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Dairy Farm Pollution Costs Lummi Nation

By • Jan 16th, 2015 • Category: Lead Story, News

An aerial photo shows a manure lagoon at a dairy farm adjacent to the Nooksack River. Courtesy of Kim Koon.

Whatcom County’s booming dairy and agricultural industry has cost Lummi Nation shellfish harvesters millions of dollars already, and a recent closure of shellfish beds in Portage Bay is adding to the tally.

Manure from dairy cows is discharged either directly or indirectly into the Nooksack River, …



Squaxin Island Tribe Tracks Warm Water Impact on Salmon

By • Jan 7th, 2015 • Category: News

Squaxin Island Tribe natural resources technician Joe Puhn removes a temperature gauge from Johns Creek near Shelton.

The Squaxin Island Tribe is collecting year-round temperature data on dozens of streams in deep South Sound.

“Salmon need clean, cold water in order to thrive in streams” said Erica Marbet, water resources biologist for the tribe. Using instream temperature monitors, or thermographs, the tribe has been monitoring temperatures …



Lummi Formally Asks Army Corps to Halt Coal Terminal

By • Jan 6th, 2015 • Category: News

The Lummi Nation has written a formal letter urging the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to reject the permit to build the Gateway Pacific Terminal at Cherry Point.

“The impacts on the Nation’s treaty rights associated with this project cannot be mitigated,” wrote Lummi Chair Tim Ballew II.

From EarthFix:

Corps spokeswoman Patricia Graesser responded to a request for comment by saying her agency is …



Decades old co-management benefit today’s South Sound chum salmon

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

Michael West, fisheries technician for the Squaxin Island Tribe, samples a chum salmon in a South Sound creek.

Fisheries management decisions made decades ago by the Squaxin Island Tribe and their state salmon co-managers are still paying dividends for the Kennedy Creek chum run.

In the early 1980s – just a few years after the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the tribe’s status as a salmon co-manager …



Upper Skagit Tribe Thins Forest for Elk Forage

By • Dec 18th, 2014 • Category: News

The Upper Skagit Indian Tribe’s natural resources department thinned and mulched forestland on Puget Sound Energy (PSE) property last fall to improve elk forage in the North Cascades mountains.

Degraded and disconnected habitat is one of the main causes of the decline in numbers of the Nooksack elk herd, which went from a population of more than 1,700 20 years ago to about 300 by 2003. …



Tulalip Tribes Keep Track of Hatchery Salmon

By • Dec 17th, 2014 • Category: Lead Story, News

Tulalip fisheries technicians spawn female chum salmon at the tribes’ Bernie “Kai-Kai” Gobin Hatchery.

Tribal and state co-managers continue to improve their ability to track hatchery salmon in the Snohomish watershed.

Both the Tulalip Tribes’ Bernie “Kai-Kai” Gobin Hatchery and the state’s Wallace River Hatchery recently installed new chillers to better mark hatchery chinook, coho and chum salmon.

“One hundred percent of all Tulalip chinook, coho …



Nisqually Tribe using new fish camera to keep a close eye on weak steelhead run

By • Dec 15th, 2014 • Category: News

How many steelhead are migrating up and down the Nisqually River has always been a mystery.

But, this year a new camera installed by the Nisqually Tribe at a diversion dam will allow fish managers to get a handle on the population of endangered fish.

The camera is located at a fish ladder the City of Centralia’s diversion dam on the Nisqually and will take a …



Coho Salmon Eggs Put to the Stormwater Test

By • Dec 10th, 2014 • Category: Lead Story, News

WSU toxicologist Jen McIntyre checks the condition of an embryo that was exposed to urban stormwater runoff. More pictures from the study can be found by clicking on the photo.

Peering through a microscope at the Suquamish Tribe’s Grovers Creek Hatchery, biologist Tiffany Linbo uses two pairs of tweezers to gently peel the protective layer off an 18-day-old fertilized coho salmon egg.

The National Oceanic and …



Tribes partner with OSU to study clam contamination

By • Dec 2nd, 2014 • Category: Lead Story, News

Swinomish staff and OSU students sample clams on Kukutali Preserve.

Researchers from Oregon State University (OSU) are studying shellfish contamination on the Swinomish reservation and nearby Fidalgo Bay.

Both the Swinomish Tribe and Samish Nation have partnered in the project with OSU’s Superfund Research Program, focusing on clam contamination on tribal lands.

Butter clams were sampled from sites in Fidalgo Bay near an oil refinery, and …



Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe: How wildlife will recolonize former Elwha lakebeds

By • Nov 24th, 2014 • Category: Lead Story, News

The mouse is measured for length and weight and marked as studied before being released in the former Elwha lake beds. Click on the photo for more pictures at NWIFC’s Flickr album.

The Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe is studying how wildlife might help or hinder growth of new vegetation along the restored Elwha River.

The tribe is watching how small mammals, elk, deer and birds are …