Mystery artist leaves wood carving of salmon at hatchery

ISSAQUAH, Wash. -- The Issaquah Salmon Hatchery has a fish story on its hands. It's a mystery "art-bombing" workers hope the public can help solve.

Someone left a freshly-carved 6-foot high wood carving of a salmon at their front door sometime between 4 p.m. New Year's Day and 7:15 the next morning. It appears to be chainsaw art was done fairly recently because it has the scent of a fresh cut and there's sawdust still clinging to the cuts.

"We thought it was gorgeous, it's obviously well done," says Jane Kuechle, the Executive Director of The Friends of the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery.

The carving made from cedar was found by a hatchery employee in the front courtyard of the hatchery. There was no note, nothing to indicate if the carving was a gift or where it came from.

The only writing is the city name "Issaquah" carved into the base of the statue.

"This one given to us at no cost is a real boon," says Kuechle. Her fund raising group FISH has raised nearly half a million dollars to outfit the grounds with signage and displays for the public to enjoy.

The plan will be to place the salmon near a pair of salmons made out of steel and a wooden eagle, the only other public art work that's on the grounds.

"I suppose they want to remain anonymous but it would be nice to thank them," says Kuechle.

Anyone with leads to who the artist might be are encouraged to call the Friends of the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery at (425) 392-1118.