Search Results for: state of our watersheds

Salmon Are Killed By More Than Just Fishing

OLYMPIA (April 5, 2005) – Did you take a shower this morning? Eat a bowl of cereal? Drive to work? If you did any of those things, you killed wild salmon. You see, millions of other folks did the same thing. Together, these and other everyday activities take a toll on salmon and the habitat they need to survive. No one is telling you to stop showering, eating, driving to work or any of the other things you do each day. So why do some people keep saying that the tribes should stop fishing? Because of declining wild salmon runs – including the listing of three western Washington salmon stocks as “threatened” under the federal Endangered Species Act – the tribal and state co-managers have changed the way we approach fisheries management. We know that our fisheries can harm wild salmon stocks. That’s why we focus our extremely limited harvest on strong, healthy runs of mostly hatchery salmon. The result has been a drastic reduction in our fisheries, up to 80 percent in some cases, as well as some outright closures. This is important, so I’m going to say it again: fishing alone does not kill salmon. When you’re driving on a highway, you’re driving on the backs of salmon. The highway is paved with salmon carcasses. Sadly, most salmon are killed before they hatch from eggs. They die...

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What’s Causing The Droughts?

Anyone who has listened to the tribes at all over the years should not be surprised that we’re facing a severe drought this summer. We have been trying to tell people for years that this region is in the midst of a long-term drought. The water shortages and forest fires we’ll experience will just be the latest in a long run of drought related events. Believe it or not, the problem started more than a century ago, when non-Indian society cut down virtually all the trees. As the giant cedars and other native evergreens fell victim to the greedy axe, the capacity of our watersheds to hold rain and snow – and release water slowly into the streams and rivers – went with it. That’s what trees do naturally, soak up and slowly release water. Almost all of the trees to be found along the rivers now are second, third and fourth growth. New trees would one day be able to take the place of their ancestors, but they have to be allowed to stick around long enough, and not be replaced by condominiums and concrete. Mix the tree problem with the impacts of dams, the straightening of streams and rivers to accommodate agriculture and development, the massive impacts of the swelling population, and the water problem gets more complex. Then mix in the effects of climate change brought...

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Nooksack Tribe’s Kelly Re-Appointed to Forest Practices Board

OLYMPIA (October 5, 2004) – Bob Kelly, director of the Nooksack Tribe’s natural resources department, has been appointed again by Governor Gary Locke to the Washington State Forest Practices Board. “Forest practices are a crucial element in salmon recovery,” said Kelly. “Protecting ecosystems protects habitat for fish, which is the only way to recover wild salmon. Serving on the board allows me to further be an advocate for Washington’s wild salmon runs.” The Washington Forest Practices Board established rules designed to protect the state’s natural resources while also maintaining an economically viable timber industry. This will be Kelly’s second four-year term on the board. “It is a great honor to serve on the board,” said Kelly. “By working together with other organizations, we can better preserve our forested watersheds and the wildlife those habitats support.” The 12-member board was created by the state legislature in 1975. It consists of six public officials and six members of the general public. After being appointed by the governor, each member serves a four-year term. One other employee of Nooksack Natural Resources, licensed geologist and hydrogeologist Alan Soicher, also sits on the board. (END) For more information, contact: Bob Kelly, 360.592.2632; Jeff Shaw, Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission,...

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Federal Update: After The Recess

WHAT’LL WE DO AFTER RECESS Congress is scheduled to reconvene September 7 and then adjourn by October 1—a predictably short session as the November 2 elections quickly approach. The post-election session will be similarly short. A lot is at stake in this election, of course, including many issues affecting tribal natural resource management/environmental protection. But regardless of the outcome, some of the current legislation, including appropriations, could affect Indians and other citizens in the years to come, and generally speaking, proposed appropriations are tight—a far cry from the levels deserved for meaningful salmon recovery and habitat restoration. Environmental protection programs are under assault in many respects, although there are also opportunities. The bottom line is that there is need for vigilance. A tribal/NWIFC visitation is planned to the nation’s capitol the second week in September, and there will be a large presence there later in the month as the National Museum of the American Indian opens. There was little response by Commerce-Justice-State committee staffers to an invitation sent to them via the Coalition for Salmon Funding, intended to help provide background to them regarding salmon. It has become clear that these staffers, who perform a critical role in that funding component, are generally ill-informed about the resource. That, combined with the fact that interests in other parts of the country have pressured them to be more “equitable” in the...

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Tribes Study Salmon Migration On The Hamma Hamma River

ELDON (June 16, 2003) — Using a small net, Greg Sullivan scoops the remaining salmon from a smolt trap’s holding tank and counts his catch before releasing the juvenile fish back into the river. “That’s the last of them for today,” says the Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe’s natural resources technician, who checks the trap on the Hamma Hamma River twice a week. “That makes 1,253 juvenile salmon. By far the most I’ve seen here at one time.” And that’s a good sign. The more fish that show up in the smolt trap’s tank, the more accurate of a count the tribe can get on how many juvenile salmon, or smolts, are migrating from the freshwater of the Hamma Hamma River into the saltwater of Hood Canal. The smolt trap is part of a project conducted by the Port Gamble and Skokomish tribes, a local landowner, Long Live the Kings, the Hood Canal Salmon Enhancement Group and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. The “smolt trap” is a large, water-powered device that safely catches young salmon, allowing the fish to be studied and returned to the river unharmed. It’s anchored near the shore of the river just below the site where a tributary reaches the main stem of the Hamma Hamma. “The level of smolt production from the river is important because it reflects the quantity and quality of...

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

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