Illahee 3/25/17 Water Main Break, Road Closed, 2″ Line Break, 6″ Line Break, Downstream Damage, Water Restored, Facebook Coverage

Water Main Break.  Today, 3/25/17, about noon a major rupture of a 6″ water line occured just south of the intersection of Ocean View Blvd and Illahee Road.  By the time we got there the water line was in the process of being closed.  It had to be done slowly in order to prevent water hammer and further damage to the system.
Road Closed.  The closed road meant driving to State Route 303 to travel around the break, a trip of about 7 miles, as there are no parallel routes to detour traffic in that area. 
2″ Line Break.  In addition to the main line break, a 2″ line broke just above it, that had to be repaired before work could be done on main line.
6″ Line Break.  Underneath the telephone (black pipe), power (gray conduit), and gas (yellow pipe) lines was the 6″ water main the burst (not visible), making an otherwise simple repair much more difficult, and time consuming.
Downstream Damage.  Some of the damage to homeowners downstream was significant.  North Perry Water contacted their insurance agency and they had workers out helping clean up in a matter of hours.
Water Restored.  As we write this water has been restored.  Thanks to North Perry for their quick response in handling the break!
Facebook Coverage.  And thanks to the Facebook posters for their coverage!
Jim Aho

Illahee 3/18/17 Friday Work Party, Rotary Sponsored, 45 Wheelbarrows, WYA Cadets, Wood Chips on Trails, Lunch, Drone Coverage, Volunteer Supervisors, Scotch Broom Detail, Wheelbarrows Loaded, Trails Enhanced, Hours Expended

Friday Work Party.  Another major work party at the Illahee Preserve with about 65 participants happened on Friday, March 17, with volunteers showing up from 7 am and departing after 4 pm.  For all day events with the Washington Youth Academy (WYA) require a Port-a-Potty which is provided for by Jim Fox of Cool Car Classics.

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Rotary Sponsored.  Work parties with the WYA are sponsored by the Rotary Club of East Bremerton, who has adopted the Illahee Preserve as one of its service projects and coordinates major events like these.  We decided to cover this work party ‘by the numbers’.

45 Wheelbarrows.  Wheelbarrows are a logistical item that has been solved by the Rotary and United Storage, with a Go-Mini Container holding about 30 wheelbarrows and tools.  These are complimented by 8 more from the Park’s Department’s Volunteer Coordinator and her trailer, and another like amount from Rotary members who drop them off the day of the work party, as shown in the photo.
50 WYA Cadets.  Around 8:45 am the bus shows up with between 50-55 cadets.  Friday there were 50 cadets plus their supervisors.  
8 Wood Chip Piles on Trails.  There were roughly 8 large wood chip piles located at various spots around the Preserve, that were dispersed to the trails, primarily along the trails west of Thompson Lane.
30 Minute Lunch.  After parking their wheelbarrows it was time for short lunch break for the cadets and for those guiding the work.  
1 Drone Coverage.  We had drone coverage of the work party and an opportunity to view the drone during lunch. 
9 Volunteer Supervisors.  Thanks to Ceci for making sandwiches for the guys in the orange vests! 
10 Cadet Scotch Broom Detail.  When the chips were distributed other tasks were assigned and this group went after the Scotch broom (a noxious invasive plant in WA) in Compass Circle.  With so many deer in the Preserve a meadow area has been maintained.  There was evidence the deer had been eating the Scotch broom, but still the plants were gaining on the area, so it was time to remove them.  Some of the cadets decided to go after the larger and more difficult to remove plants, and in every case succeeded, as in this situation.
10 Wheelbarrows Loaded.  The task was well estimated as the cadets filled 10 wheelbarrows with the broom.  Without these 10 cadets and the other 40 cadets working on other projects, the Preserve would not be the treasure it is.  Thanks to the WYA, the Rotary Club of East Bremerton, and the Park Stewards! 
5 Trails Enhanced.  Below are two photos taken on Saturday to show what the enhanced trails looked like.
400 Hours Expended.  Over 400 volunteer hours were expended on Friday by all concerned, not to mention all the preparation time getting ready, which is why the Illahee Preserve is reported to have some of the best forest trails in the county.
Jim Aho

Illahee 3/14/17 Abandoned Car Reports, Owner Unknown, Clues, Disposition, Yacht Information, Spring Photos

Abandoned Car Reports.  Calls, emails, and photos coming in about an abandoned car in the Illahee Preserve.  

