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Podcast: Clam digs bring Upper Skagit tribal members together

Every year, the Upper Skagit Tribe holds a couple of community clam digs for tribal members of all ages.

“It’s important for our members to get out there exercising our treaty rights,” said Scott Schuyler, natural resources director for the Upper Skagit Tribe. “Our ancestors gave everything up for our treaty rights. We’d be doing them a disservice not to exercise those rights.”

Listen to a …

Swinomish Tribe holds blessing of the fleet

The Swinomish Indian Tribal Community held its annual Blessing of the Fleet and First Salmon Ceremony on Thursday.

The celebration, marking the beginning of the fishing season, honors and protects the tribe’s fishing fleet. After a seafood feast of salmon, halibut, crab, prawns, mussels and clams, representatives from the Catholic, Shaker and Pentacostal faiths said blessings over the remains of four wild chinook salmon from …

Podcast: Nooksack Tribe revisits traditional dip net fishing

The Nooksack Tribe’s cultural resources director George Swanaset Jr. recently made a dip net to demonstrate the traditional fishing method to young adults in the tribe’s YouthBuild program.

The YouthBuild students are studying the 1974 federal court decision, U.S. v. Washington (also known as the Boldt decision), which upheld tribes’ rights to fish in their usual and accustomed areas.

Coastal Tribes Help Protect Public Health


Protecting the health of Quinault Indian Nation (QIN) tribal members and others is the main priority of harmful algal bloom specialist Jonnette Bastian-James.

Like other coastal tribes, QIN is helping to determine when harmful algal blooms (HABs) occur on the coast and how quickly they affect shellfish eaten regularly by Indian and non-Indian harvesters throughout the region.

James, a QIN tribal member, takes seawater samples …

Adventures in Coho Stream Surveying


Jon Oleyar likens his stream surveying to the television show “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.” But rather than seeking evidence to solve a crime, the Suquamish Tribe fisheries biologist hikes Kitsap County’s streams for evidence of spawned-out salmon carcasses – particularly for coho.

“I feel like I’m part of a CSI team – Coho Stream Investigator,” he said. “Just finding them is the hard part. You …

Collaborative efforts for Elwha River freshwater mussel rescue

PORT ANGELES (October 16, 2008) – There was a sense of urgency when tribal, state and federal biologists recently snorkeled for 5,000 freshwater mussels along the bottom of a 300-foot-long shallow side channel of the Elwha River. A dredge was slated the next day to dig up the side channel as part of construction of the Elwha Water Treatment Facility.

This mussel rescue was part …