetts Creek is a self-sustaining kokanee spawning population of 1,000 to 5,000 adults per year.

This cache takes you to Tibbetts Valley Park, where you can view the restored creek habitat and maybe see some spawning salmon in late fall. If you don't see kokanee here during spawning season, try closer to the lake at the Stream View waypoints.

To determine the correct cache coordinates, visit the two locations below and answer the questions. Match the correct North coordinates with the correct West ones to get the complete final coordinates.

Stage 1:   Fallen Trees interpretive sign   (posted coordinates)

How many trees and shrubs were planted here to protect the stream bank?

A. 2,300 = N 47° 32.476
B. 7,800 = N 47° 32.248
C. 15,000 = N 47° 32.325
D. 18,000 = N 47° 32.399

Stage 2:   Bridge   (N 47° 32.327    W 122° 03.708)

In late fall, you may see spawning kokanee in Tibbetts Creek. (If you don't see kokanee here, try closer to the lake at the Stream View waypoints.) How many horizontal slats are on one side of the bridge?

A. 3 = W 122° 03.633
B. 4 = W 122° 03.777
C. 5 = W 122° 03.508
D. 6 = W 122° 03.412

This cache was placed with the permission and support of the City of Issaquah.

Unlike other salmon, the Lake Sammamish kokanee salmon lives its entire life in fresh water. Kokanee spawn in tributary creeks, and their offspring migrate to the lake as they mature, then return to their home creeks as adults to spawn the next generation.

Historically, the kokanee filled a critical ecological role within the Lake Sammamish watershed and was an important food and cultural resource for local tribes. But this "little red fish" has experienced a dramatic decline, leading to near-extinction in recent years.

To address the kokanee's plight, citizens, landowners, nonprofit agencies, and local, state, tribal, and federal governments have united to restore native kokanee salmon populations and the ecological integrity of the greater Lake Sammamish basin. In 2013, this group received an Urban Wildlife Refuge Partnership (UWRP) designation from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, one of the first in the country.

The Kokanee Quest was sponsored by the Lake Sammamish UWRP, a consortium led by the King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks (KC DNRP) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS).

Additional Hints (Decrypt)

Yvsg gur sync

Decryption Key


(letter above equals below, and vice versa)

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