Business owner transforms Juanita Creek section for migrating salmon

Sep 23, 2022, 6:09 PM

Juanita Creek...

Cafe Juanita owner and executive chef Holly Smith took it upon herself to transform her portion of Juanita Creek -- and give the migrating salmon a healthier highway. (Nicole Jennings/KIRO Newsradio)

(Nicole Jennings/KIRO Newsradio)

A Kirkland restaurant owner wondered why she didn’t see more salmon migrating through the section of Juanita Creek running along her property.

So Cafe Juanita owner and executive chef Holly Smith took it upon herself to transform her portion of the creek — and give the migrating salmon a healthier highway.

With the help of two local environmental nonprofits, the Adopt a Stream Foundation and the King Conservation District, Smith had a whole host of tree stumps chained together along the stream bank, and logs and a boulder added to the water.

“This created 100 feet of refuge for salmon and trout while they’re in that [migration] process,” Smith said.

Migrating, she explained, is a tiring journey, and salmon need a place to take shelter and rest. The crevices in these logs and roots provide a natural habitat where they can do that.

To put it in driving terms, Smith said, “This is a place that they can stop, where the current can’t get them — they can kind of pull off. It’s a little rest stop.”

Additionally, having the weight of the stumps against the bank prevents the bank from eroding, which in turn stops sediment from clogging up the stream.

This part of the ‘ex-stream makeover’ was completed this week after being underway for more than a year.

And it’s already paying off — Smith and KIRO Newsradio observed several migrating salmon swimming and jumping through this section of Juanita Creek on Friday.

It was more salmon than Smith has seen on her property in years — a gratifying end to the project.

As a chef who works so closely with natural products, Smith feels a calling helping protect the environment.

“Clean up the area around you — if everyone does that — I’m happy to help my part of the stream. It’s our responsibility,” Smith said, adding, “I kind of always think, if you try to do the right thing, you get back what you give,” she said.

Over the winter, Smith and environmental groups will begin the next phase of the project — planting trees along the bank to shade the salmon in the stream.

Local News

White Center shooting...

Colleen West

3 hurt after shooter opens fire at White Center bowling alley

KING COUNTY, Wash. — A shooter is on the loose after opening fire on three people at a White Center bowling alley and casino Saturday night.

21 hours ago

Eugene and Linda Lamie, of Homerville, Ga., sit by the grave of their son U.S. Army Sgt. Gene Lamie...

Associated Press

Biden on Memorial Day lauds generations of fallen US troops who ‘dared all and gave all’

President Joe Biden lauded the sacrifice of generations of U.S. troops who died fighting for their country as he marked Memorial Day with the traditional wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery.

21 hours ago

echo glen juvenile...

KTTH staff

7 juvenile Echo Glen inmates escape, 4 still on the loose

Seven juveniles escaped the Echo Glen Juvenile detention center early Sunday, according to the King County Sheriff's Office.

2 days ago

(Photo from KIRO 7)...

KIRO 7 News Staff

Crew shortages force WA State Ferries to cancel nearly a dozen trips

Crew shortages forced Washington State Ferries to cancel nearly a dozen trips on one of the busiest travel days KIRO 7 has seen so far this year.

2 days ago

OpenAI's CEO Sam Altman, the founder of ChatGPT and creator of OpenAI gestures while speaking at Un...

Associated Press

ChatGPT maker downplays fears they could leave Europe over AI rules

OpenAI CEO Sam Altman on Friday downplayed worries that the ChatGPT maker could exit the European Union

2 days ago

Woman stabbed Central District...

Julia Dallas, KIRO 7 News

Woman escapes through second-story window after man allegedly stabs her in Central District

A woman escaped through a second-story window after a man allegedly stabbed her on Saturday in the Central District.

3 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Internet Washington...

Major Internet Upgrade and Expansion Planned This Year in Washington State

Comcast is investing $280 million this year to offer multi-gigabit Internet speeds to more than four million locations.

Compassion International...

Brock Huard and Friends Rally Around The Fight for First Campaign

Professional athletes are teaming up to prevent infant mortality and empower women at risk in communities facing severe poverty.

Emergency Preparedness...

Prepare for the next disaster at the Emergency Preparedness Conference

Being prepared before the next emergency arrives is key to preserving businesses and organizations of many kinds.

SHIBA volunteer...

Volunteer to help people understand their Medicare options!

If you’re retired or getting ready to retire and looking for new ways to stay active, becoming a SHIBA volunteer could be for you!

safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.

Comcast Ready for Business Fund...

Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.

Business owner transforms Juanita Creek section for migrating salmon