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December 15, 1997

Opinion

Creeks and streams

  What are the solutions, if any, to all the problems by excess water entering our streams not only from Hollywood Hill, but other sites as well? I did not exactly agree when I read Paula White's letter to the editor in the Woodinville Weekly issued November 24th. The phrases are good, but complicated to the extent that; they will not work when put to use. Why not come down to common sense instead. Too much emphasis is placed on fish. Three hundred trout have been planted back into Hollywood Creek. It is a good try; but is it worth the worry of survival? I say not. This creek has cost us taxpayers a bundle of money over the years just because of a few trout most people do not pay attention to, unless it is aired by an environmentalist or fish biologist. The creek has no connection to Sammamish River as a stream. The water flows out over a wide wetland overgrown with grass.
  
   It would have been a lot more sensible to have diverted the creek in a nearly straight line under 145th to the South side, and down to the river open or closed. Costlier, but what is it going to cost when widening 148th to a five lane road? Due to the high volume of run off because of developments, it is more important to keep the streams clean from stumps or other type of log weirs. The fish will find its own retreat. Any spawning is doomed in a small stream, due to nature, and predators, including the trout themselves. A river has larger area and volume of water for survival, not a stream.
  
   Another interesting subject is about the farmers' cows and horses and how they contaminate the water in the rivers and streams. I suggest that Paula White take four samples, have them analyzed and presented to us publicly. We ought to know the results. The samples to be taken during the different seasons. No surprise to me if there is no contamination at all, or so small it will not interfere with the fish.
  
   How come we had an abundance of fish in 1960 and earlier with ten times as many farm animals as we have now? The answer is: All fish eating predators have been placed on the endangered species list. Salt water, as well as fresh water. You cannot have both unless a correction is made, and that means less sea lions, seals and other predators that are now overtaking because of protection. What about net fishing in the rivers by the Native Americans when the salmon are migrating up the river to spawn. Well, don't blame the farmers contaminating.
  
   My next question is: Who is going to plant all those trees that could be used in the paper industry? If you plant in the designated farmland along the rivers, I ask, how are you going to remove them when large enough to market? The law says today that no trees can be cut within 100 feet of a stream or river. The good news is: We are planting more trees per year than we are harvesting in this country. My hard-earned experience has taught me more than any degree. Thirty seven years in the fishing industry, sixteen years in forestry and ten years of crop and dairy farming in three countries.
   Knut Olson
   Woodinville