Restore America’s Estuaries (RAE), the American Sportfishing Association (ASA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released a report yesterday that connects habitat restoration with fisheries. As the title of the report says, essentially, “More habitat means more fish.”
From the announcement:
“Investing in coastal and estuarine habitat restoration is essential not only for the long-term future of our fisheries but also because it helps support economies and communities through the recreational and commercial fishing industries,” said Jeff Benoit, President and CEO of Restore America’s Estuaries. “In order to have fish, we have to have healthy habitat. If we want more fish, we need more healthy habitat.”
Detail of Pioneer Park conceptual site plan from Master Plan for the Deschutes Watershed Center, 2002.
The proposed budget recently released by the state House of Representatives includes $7.3 million towards renovating the current Deschutes River hatchery in Tumwater and creating the Deschutes Watershed Center.
This new facility on the Deschutes River in Tuwater wouldn’t replace the current hatchery at the waterfall park in Tumwater, but would supplement it. The current program on the Deschutes is piecemeal. There isn’t enough room to rear the fish that will eventually be released. To have a successful program, everything from spawning to rearing and release, needs to be in the same place.
By keeping all aspects of the hatchery in one facility, chances of spreading fish diseases decrease and chances of salmon survival increases. Even though the number of fish raised and released won’t increase from around 3.8 million annually, the number of chinook returning every year will due to better survival.
The Deschutes River incubation and rearing facility will enhance existing operations at Tumwater Falls Park and create a new facility at upstream Pioneer Park, improving water quality and creating new opportunities for community involvement.
Detail of Tumwater Falls Park conceptual site plan from Master Plan for the Deschutes Watershed Center, 2002.
New Facilities Overview
Tumwater Falls Park
• Adult collection and holding facilities (enhanced)
• Egg collection facilities (enhanced)
• Fingerling rearing program (enhanced)
• Visitor facilities (enhanced)
• Effluent treatment facilities (new)
• River pump station (enhanced)
• Fry/fingerling rearing program
• Salmon yearling program
• Recreational fishing program
• Educational/community use facilities
• Integrate with other Deschutes River watershed activities
• Deschutes River trailhead
The Deschutes River hatchery by the numbers
Each year, 3.8 million chinook are released.
More than 30 percent of the fish produced at the Deschutes hatchery are caught in sport fisheries in Puget Sound. A majority of the fish caught by sport fishermen are caught in Puget Sound between Everett and Tacoma.
More than 10,000 people visit the hatchery every month.
Harvest of Deschutes hatchery chinook produces $720,000 of economic activity each year.
February 19th, 2013 by Scott Steltzner Comments Off
For the second time in a year and half the Squaxin Island Tribe has partnered with the Department of Natural Resources creosote removal program. Click the link below to watch a video about the latest project put together by KING 5 news.
Chum salmon fisheries are well in progress and as of November 11, the Squaxin Island Tribe fishermen have harvested approximately 25, 136 chum at a value of $133,853. This year’s chum catch is predicted to be just below the ten year average harvest by our Squaxin fishermen.
Our chum fisheries target healthy South Puget Sound wild chum stocks from Eld Inlet, Totten Inlet, Hammersley Inlet, Skookum Inlet, and Case Inlet. Northern Tribes and Washington State Non-Tribal fisheries target these stocks as well.
During the Chum salmon season Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission conducts the Apple Tree Cove Chum test fishery in Area 10 (Near Kingston, Washington), weekly for four weeks. In this test fishery the catches are used to update the inseason Puget Sound Fall Chum runsize. Catch results are plugged into a model with historical test fishery data to determine a runsize. After each of these test fisheries, harvest managers from Washington Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) and Puget Sound Tribes conference call on the results as well as share regional catches. Based on this data the harvest managers make a decision to increase or decrease the Puget Sound Chum runsize. WDFW and the northern Tribes fisheries are based on the runsize and determine their available catch allocation.
