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Nisqually Tribe working with neighbors to restore Ohop Creek »
Kyle Kautz, Nisqually tribal natural resources, collects fish from a pool in the former Ohop Creek channel.

Kyle Kautz, Nisqually tribal natural resources, collects fish from a pool in the former Ohop Creek channel.

This summer, the Nisqually Tribe, the Nisqually Land Trust and the South Puget Sound Salmon Enhancement Group are tacking on another 1.5 miles of restored habitat to Ohop Creek.

“In this stretch of creek, salmon aren’t really given much space to feed or hide,” said David Troutt, natural resources director for the tribe. “We’ll be restoring the creek back to a natural shape and giving the salmon the habitat they need to survive.”

Over a century ago farmers turned the creek into a straight-flowing ditch in an attempt to dry out the valley floor and create cattle pasture. However, deep clay deposits in the soil continued to hold water year round, and despite the failed effort to completely dry the valley the stream remained channelized.

“It went from a shallow, meandering stream that was very good for salmon to a straight ditch,” Troutt said.

The Ohop Creek restoration will include digging an entirely new channel as well as adding other features, such as logjams and deep pools, that will provide habitat for salmon.

Salmon habitat restoration on the creek began in 2009 with a repaired one-mile channel just upstream of the new site. That channel was constructed to restore a sinuous stream that connected to its floodplain. The floodplain, now replanted with native vegetation, re-creates 80 acres of healthy riparian habitat that controls water temperatures and stabilizes the stream banks.

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Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe develops shellfish hatchery »

The Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe is developing its own shellfish hatchery to benefit both tribal and non-tribal shellfish operations in Puget Sound.

The tribe plans to raise shellfish and grow shellfish seed (larvae) to sell, said Kurt Grinnell, Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe vice-chair.

The tribe leased the former Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife shellfish hatchery in Quilcene in late 2013 and started rearing 800 Pacific oysters in …

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Being Frank

Being Frank: Inslee Water Quality Plan Too Little, Too Late »

Note: Being Frank is the monthly opinion column that was written for many years by the late Billy Frank Jr., NWIFC Chairman. To honor him, the treaty Indian tribes in western Washington will continue to share their perspectives on natural resources management through this column. This month’s writer is Russ Hepfer, Vice Chair of the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe and an NWIFC commissioner.

More delay is …

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Kitsap Sun: Kittyhawk Drive culvert finally removed for fish »

The Kitsap Sun (subscription required) reported on the removal of a partial fish-blocking culvert on Chico Creek, under Kittyhawk Drive. Under the direction of the Suquamish Tribe, the 50-year old culvert is being removed, fully allowing the mouth of the estuary to return to a more natural state.

From the story:

Removing the Kittyhawk culvert is an important step in restoring the estuary, according to

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