Owner Unknown.  We are hoping someone will recognize the car as initial contact with the Sheriff’s Department indicated they don’t know whose it is.
Clues?  We thought the VIN number would make it easy to trace, but maybe not if it is an out of state car?  And then there is the handicapped parking pass that was going to be checked this afternoon.
Disposition?  Preserve volunteers want the vehicle out before Friday’s work party.  It will likely be towed with Parks trying to find the owner to be reimbursed for the towing bill.
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Yacht Information.  Several emails regarding the above yacht photo in yesterday’s Update with the following details about the boat, including the weekly charter rate.
yacht info
yacht charter
Spring Photos.  Alder catkins and new Indian Plum leaves are more signs Spring is just around the corner.
Jim Aho

Illahee 3/13/17 Photos, Port Meeting Report, Preserve Blowdown, Work Party Friday, Deer, Dog Attacks

Photos.  Marine traffic and the Saturday departure of the USS Independence (CV62).

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Port Meeting Report.  Lew Noah, a Port of Illahee commissioner in the 70’s and 80’s shared the history of the diving reef they installed in the front of the Illahee Dock.  It consisted of 5000 tires with four large Navy anchors holding it in place.  Lew noted that it was checked 6 months later and there were commercial quantities of two types of shrimp at the reef.
Preserve Blowdown.  Thursday evening’s windstorm brought down a number of trees across Preserve trails.  They were taken care of early Saturday morning by the volunteer maintenance crew.  Thanks to these guys who work even in the rain to keep the trails clean and clear!
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Work Party Friday.  Lots of wood chips along Thompson Lane and at the Almire parking lot where they are staged for a work party on Friday with the Washington Youth Academy cadets.  It is a pleasure to walk on the trails after a work party, though bicyclists are less happy as they like a hard and compacted surface to ride on.
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Deer.   These three deer, a doe and two yearlings, jumped out of the brush as I walked by.  
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Dog Attacks.  First there was a report of two horses being attacked by dogs, and then a few days later rabbits, a goat and a sheep were attacked and killed, evidently by the same dogs.  The reports were on the Illahee Community Facebook site, which is closed so you need to ask to be added.  It has provided a convenient place for unfortunate incidents like this to be shared and hopefully quickly resolved.
Jim Aho


Illahee 3/7/17 Port Meeting Wednesday, Past Commissioner To Share, Kitsap Ports, Local Ports Map, Port Relationship With Preserve, Port Salmon Projects, Port Watershed Study, Port Mission, Port Website

Port Meeting Wednesday.  The Port of Illahee meets the second Wednesday of each month at 5 pm at 5500 Illahee Road.  The public is invited and encouraged to attend.  The sign provides the details.

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Past Commissioner To Share.  Past Port of Illahee Commissioner Lew Noah will share about his tenure on the commission including when they installed a diving reef in front of the Illahee Dock.
Kitsap Ports.  Interestingly, Kitsap has more port districts than any other county in Washington.  See the map and the list of ports.
Port Districts Map
Port Districts Legend
Local Ports Map.  The bulk of the districts are local, and relatively small compared with the Port of Bremerton whose area seems to cover most of the county without a port district.  The numbers and red borders are precincts.
Local Port Districts Map
Port Relationship With Preserve.  The Port has had a varying relationship with the Illahee Preserve depending on the mix of commissioners. Some residents, and commissioners, think the mission of the Port is to just be concerned with the Illahee Dock.  Others think the mission is more, such as salmon projects and the Illahee Creek watershed with its stormwater issues. 
Port Salmon Projects.  Salmon rearing projects both along Illahee Creek and at the Illahee Dock were Port supported.  Many volunteers were needed to feed the fry in the fish pens that were tied to the Illahee Dock around the years 1999 and 2000.  We wish there were some photos of the pens (if anyone has some we would like to get copies).  The photo below is a chum salmon returning to Illahee Creek from one of the projects.
Port Watershed Study.  A number of years ago the Port applied for and received a $268,000 Centennial Clean Water Grant from the Department of Ecology to conduct a watershed study of Illahee Creek.  The results showed some major problems that needed to be corrected.  Many of the recent stormwater improvements at the headwaters of Illahee Creek are a result of the grant, and there will be more in 2017.  
Port Mission.  This is from the Port’s website.
Port Mission
Port Website.  The Port has a relatively new website,, designed to host all the public information associated with the Port.  If you have suggestions please let the commissioners know.
Jim Aho

Illahee 3/2/17 Photos, Wildlife, Domestics, Snow Showers, Water Quality Monitors, Illahee Store Roof Entry, Clear Creek Trail Opening


