The geocache is not at the posted coordinates. The starting point is the boat launch at Lake Sammamish State Park. A Discover Pass is required for parking more than 15 minutes.
Most salmon are anadromous - that is, they are born in freshwater (streams) and spend their lives in saltwater (ocean). Kokanee, however, are fluvial and lacustrine fish, meaning they reproduce in streams and spend most of their lives in a freshwater lake - in this case, Lake Sammamish.
Laughing Jacobs Creek (aka Jensen Creek) is one of four primary spawning streams for the kokanee, and you may be able to see them from the cache location during the late-fall spawning season. While recent adult returns have been encouraging, partners in the Kokanee Work Group have been providing hatchery supplementation for this population and have plans for habitat restoration and enhancement at the creek.
To determine the correct cache coordinates, read the interpretive sign at the posted coordinates and answer the questions below. Match the correct North coordinates with the correct West ones to get the complete final coordinates.
- Today kokanee primarily spawn in four streams around Lake Sammamish. How many streams did they inhabit historically?
A. Six = N 47° 33.747
B. Seven = N 47° 33.832
C. Eight = N 47° 33.907
D. Nine = N 47° 33.989
- It's illegal for anglers to retain kokanee salmon. How many key points of physical differentiation are there between the kokanee and cutthroat trout?
A. Three = W 122° 03.126
B. Four = W 122° 03.222
C. Five = W 122° 03.017
D. Six = W 122° 03.301
This cache was placed with the permission and support of King County and 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).