Tosh Creek Fish!
Back in the late 1800’s, Redmond was called “Salmonberg,” and local lore states that people used to fish for salmon in the Sammamish Slough (because at this time the river was a slough) using a garden rake to get them out of the river. The number of salmon returning to spawn in the streams in and near Redmond has greatly decreased since that time. Local residents remember abundant fish in Tosh Creek.

The fish are being driven away by the uncontrolled runoff from the development that has cropped up around the stream in the last 40 years. Stormwater rushing off of commercial, multifamily, and even single family development sites without proper detention ponds or vaults leads to erosion in the upper watershed. Those high flows physically wash away fish and the bugs they eat. The sediment washing down the stream makes it hard for fish and their food to survive, too.

TC Fish

But fish are resilient. Federal and state agencies monitor fish and wildlife populations. Fish in our region are in decline due to many factors, including urban development. Some fish are endangered, such as Chinook Salmon that use the Sammamish River. Restoration efforts in Tosh Creek result in cleaner water flowing into the river, and so benefit this endangered species. Other fish are considered “species of concern”. Coho salmon, coastal cutthroat trout, western brook lamprey are all species of concern that have been observed in Tosh Creek.

In 2004, the Wild Fish Conservancy (formerly Washington Trout) did a survey of Tosh Creek and observed fish in the stream. Coho salmon, coastal cutthroat trout were observed downstream of West Lake Sammamish Parkway. Upstream of West Lake Sammamish Parkway, cutthroat trout were observed all the way up the main steam of Tosh Creek, up to and beyond Tributary B. 

The Salmon Watchers program has reported seeing adult coho salmon and sockeye salmon in Tosh Creek (Sammamish River Tributary 0141).

In 2013, during construction of the new culvert across West Lake Sammamish Parkway, fish were observed.

In May, 2016, City staff recorded a video of salmon, trout, and lamprey in the lower reach of Tosh Creek.

King County has been working for years on a project to improve conditions in the Sammamish River near the mouth of Tosh Creek. The Willowmoor Floodplain Restoration Project will result in improved habitat for endangered Chinook salmon and other species. The cold, clean water from Tosh Creek is an important benefit to the proposed project that is currently in design.

The City is committed to fully restoring Tosh Creek to make it healthy for aquatic life, and a valuable natural asset for the people who live, work, and play in Redmond. In 2015, the City completed the Tosh Creek Restoration Plan and began planning projects for Tosh Creek Watershed Restoration.

Imagine! With completion of these projects, as the conditions for fish are improved and Redmond’s trail along West Lake Sammamish Parkway is extended south from Marymoor Park, you will someday have a chance to walk children down the trail to observe spawning salmon from the bridge over Tosh Creek.