Search Results for: state of our watersheds

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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Legislators, Tribes, Environmental Organizations And Others: Opposing The Water Bills

OLYMPIA (May 5,2003)-A coalition of legislators, Indian tribes, environmental organizations and fishing groups objected this morning to the potential passage of water bills to be considered in the special legislative session slated for May 12. In a press conference in Olympia, State Senator Karen Fraser (D-Olympia), Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission Chairman Billy Frank, Jr., Washington Environmental Council President Jay Manning and others said the bills serve the interests of big water users at the expense of the environment and everyone else in the state. The coalition opposing the bills pointed out that commitments to protect stream flows were made years ago to protect fish and wildlife resources, but those promises have not been kept. “That has not been done,” said Senator Fraser. “These bills work against that, and only serve to weaken the state’s water laws.” Frank said the tribes have opposed the bills because they violate the principles of good stewardship, and violate treaty-protected rights. “State government should protect the rights of all citizens. Water must be protected for fish, recreation, and aesthetic enjoyment. These bills degrade water and hurt everyone because they tap into water that must be reserved to protect these resources.” “We all rely on rivers and streams for drinking water, fish and wildlife, recreation and to grow our food,” said Manning. “Yet, illegal, inefficient, and excessive use of this precious resource is so severe...

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Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe Continues Jimmeycomelately Restoration

BLYN (Feb. 25, 2003) — It took several months and three excavators but a new channel for the Jimmeycomelately Creek is nearly finished, paving the way for the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe to focus much of its restoration efforts this summer on the lower portion of the creek that empties into Sequim Bay. “We still have some work to do in terms of excavating and bringing in wood and gravel for the channel. That should start in May and be completed by the end of July, finishing the first phase of the restoration project,” said Byron Rot, habitat biologist for the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe. “Then we are going to swing into the estuary, where there is a number of things that need to be done.” The goal is to return the creek and estuary back to their natural state, a healthy wetland for fish and wildlife. The creek’s newly created channel, which follows its historic course, will eventually flow into the estuary. But first, roads and landfill need to be removed from the estuary, returning it to its original state. The tribe and two state agencies purchased about 25 acres of land at the mouth of the creek in 2002. The project, which began last year, is necessary because of past mismanagement. During the early 1900s, the creek was rerouted and moved to the side of the valley to allow...

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Governor’s Office Appoints Soicher To Forest Practices Board

OLYMPIA (Feb. 7, 2003) — Alan Soicher, a Van Zandt resident with over 10 years of experience in natural resources management, has been appointed by Governor Gary Locke to the Washington State Forest Practices Board. “It is a great honor to serve on the Forest Practices Board,” said Soicher. “The forests of Washington State are a tremendous natural resource. I look forward to working with the Forest Practices Board to find the right balance for our forested watersheds.” Soicher, a licensed geologist and hydrogeologist, has work experiences ranging from river restoration to watershed monitoring to timber sale layout and design. Over the past several years, Soicher has served on a number of forestry-related committees in Washington State. From 1999-2001, he served as a small forest landowner representative to the Washington Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Forest Stewardship Coordinating Committee. Today, Soicher continues to serve on the Lake Whatcom DNR Landscape Planning Committee to help develop a landscape plan for management of state forests around Lake Whatcom. “Alan brings a wealth of experience and a strong technical background to the board,” said Bob Kelly, a current member of the Forest Practices Board and director of Nooksack Natural Resources. “Forest practice rules need to be guided by science, and Alan is able to interpret many of the technical details that come before the board. His knowledge and understanding of the issues...

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Larger Returns Don’t Equal Salmon Recovery

August 7, 2002 Here we go again. A second year of big returns of hatchery chinook returning to the Columbia River – coupled with more good returns of coho to Puget Sound – and some folks already are talking loudly again about easing salmon habitat protection measures. Unfortunately, what these returns really amount to are two small spikes on the overall downward trend of the salmon resource. Two years of good returns do not amount to salmon recovery. In fact, these larger returns actually may cause more harm than good. They encourage shortsighted thinking and even a little amnesia. They cause people to think that these larger returns mean that our salmon recovery efforts are beginning to pay off. They cause folks to forget that the bulk of these fish are from hatcheries, and that many of our wild chinook stocks continue to struggle to rebuild their populations. These past two years of good returns are mostly the result of favorable ocean conditions, and little else. El Nino, that weather phenomenon that occurs every four or five years and lasts for about 18 months each time, was absent when the past two years’ worth of returns went out to sea as youngsters. El Nino brings higher ocean temperatures that cap the colder, nutrient-rich waters off our coast, resulting in less food for growing salmon. On top of that, the...

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