Restaurant Owner Restores Stream To Make It Habitable For Salmon, Sees 'Amazing' Results

October 29, 2022

A restaurant owner in Kirkland, Washington, noticed a lack of fish in the stream outside her business, so she stepped up to make the necessary changes.

The impact was instant.

restaurant owner restores stream
Holly Smith (left) / Credit:

Holly Smith is the chef and owner of the Italian restaurant Café Juanita.

For 22 years, the restaurant has sat along a bend in Juanita Creek, which is part of the Cedar Lake watershed. She said in all that time, she's only seen one fish swim through the stream.

restaurant owner restores stream

She decided to fix that.

Smith partnered with the King Conservation District and nonprofit Adopt-a-Stream to pull out invasive plants and create a habitat where fish could thrive.

They put in large wooded debris to help the salmon habitat and protect the bank.

restaurant owner restores stream

"The moment that Adopt-a-Stream left, they left in the morning on a Thursday, we came out and there were 15 to 20 fish lined up. I was like 'This is not real, someone had stocked the stream for me'," Smith told KING5 News.

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The project totaled about $100,000 but the team was able to find grants to cover the costs.

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