Wildlife.  Moles are not often seen along Preserve paths.
Domestics.  A different walking route in the Illahee area found rabbit hutches, a noisy turkey, and later a chicken.
Snow Showers.  Snow showers were better than rain on a Monday Preserve walk.
Water Quality Monitors.  Health District personnel were checking fresh water sources along Illahee beaches on Tuesday.  Kristina said we could call 360-633-9603 to find out the results.
Illahee Store Roof Entry.  Last year we patched an opening in the Illahee Store roof where vandals gained access. On Wednesday we found the patches on the ground and reinstalled them.  We also found a mask, shown in the photo, on the roof.  Likely from those who gained entry.  If you know who might be entering the store through the roof, or responsible for the graffiti, please let us know.
Clear Creek Trail Opening.  On Friday the Clear Creek trails along the restoration project will officially open.  We happened to be there today and they look really great.
Jim Aho

Illahee 2/26/17 Preserve Photo, Accident Results, Goose Identified, Olympia Oyster Source, School Street Utility Work, Port Gamble Logging, Illahee Preserve Trails

Preserve Photo.  Thanks again to Chris for the following photo and comment:

Hairy Woodpecker Illahee_3
I had another great walk through the Preserve this morning and was lucky to snap a shot of a Hairy Woodpecker! The Preserve has some of the best woodpecker habitat that I’ve seen in this area. Its easy to spot at least one of the five different species that take advantage of the many standing dead trees all year round. Species of woodpeckers I’ve observed and photographed in the Preserve include: Pileated, Hairy, Downy, Northern Flicker, and the Red-breasted Sapsucker. I’m no expert so any corrections are welcome.

Accident Results.  Ocean View was closed by the Illahee Store this morning (Sunday 2/26/17).  Evidently someone hit and broke off the power pole last night or this morning and left part of their grill.
Goose Identified.  Thanks to Paul for the following identification of photo of the goose in our last Update.  We saw this goose with a possible mate so it will be interesting to see what features might come from any second generation goslings.
The goose in your photo is a hybrid Canada goose X greater white-fronted goose.  Note the diagnostic white margin around the base of the bird’s bill.  The white-fronted goose derives its name from that white band.  Canada geese and greater white-fronted geese are often seen migrating together in the same flock.  Spring arrives, hormones rage and mistakes occasionally happen … even among geese.  Nice photo.
Olympia Oyster Source.  And thanks to Joanna for noting where our Olympia Oysters may be coming from. 
Yay for the Olympias.  We have been growing them in bags on our property.   I am very hopeful that spawn are escaping and colonizing all the areas where fresh water trickles down to the sound,
School Street Utility Work.  We must have taken this photo at the entrance to School Street just before they hit a watermain on Monday (2/20/17) that caused the water to flow all the way down Ocean View, which was covered well with a photo on the Illahee Community Facebook page (
Port Gamble Logging.  A few weeks ago we noted the Stream Stewards class put on by WSU Extension and then attended their field trip on Thursday of Port Gamble Heritage Park.  Selective logging is being done with some amazing logging equipment.
Illahee Preserve Trails.  There are some great well maintained trails in the Preserve because of the Rotary and Washington Youth Academy.  This low wet spot was covered with rocks during the last work party.  Another work party is scheduled for March 17.  The next photo shows a future trail area not yet open.
Jim Aho

Illahee 2/18/17 Photos, Storm Damage, Preserve Birds, Geese, Work Party, Knot Weed, Olympia Oysters

Photos.  Spring flowers emerging and ducks returning to the Preserve detention pond.

Storm Damage.  Lots of limbs down in the area after the snow, along with a number of trees down in the Preserve.  The tree clean up was done on Tuesday by two groups from the Illahee Stewardship Committee, to prepare for the Friday work party. 
Preserve Birds.  Thanks again to Chris for more bird photos from the Preserve.

I had an amazing walk today. I counted at least 11 different species surviving the winter in the Illahee Preserve:

2 Pileated Woodpeckers
1 Red-breasted Sapsucker (pic attached)
3 Golden-crowned Kinglets
1 American Robin
1 Varied Thrush
Many Dark-eyed Juncos
1 American Crow
2 Grey Squirrels
2 Douglas Squirrels
1 Brown Creeper
1 Pacific Wren
Red-breasted Sapsucker
Geese.  A newcomer that isn’t being accepted by the Canada geese.  We have no idea what kind it is. The next photo is of Canada geese who are now matched up and becoming territorial as they look at nesting sites.
Work Party.  Washington Youth Academy (WYA) cadets (numbering 52) moved all the wood chips to trails on Friday.  Thanks to the Rotary (East Bremerton Club) for arranging for the WYA cadets, the wood chips, the tool and wheelbarrow storage container (courtesy of United Storage), the portable toilet (courtesy of Jim Fox), and the 10 supervisors who directed and helped with the efforts.
Knot Weed.  Knot weed is an invasive species that is particularly troubling along fresh water and salt water shorelines.  The photos below show one reason it is hard to kill is because of its massive root structure that can extend out nearly 10 feet.
Olympia Oysters.  A much better find on the shoreline was what appears to be the smaller, but native, Olympia oysters.  
Jim Aho

