When employees of the salmon hatchery at Issaquah, Washington arrived for work on January 2, they discovered the front driveway blocked by a six-foot-tall salmon statue. According to Komo 4 News, the man-sized statue was likely dropped off at the hatchery sometime after it closed on 4 p.m. on New Year’s Day.
“We thought it was gorgeous, it’s obviously well done,” said Jane Kuechle, head of the Friends of the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery. “We don’t know who did it; we’d love to be able to thank them.”
Employees noted that the carving still smelled of cedar and was coated with sawdust, indicating that it was only recently finished. The wooden statue has since been moved onto the hatchery’s courtyard, where the staff plans to display it temporarily with a pair of similar, metal salmon statues.
The artist of this large carving remains a mystery, but the inclusion of the name “Issaquah” at the base of the statue leads the hatchery staff to believe it is a gift. Issaquah is well known for its tradition of salmon art and fishing. Every year in October, the town holds the Issaquah Salmon Days, a celebration of salmon-related art, music, and sporting events. The Issaquah Salmon Hatchery nearby is one of the most visited hatcheries in the state and draws thousands of visitors each year. Built in 1936, the hatchery produces over four million Chinook and coho salmon which will eventually find their way to Puget Sound and on to the North Pacific.
The hatchery is encouraging anyone with information about the carving to speak out so the staff can properly thank the artist.
A video of the statue can be seen below: