Illahee 2/8/16 Photos, Early Flowers, Port Meeting on Wed, IFP Statement, Mussel Cage Retrieved, Preserve Dumping, Lost Cat, Skunk?

Photos.  We have been asked to always include photos of Illahee, and whenever possible wildlife photos.  If you have some to share just forward them to us. 

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Early Flowers.  These were taken a number of days ago.  After this week there should be more showing up.
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Port Meeting on Wed.  The Port meets on Wednesday at 5 pm at 5500B Illahee Road lower level by the entrance to the dock.  The public is welcome and encouraged to attend as the Port is entirely funded by Illahee tax payers.  
IFP Statement.  We received a statement from the Illahee Forest Preserve (IFP) treasurer because we sent in a gift to them instead of the Kitsap Community Foundation (KCF) to help purchase some of the Timbers Edge property. Below is the statement and thought it might be of interest to readers.
IFP Statement
Mussel Cage Retrieved.  On Sunday evening the mussel cage that has been holding mussels that have been sampling the marine waters this winter, was retrieved and the mussels sent to the lab for testing.  We will let you know about the results when they come out.
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Preserve Dumping.  It is always disappointing when we find illegal dumping like this at the Preserve.  Thanks to all the volunteers who clean up these messes.
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Lost Cat.  Another posting of a lost animal. 
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Skunk?  For the past week we have a person reporting the smell of skunk around their house about the same time each evening.  This is a first we’ve heard of possible skunks in Illahee so let us know if you see or know of one.
Jim Aho

Illahee 1/20/16 Eagle Photos, Lost Cat, Stream Stewards Class, Mussel Testing, Store Comments?

Eagle Photos.  The second photo was of a carving we saw on a walk.

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Lost Cat.  We received the color photo yesterday and noticed copies posted around the area during a walk this afternoon.  We hope this helps.


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Stream Stewards Class.  Last time we mentioned this class at least one Illahee resident signed up and thanked us for letting them know about it.  We attended the class when it was first offered and it was nicely done and gets better each year.  We highly recommend it.  

Learn all about Kitsap streams and watersheds and how you can help preserve and protect them

Do you want to learn about and explore forests and streams? On the Kitsap Peninsula, beautiful forests and small streams abound, making it the ideal place to learn about native plants, forests, wetlands, aquatic insects, and more. We also discuss our interaction with these resources and their protection, conservation, and restoration. We’ll spend plenty of time exploring outdoors.

During the training and field sessions you’ll have the opportunity to connect with experts and other local people who share your interests.  We also provide opportunities for continuing education and involvement in volunteer activities around the county, including tree planting, streamside restoration, stream sampling, and teaching others at events like Salmon in the Classroom. This 5 week non-credit training is open to the public and taught by local and regional experts. 

When: Thursdays, January 28 through February 25 from 9:00 to 3:00

Where: Room 406 in the Norm Dicks Government Center, Bremerton

Cost: $45, which includes class materials; scholarships are available

Register online at  For more information, visit WSU’s website at or call 360 – 337 – 7157 x 3244

Mussel Testing.  Mussel testing has been going on for years and there are several sites in Illahee.  The Navy has been testing sites around Puget Sound and few years ago Kitsap County, working with the Department of Fish and Wildlife, began testing .  The Navy is scheduled to take mussel samples from the Illahee dock on Saturday evening (1/23/16).  County personnel and volunteers will pick up the mussels cages that have been in place north of the dock the evening of 2/7/16.  Here is some information on the Navy sampling plans.

As part of the Navy’s ENVVEST ambient monitoring program for Sinclair and
Dyes Inlets we are conducting the Winter 2016 Mussel Watch Program to
sample mussel watch stations within the Sinclair/Dyes and Port Orchard
Passage system and are planning to collect mussel specimens from the
Illahee Port District pier on or about Jan. 23, 2106. This is the same
location that we sampled before. We would like to collect mussel specimens
for residue analysis of heavy metals, PAHs, PCBs, stable isotopes, and
lipids. I have a scientific collection permit from WDFW and we will be
following the NOAA Mussel Watch sampling protocols.

Mussel Watch

Store Comments?  We are receiving some interesting comments after posting a photo of the hole in the roof of the old Illahee Store.  If you have some thoughts regarding the store, let us know as we want to put them in an update. 

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Jim Aho

Illahee 6/28/13 First Fawn Picture, Pigeons, Crab Seasons, Lost Cat, Another Buffer Reduction Email, Storm Ponds on Golf Course?

First Fawn Picture.  Thanks for those who share their photos including this one of a fawn, which was sent with the following note:

I was hoping for a better picture but the deer wouldn’t cooperate!

Pigeons.  We still haven’t determined who is raising the white pigeons that can be seen flying around Illahee.  The other day we noticed a first sighting of a native Band-tailed Pigeon in the Illahee Preserve and just happened to be able to get a picture.  When we came home there was white feather on the patio from the local white pigeon flock, which to us was a sign to share the photo, including one of the white feather.
Crab Seasons.  Not many days to go before this year’s crab season begins.  Below is a copy of this year’s regulations.  We will provide more information on crabbing later.
Lost Cat.  No picture yet on this lost cat, but here is the email.
We are missing our big yellow/orange older male cat “Woody”.  He is not a very friendly cat.  He’s been gone since last weekend sometime (we were out of town).  Can you please set a message out.  Our phone is 360-479-6756, address is 6232 Illahee Road.  Thank you so much. 
Another Buffer Reduction Email.  We heard at least a few residents registered their concerns about the buffer reduction application for a property where the North Tributary of Illahee Creek flows.  This one provides a few more details, including noting several drainage pipes emptying into the stream.  We found them the other day and took this photo.  We have also copied the email, but not the referenced document covering the water quality report.  We can include that in a future Update if anyone is interested.

After reviewing the subject Notice of Application 13 00816 and the HMP, walking most of the steam bed on 6/26/13, and hearing on 6/27/13 how Kitsap County appears to think this application is going to be an improvement for the area, I would like to register my opposition to the application to reduce buffers and relocate the stream for the following reasons:

Re:  Code Interpretation

1.  Kitsap County has evidently taken liberties in their interpretation of the Kitsap County Code in the following instances:

a.  In addition to allowing a buffer reduction of 50%, they are also allowing the minimum building setback of 15 feet to also be reduced by 50%.

b.  And, evidently it is common practice to allow driveways within the reduced buffers.  I can understand instances where driveways should be allowed within full buffers, but not within buffers already reduced by 50%.

2.  Section 19.300.315.A “Buffers and Building Setback” addresses details specific to each issue and in Item 9 it does not refer the building setbacks as a buffer to also be reduced by 50%, but rather allows only “Minor structural or impervious intrusions into the areas …”    The proposed setback of 7.5 feet is not a minor intrusion into the setback minimum of 15 feet.

9.    “Building or Impervious Surface Setback Lines. A building or impervious surface setback line of 15 feet is required from the edge of any fish and wildlife habitat conservation area buffer. Minor structural or impervious surface intrusions into the areas of the setback may be permitted if the department determines that such intrusions will not adversely impact the fish and wildlife habitat conservation area. The setback shall be identified on a site plan and filed as an attachment to the notice as required by 19.100.150 (Critical Area and Buffer Notice to Title).”

Re:  Stream Restoration Proposal

1.  Any lot with a stream running though it is problematic, especially when the lot is rectangular and the stream orientation runs the long length of the lot.

2.  Further complicating the issue is the area of the subject lot is encumbered by a number of manmade “enhancements” which include:

a.  Major amounts of fill dirt brought in to fill the south end of the ravine in which the stream channel historically ran.

b.  The wetland features of the area were eliminated, primarily to the west, with a curtain drain that pipes ground water directly into the stream channel.  In spite of the curtain drain the area reportedly still floods during heavy rains.

c.  A drainage pipe for other upland properties west of the stream also collects upland groundwater that is piped directly into the stream channel.

d.  Reports that at one time a pond was envisioned between 1st Street and Wise Street and that some excavation was initiated.

e.  Many of these items were likely the result of past actions and should be investigated.

f.  The stream and area also has a fecal coliform pollution problem.

3.  In spite of these manmade enhancements, the North Tributary of Illahee Creek has been flowing from the 1st Street culvert to the Wise Street culvert in a channel that is working, though there are blackberries covering roughly 80 feet of the upstream portion of the channel, which should not be a big restoration concern.   The stream bed is walkable from the culvert under Wise Street up to the last approximately 80 feet.  Flow control during major storms for this portion of the stream is provided by the smaller culvert on 1stStreet.

4.  It appears the stream restoration proposal of this application is to move the stream to the west and out of the way of any reduced buffer intrusion and take care of the blackberries.  Stream restoration projects are complex, not to mention those with other issues, and should be developed and designed by independent agencies and professionals, not beholden to any particular land owner.   In this case it doesn’t make sense to relocate/disturb a streambed that has been in operation for nearly 40 years and call it a ‘restoration project’ just to be able to build a house next to the same, but relocated, stream.

5.  The jurisdiction for any stream relocation lies with the Department of Fish and Wildlife and they should deny this application.

Re:  Water Quality (Fecal) Issues

1.  Water quality monitoring of the North Tributary of Illahee Creek was accomplished relatively recently which found high fecal coliform (FC) levels in the area.  This would correspond with the reports of residents noting sewage smells coming from the area.

2.  The information is found in the “Illahee Surface Water Management Plan (SWMP)” Grant G0700283 Final Report dated June 2011.  Section 4 “Water Quality Monitoring” provides the details that include three monitoring sites at the mouth of the Wise Street culvert.  The geometric mean for the three stations were 55, 22, and 79 with 50 being the standard for Illahee Creek, which indicates a fecal coliform pollution issue that needs to be addressed.