Illahee 2/6/17 Snow Photos, First Daffodils, Port Meeting Wed, Lost Continent, Rotary Shelter, Preserve Fire Site?

Snow Photos.  A great snow day to capture some Illahee scenes.  Please send any favorites you might want to share.

First Daffodils.  Some early Northwest flowers waiting for the snow to leave.
Port Meeting Wed.  We heard there is interest in attending Wednesday’s Port meeting to find out what is happening with the possible purchase of the Illahee Store.  The meeting start time is 5 pm.
P1030636Lost Continent.  There are rumors there might be a Phase 2 to the Lost Continent purchase that took place in 2015.  We will try to find out if it is true.
Rotary Shelter.  Another report is the plans for a Rotary Shelter were submitted to the Park’s Department before going to the Department of Community Development (DCD).  The location site is the flat area at the Almira parking lot.  The photo was taken at an earlier snow event.
Preserve Fire Site?  It appears the site of the recent Preserve fire was at the same location as a previous fire. The litter shown between the burned logs is from a marijuana package, that wasn’t there a few days earlier, which is a possible clue.
Jim Aho

Illahee 2/2/17 Preserve Fire, Bird’s Nest Fungi, KPUD Stream Monitoring, Work Party, RV Camping, Roadway Cleanup, Waterway Update

Preserve Fire.  CK Fire Fighters responded at 12:50 today (2/2/17) to a Preserve fire somewhere between the Amphitheater and Compass Circle.  We will be checking the area out tomorrow.  This is likely the same area where other fires have been set and has become a major concern.  Any ideas on catching the person?  The photo below is of last summer’s fire.

Bird’s Nest Fungi.  Thanks again to Chris who captures some amazing photos in the Preserve, and tells us about them.
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Found these little fellas in the Preserve right next to the trail near the golf course. It appears the spores, or “eggs” have already been ejected by recent rains. From Wikipedia: “The Nidulariaceae (‘nidulus’ – small nest) are a family of fungi in the order Nidulariales. Commonly known as the bird’s nest fungi, their fruiting bodies resemble tiny egg-filled birds’ nests. As they are saprobic, feeding on decomposing organic matter, they are often seen growing on decaying wood and in soils enriched with wood chips or bark mulch; they have a widespread distribution in most ecological regions.
KPUD Stream Monitoring.  The Kitsap Public Utility District (KPUD) is monitoring the flows in the North Fork of Illahee Creek for the county to determine the effect of their upstream stormwater projects.  The area north of McWilliams Road is where the major stormwater surges come from and the projects, past and future, are designed to help mitigate the surges so we don’t see the brown silt laden water out in the bay after storms, as shown in a photo in the last Update.
Work Party Coming.  In a couple of weeks this pile of wood chips, and other piles, should be covering trails after a visit from the Washington Youth Academy (WYA), planned for 2/17/17.  
RV Camping Concerns.  Thank you for the many comments about RV camping concerns, specifically about a RV with a blue strip, that is seen often in both the Almira and Thompson Lane parking lots.  
Overnight parking is prohibited according to posted signs.  The following statement was passed on to those concerned:
Neither overnight camping in the woods nor vehicle camping in a parking lot are allowed at Illahee Preserve.  Kitsap County Parks are open during daylight hours only.  Overnight parking in Kitsap County Parks is not allowed.  In the event car-camping is identified at Illahee Preserve we ask you call 911 with vehicle description & license number, share your observation of overnight camping, and request an officer make a welfare check on the occupant(s).  We welcome your assistance in maintaining a safe and healthy environment at Illahee Preserve. 
Roadway Cleanup.  Many thanks to the county for helping to cleanup local roadways!
Waterway Update.  A few weeks ago a small gray whale going north passed through Illahee.  Also nearly every day a group of sea lions passes through traveling south.  This fall they were seen catching salmon along the way.  Also, seals have been blamed for poor squid fishing at the dock.  An interesting recent article in the Kitsap Sun noted the problem with salmon predation.
Jim Aho