Squaxin Island Tribe heading into smolt trap season, rain causing problems

On the Squaxin Island Tribe’s natural resources blog, there’s a recent post about the annual installation of smolt traps around deep South Sound:

Monday, March 22nd a rotary screw trap was installed on Goldsborough Creek and a weir panel trap was installed on Skookum Creek, Tuesday March 24th. Over the next week and a half weir panel traps will be installed on Mill, Cranberry and Sherwood Creeks.

Project objectives of smolt trapping are to determine current levels of natural coho production and smolt outmigration timing. In addition, the information collected on outmigrants can be used to form relevant spawning escapement goals.

This morning, another post talks about issues being caused by increased rain over the weekend:

Wind and Rain from the spring storm that hit Western Washington Sunday and Monday blew out smolt traps temporarily. As of 7 am Monday March 29th and estimated 1.3 inches of rain fell in Kamilche since Saturday.

We had water flowing over the top of the weir panels and one tree fell over the screw trap diversion panels .

In a few days after the weather has calmed and the creek levels lower we will get the traps buttoned back up and we will continue installing our remaining two traps.

The tribe uses smolt traps — safe and effective devices to count outmigrating salmon — to track salmon productivity throughout their treaty harvesting area. This is an important consideration when planning habitat restoration, enhancement and fisheries.

In recent years, the tribe has used smolt traps to track an increase in salmon productivity in the Goldsborough Creek watershed, where a dam was removed almost ten years ago, and to plan an enhancement effort in the Sherwood Creek watershed.