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Puyallup Tribe: Will a wall of warm water stop salmon?

The Puyallup Tribe is keeping a close eye on the harm caused by warm water to salmon returning to the river, including hundreds of thousands of pink salmon.

Will a wall of warm water prevent salmon from migrating into the Puyallup River watershed this year? High temperatures and low river flows are combining for what might be a remarkably bad salmon return.

To better understand the …

Drought prevents salmon from returning to hatchery

Chinook salmon wait to be let into the holding pond from the Tulalip Bay fish ladder.

Tribal fishing in Tulalip Bay closed in July because a thermal barrier kept many salmon from entering the bay, and low flows prevented others from swimming upriver.

Tulalip Tribes closed fishing in the bay July 22, and the state restricted the sport chinook fishery in the “bubble” at the mouth …

Restored, opened habitat leads to record run of coho from Goldsborough Creek

Scott Steltzner, biologist for the Squaxin Island Tribe, inspects a newly constructed logjam in 2013.

SHELTON – A combination of dam removal and aggressive habitat restoration has meant record runs of juvenile coho salmon in Goldsborough Creek for 2015.

This year’s run of 113,000 juveniles counted by the Squaxin Island Tribe continues a strong trend of increasing the number of juvenile coho leaving the Goldsborough watershed. …

Quinault Indian Nation jump-starting important spruce tree growth

A Quinault Indian Nation tree planting crew plants spruce trees as part of jump-starting the growth of this key species that helps stabilize river channels that are important fish habitat.

Restoring Sitka spruce and native vegetation to the upper Quinault River valley floodplain is another piece of the complex puzzle the Quinault Indian Nation (QIN) is assembling to rehabilitate the Quinault River and the sockeye or …

Chief Kitsap Academy students build water sensor computers

Using wires, computer chips, batteries, PVC piping, duct tape and glue, a group of students at Chief Kitsap Academy gathered data about water quality in their backyard this spring.

Working with the University of Washington, a group of nine high school students in Karen Matsumoto’s marine biology class constructed small computers with temperature probes to measure water temperature in the nearshore marine waters behind the school.…

Lummi Nation Raises Next Generation of Stewards

From elementary school through young adulthood, Lummi Nation youth are learning about the natural resources that sustain their culture.

Lummi Nation School students from kindergarten through sixth grade are planting ocean spray shrubs beside the Wex’lium community longhouse. Known in the tribal language as tsingenilhch, the ironwood is fire-resistant when cut into the sticks used to cook salmon for traditional gatherings.

“By the time these …

How a Hot Summer Could Be Deadly for Salmon

Coho fry are rescued from pools that had become disconnected from the Hoh River.

After a winter of record low snowfall and Gov. Jay Inslee’s May declaration of a statewide drought, treaty tribes in western Washington are concerned about high water temperatures, low flows and pre-spawn mortality in returning salmon.

“This drought will have catastrophic, far-reaching effects for many years to come,” said Scott Schuyler, natural …

Suquamish Tribe’s Doe Kag Wats estuary: Keeping good wood, removing bad wood

The Suquamish Tribe’s Doe Kag Wats estuary is the site of a large woody debris removal experiment this summer.

”Our hypothesis is that by removing the excess amount of the milled and treated logs that have washed into the estuary, the native marsh vegetation will be restored, as well as insect species, many of which are important to both healthy and recovering salmon populations,” said Tom …

Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe, students gather data from Tumwater Creek

Lucas Verstegen, left, and Tyler Hansen, students at North Olympic Peninsula Skills Center, prep a smolt from Tumwater Creek for identification. To view more, click on the photo.

A group of teenage “citizen scientists” have been helping the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe this spring by studying an urban creek that hasn’t been looked at in nearly 30 years.

Students in the North Olympic Peninsula Skills Center’s …