Author: kneumeyer

Sauk-Suiattle Tribe Rears Chum Fry at New Hatchery Site

The Sauk-Suiattle Tribe reared about 20,000 chum fry at a remote site incubator this spring as part of a developing hatchery program. The fry are being released in Sauk tributaries Hatchery and Lyle creeks, as well as the river’s confluence. Lyle Creek was a traditional chum harvesting area for the Sauk-Suiattle Tribe, but no salmon spawn naturally there now. “If we get any returns to these creeks, we’ll know it’s from this program,” said Grant Kirby, fish biologist for the tribe. Chum enhancement began in 2015 with Sauk broodstock that were spawned at the state’s Marblemount Hatchery, then incubated...

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Tracking steelhead from the sky

The Upper Skagit Indian Tribe is tracking steelhead from the sky, using drones in tributaries that can’t be surveyed on foot. Estimates for steelhead returns depend on counting their egg nests (redds). Some waterways can be walked or floated, and others can be viewed from a helicopter, but that requires advance planning. “The Suiattle and Whitechuck rivers can be very problematic to survey,” said Gabe McGuire, stock assessment biologist for the tribe. “As soon as the weather heats up, the glacial sediment is released and visibility goes to zero.” When there are small windows of clarity, natural resources staff...

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Sediment samples fill in the gaps for fishery managers

Five years of sampling have provided resources managers with concrete information about how much sediment is traveling downstream in the Sauk River watershed, and when. “Before doing this study, we had to rely on best guesses for the quantity and timing of suspended sediment,” said Scott Morris, water quality coordinator for the Sauk-Suiattle Tribe. “Now, we have actual numbers and a range of suspended sediment associated with different flows to better inform our understanding of these natural processes.” The Sauk-Suiattle Tribe collected suspended sediment and water temperature data from stream gauges along the Sauk, a Skagit River tributary, in...

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Lummi continues to improve salmon habitat on South Fork Nooksack River

A lack of holding pools in the South Fork Nooksack River continues to limit the recovery of spring chinook salmon populations. The Lummi Nation will soon begin the second phase of a restoration project near Skookum Creek to improve habitat complexity, connectivity and climate change resilience for threatened salmon species. Twelve engineered logjams will create shaded pools for migrating adult and over-wintering juvenile chinook salmon and bull trout. Both species are listed as threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act. Several of the logjams will be placed downstream from a known cooler water stream, Edfro Creek, to provide temperature...

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Lummi Nation Studying Hooligan Run

Lummi Natural Resources and Northwest Indian College (NWIC) have partnered to learn more about the longfin smelt, known as hooligans, that have been harvested by tribal members for generations. NWIC native environmental science faculty member Dr. Rachel Arnold and Lummi fisheries technician Jeffrey Solomon have spent two seasons gathering DNA samples, scales and otoliths (mineral structures often referred to as “ear bones”) from hooligans harvested along the Nooksack River each fall. “We’ve also had conversations with tribal elders, as well as non-native elder fishers, who have been harvesting hooligans since they were children,” Solomon said. Longfin smelt migrate to...

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    • Northwest Treaty Tribes is a service of Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission
    • Northwest Treaty Tribes Magazine for Winter 2017/2018 Available Now
    • Billy Frank Jr Memorial Edition of the NWIFC Magazine Available Here
    • Treaty Rights at Risk

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