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Nisqually Tribe removing lost fishing gear from South Sound

By • Mar 27th, 2015 • Category: Lead Story, News

Jake Johnston, dive supervisor for the tribe’s marine services division, handles an air hose after a tribal diver retrieved a lost crab pot.

Divers from the Nisqually Indian Tribe Marine Services Division are reducing fish mortalities and helping to restore the Salish Sea habitat by removing lost fishing gear from the bottom of Puget Sound.

“Recreation and commercial fishermen have been on the water for decades,” …



Sauk-Suiattle Tribe Tests Remote Site Incubator to Enhance Chum Run

By • Mar 13th, 2015 • Category: Lead Story, News

Sauk-Suiattle elders still talk about the old days harvesting chum salmon from Lyle Creek.

With chum runs on the decline since 2007, and no fish in Lyle Creek, the Sauk-Suiattle Tribe is testing a method of enhancing the population using a remote site incubator.

Salmon runs across Puget Sound are in decline because of lost and degraded habitat. Remote site incubators enable fisheries co-managers to supplement …



Swinomish Tribe’s Restoration Improves Fish Passage Beside Farmland

By • Mar 11th, 2015 • Category: Lead Story, News

Swinomish environmental director Todd Mitchell observes a self-regulating tide gate that is mostly under water in the Smokehouse tidelands.

Farming interests in Skagit County often seem at odds with salmon habitat restoration, but an ongoing project by the Swinomish Tribe aims to show that it doesn’t have to be that way.

The tribe owns the land known as the Smokehouse tidelands along the Swinomish Channel south …



Watch as tribes take to the river to rescue fish when the waters drop

By • Mar 5th, 2015 • Category: Lead Story, NWIFC Blog, Video

Justin Paul, biologist with the Puyallup Tribe, counts rescued salmon during a dewatering of the White River. More photos of the rescue effort can be found here: http://go.nwifc.org/fishout15

As the flow of the White River was held back by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Russ Ladley carefully searched for young salmon stranded in small pools. Unfortunately, most of the fish he found weren’t able to …



The Nisqually Tribe taking a close look at how salmon recovery can mean wildlife recovery

By • Mar 3rd, 2015 • Category: Lead Story, News

Troy Rahmig, a consultant working for the Nisqually Tribe, checks a game camera near Ohop Creek.

The Nisqually Indian Tribe is taking a look at how improvements to a creek meant to benefit salmon could also be helping elk, deer and beavers.

“For over a decade we’ve been planning and conducting restoration on miles of salmon habitat on Ohop Creek,” said David Troutt, natural resources director …



Swinomish Tribe Studies Effect of Climate Change on Community, Culture

By • Feb 25th, 2015 • Category: Lead Story, News

Climate change threatens not only the environment, but also tribal communities whose culture, livelihood and identities depend on natural resources.

“Current climate change assessments omit key community health concerns, which are vital to successful adaptation plans, particularly for indigenous communities,” said Jamie Donatuto, environmental health specialist for the Swinomish Tribe.

“Recent assessments show that indigenous communities, especially coastal communities, are disproportionately vulnerable to a number of …



Upper Skagit’s Sustainable Forestry Turns Maples to Guitars

By • Feb 19th, 2015 • Category: Lead Story, News

Pacific Tonewoods general manager Eric Warner shows a guitar with a back made from a maple tree.

Two maple trees harvested from Upper Skagit Tribe timberlands have a musical future ahead of them.

The trees were sold to Pacific Rim Tonewoods, a specialty sawmill upriver from the Upper Skagit Reservation that sells lumber to guitar makers Taylor and Martin, among others. While most guitar tops, sound …



Treaty tribes released 40 million salmon in 2014

By • Feb 9th, 2015 • Category: Lead Story, NWIFC Blog

The Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe conducts its annual coho salmon spawning at the House of Salmon hatchery, November 2014.

Treaty Indian Tribes in western Washington released more than 40 million hatchery salmon in 2014 according to recently compiled statistics.

Of the 40 million salmon released, 13.7 million were chinook. Significant numbers of chum (16.9 million) and coho (8.6 million) were also released in addition to 658,00 …



Squaxin Island Tribe, partners, winning battle with invasive weeds

By • Feb 6th, 2015 • Category: Lead Story, News

Brian McTeague, Natural Resources Quantitative Services Manager for the Squaxin Island Tribe, notes the location of knotweed along Skookum Creek.

After three years of work, the Squaxin Island Tribe and the Mason Conservation District, have controlled the spread of salmon-killing knotweed in the Skookum Creek watershed. “This is a huge step forward,” said Andy Whitener, natural resource director for the tribe. “This shows that through consistent …



Upper Skagit Tribe harvests last full return of hatchery steelhead

By • Feb 4th, 2015 • Category: Lead Story, News

It’s the end of an era for Upper Skagit tribal fishermen as the last full return of hatchery steelhead arrives in the Skagit River this winter.

“Our ancestors gave up everything so that we could continue to fish in our traditional areas,” said Scott Schuyler, natural resources director for the Upper Skagit Tribe. “Without hatchery production, we can’t have a meaningful fishery.”

The last full steelhead …