Author: troyal

State of Our Watersheds: Permit-Exempt Wells Hurt Salmon Habitat

While permit-exempt wells represent a source of water for many landowners in the North Olympic Peninsula, withdrawals through these wells affect groundwater supply, thus affecting salmon habitat. The Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe explores the real-time use of this resource in its chapter of the State of Our Watersheds report. Legally, property owners are allowed to withdraw water for domestic purposes without obtaining a water right. There are 1,003 wells that affect groundwater supply and instream flows in the Lower Elwha Area of Concern.   Between 1980 and 2009, 801 wells were completed at a rate of about 27 new...

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State of Our Watersheds: Shoreline Modifications Detrimental to Salmon Habitat

Of all the Puget Sound counties, between 2005 and 2014, Mason County had the largest amount of armored shoreline developed on its waterfront properties. More than 200 hydraulic project approvals were issued during that time period, resulting in 1.6 miles of armored shoreline, while only 714 feet of armoring were removed. Armored shoreline is an issue for nearshore habitat, which provides a space for salmonids to rear and forage, and is continually being impacted, according to the most recent State of Our Watersheds Report, released by Northwest Treaty Tribes. Bulkheads, fill, roads, highways, docks and piers are all examples of shoreline development...

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Jamestown Shellfish Hatcheries Address Ocean Acidification and Oyster Populations

Ocean conditions have the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe concerned about shellfish survival rates and treaty harvesting rights. “Tribes aren’t able to harvest oysters like they once did,” said Kurt Grinnell, Jamestown council member. “We just don’t get the natural shellfish recruitment like we used to.” To address these concerns, the tribe has started its own shellfish hatcheries at Point Whitney in Brinnon and Kona, Hawaii. The tribe also has two large shellfish nurseries called floating upwelling systems (FLUPSYs) at the John Wayne Marina in Sequim. Currently, the program provides locally grown oyster seed for restoration efforts on area beaches, as...

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Chinook Salmon Egg Nests Increasing Above Former Elwha River Dam Sites

In the five years since the Elwha River’s fish-blocking dams were removed, the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe has been documenting where chinook salmon spawn in the watershed as they gain access to more spawning habitat. The tribe’s habitat and fish biologists, with its state and federal partners, have been annually surveying the river in mid-September during the peak of the chinook spawning season. The survey area extends nearly 20 miles, from the river mouth to past Glines Canyon. Surveyors walk the river banks, counting redds (salmon egg nests) and live and spawned-out salmon. Determining the number of redds in...

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State of Our Watersheds: Altered Shorelines in Port Gamble Bay, Hood Canal

The Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe is concerned about threatened salmon habitat in Puget Sound. The tribe explores the threat in the 2016 State of Our Watersheds report. The tribe is concerned about the amount of shoreline that has been altered in its overall focus area (Clallam, Kitsap, Mason and Jefferson counties), of which nearly 50 percent already has been modified or armored. On a regional scale, from 2005 to 2014, data from the Hydraulic Project Approval database shows an increase of nearly four miles of armoring in all four counties. Shoreline alterations such as jetties and rockwalls interrupt the flow of...

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  • Northwest Treaty Tribes is a service of Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission

  • Northwest Treaty Tribes Magazine for Spring 2017 Available Now

  • Billy Frank Jr Memorial Edition of the NWIFC Magazine Available Here

  • Treaty Rights at Risk

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