3.  For those who want to see the details of the report, Section 4 of the report is attached.

Re:  Water Quantity Issues

1.  The Illahee Creek Watershed has some major issues that are referenced in the Parametix report “Illahee Creek Watershed Surface Water Management Plan” which available on the county’s website at  Subsequently the Department of Ecology has funded a grant to Kitsap County Public Works to determine ways to control the stormwater surges affecting Illahee Creek.  That grant project is currently ongoing and any proposed stream restoration project in the area should be part of the efforts to minimize the effects of stormwater on the creek.

Storm Ponds on Golf Course?  Some residents noted a strange yellow tank type of vehicle at Rolling Hills Golf Course on Thursday.  It was a drilling rid investigating the possibility of putting in storm ponds on the golf course to help control the storm surges that are filling the Illahee Creek culvert with sediment.  Many think the culvert under Illahee Road will someday fail, similar to what happened with the Gilberton Creek culvert failure some years ago, so it is imperative the surges be controlled, which might possibly save the culvert from failure.

Jim Aho

Illahee 2/20/13 Lost Cat, Coyote With Dead Cat, Response to Questionnaire, Figured Maple Theft Photos

Lost Cat.  We hope there is a better ending to this cat than the one described in the next report.  Attached is what we received late yesterday evening.

We have a missing cat that we hope you might be able to “put the word
out” via your email newsletter.
Libby is about 11 years old.  She is “super” friendly, long-hair,
black with white spots.

Attached is a somewhat recent photo.

We last saw her on Saturday and have looked around the beach and near
where we live on Derek Drive, but have found nothing.

I have posted some banners and put some flyers in mail boxes near where we live.

Like all pets, Libby has a special place in our hearts and having her
just disappear is very stressful.  Any information, sightings or
anything, Good or BAD is appreciated.  We fear the worst but hope for
a surprise.

Feel free to post my cell number in whatever you publish:  Cell:             360-550-5552      .

Coyote With Dead Cat.  We heard second hand that on Friday morning residents living south of Illahee Creek saw a coyote carrying a dead black cat in its mouth.  Just a reminder that our predatory wildlife are all around.  Years ago we used to see fox using the shoreline as a corridor.  Now we are seeing coyotes.

Response to Questionnaire.  We thought this response to the community questionnaire was worth sharing.

Move the flag pole?? I have lived in Illahee for 63 years & have parked in the dock parking area many-many times, never once did I have a problem with the position of the pole. I sure hope the powers to be ask for a vote on it. I just can’t believe that there is a problem.

Figured Maple Theft Photos.  A few years ago some of the volunteer Preserve trail maintenance crew found a maple tree that had been cut for its ‘figured’ wood, used for guitars and fine furniture.  Shortly afterwards the tree blew over.  We just discovered it recently when checking on homeless sites in the area behind the Mc Williams Park and Ride lot.
Jim Aho

Illahee 12/4/12 A Third Illahee Website, Preserve Dumping, Correct Phone Number for Illahee Film, Culvert Report, Lost Cat, High Tides, Seals

A Third Illahee Website.  For years there was only one website covering Illahee issues,  Then several years ago the Port of Illahee established their own website,  And more recently a separate website has been established for the Illahee Preserve,  Thanks to Rob Spearman for his great work in establishing the Illahee Preserve’s website.  The website is set up to cover the various projects going on in the Preserve and should be a great source of information for any who might want to get involved.

Preserve Dumping.  Another dumping of old furniture at the Illahee Preserve’s Almira parking lot occurred this past weekend.

Anyone recognize these items?  If so, we would like to find the person/s responsible.

Correct Phone Number for Illahee Film.  We were advised the phone number for those wanting to have the Illahee film delivered was wrong in the last update.  We apologize as it was our error.  The correct phone number is (360) 479-1049.

Culvert Report.  We have been asked if the recent clean-out of the Illahee Creek culvert outlet has resulted in an increased opening at the inlet.  The answer is it is very hard to see much of a difference.  We took a couple of photos on different days, with the last being on Monday, which showed a nominal 12 inches of clearance.  We wanted to get this photo since the culvert outlet will be dredged again on Tuesday (12/5/12).
Lost Cat.  Lots of these postings around Illahee of another lost cat.
High Tides.  There have been higher tides than usual the last few days, especially with the low pressure, which raises them even higher than the predicted heights.  This morning was exciting as the high tides and wave action caused a number of logs to go moving with the waves down the shoreline.  We had an old piling from the Illahee Community dock that washed up on our shoreline a couple of years ago that came loose from its rope today and probably ended up at Brownsville.  We took pictures of some shoreline plants that took a beating from the tide and waves.  The first one shows the plants and the second one shows how high the tide was by the piece of driftwood that ended up on top of them.
Seals.  We like to have at least one wildlife photo and choose this one of the seals as they congregated on one end of a nearby float.
Jim Aho
Note:  Past updates available at
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