While Non-Tribal fleet, recreational and our neighboring Tribes to the north are fishing, the extreme terminal Tribes are relying on chum making it to the streams to spawn (escapement). Squaxin Chum fisheries are based on escapement of Fall Chum runs into the Deep South Sound inlets. To ensure our local Fall Chum stocks reach escapement goals, Squaxin Natural Resources and WDFW staff conducts stream surveys to count spawning chum. These stream counts along with the Squaxin Island Tribe’s attentively timed fisheries allows for regional escapement to be met. Squaxin bears the burden of escapement of chum in our streams.
Inlet escapement goals
Even YearsOdd Years
Totten= 14,400 11,500
Skookum= 2,100 1,500
Eld= 18,500 14,500
Hammersley= 17,000 13,500
Case= 1,800 1,500
Inlet escapement goals are on an even/odd basis that correlates with Pink salmon runs. Pink Salmon returns occur in odd years.
If you have any questions regarding Squaxin salmon fisheries management please contact Joseph Peters at 360-432-3813 or email at email@example.com.
Are some areas of improvement. There is more to be done and habitat is still the driver.
Forest cover continues to decline. Where development happens, habitat declines.
If we don’t get a handle on habitat, especially forest cover, we aren’t going to get to salmon restoration.
Despite the best shoreline regulations in the nation, we’re still seeing declines in shoreline habitat. This is true outside of shoreline protection.
Funding for salmon recovery projects is even too low. We’re hitting a ceiling. Only 31 percent of the funding we actually need. Its actually a $1 billion project.
Funders like funding projects, not people or capacity to “do the work.” You can’t develop projects without people to do the work. So the bottleneck in restoration is people, not project money.
The problem with the growth management act is that is always plans for growth. There’s never an “enough is enough” step that creates shortages and forces people to move elsewhere.
Scientists should keep on saying what’s going on. Its hard when the status quo is criticized. She was told that if she criticized funding, it would be cut off. She doesn’t buy that.
We need to do a better job influencing people who hold the purse strings.
From the Q&A:
1. Can we redirect litigation funds to restoration funds? The idea behind the growth management hearing board is that it wasn’t supposed to be a legal process. But, it turned out to be a legal process.
2. In response to a question about possibly cutting operational funding, Judge says that one of the major things we do is outreach to legislators.
3. Do you agree that legislators don’t want to hear science, as opposed to what impacts people in their districts? Yes, unless its a crisis, the lawmakers want to hear good stories. Hire wonks.
Fishing has been under way for the past few months, with what looks like a fair Chinook season and an above average coho season. As of October 15th, our 88 licensed Tribal fishers have harvested 4,375Chinook and 48,748 Coho.
Chinook and Coho Fish Management
This year the Budd Inlet Chinook fishery yielded 4,375 fish, below the ten-year average. Squaxin’s projected catch for Chinook is based on average catches from previous years, the predicted returning run-size to Tumwater Falls Hatchery, and the 3,500 Chinook escapement needed for the hatchery. Escapement needs for the hatchery program were met this year. While other fisheries to the north harvest Deschutes fish, tribal and sport fisheries must contend with listed Chinook stocks of concern and are limited to a ceiling harvest rate. Some tribes get only one to two days of fishing for their Chinook fisheries. Overall the run size was lower than expected and the Tribal fishery was down as well.
Squaxin coho catch is based on the previous year’s average harvest rates of net pen Coho. The harvest rate of Squaxin net pen Coho by Tribal fishers ranges from 94%-98%. During the Coho fishery there are weekly in season update conference calls with the tribes and state to discuss regional catches and test fisheries from the straights and northern Salish Sea. It is during these calls that an in-season update is made based on actual fishery results. If a run size increases or decreases, the allocation of fish to tribes and the state change.
Squaxin Coho fisheries are unique in that the vast majority of the fish caught in 13D are net pen Coho with limited impacts on natural Coho due to the protected areas in the inlets. By staying out of the inlets natural Coho have a better opportunity to escape into the creeks to spawn. The Coho fishery through October 15th has harvested 48,748 Coho worth over $670,000. This is an above average outcome and suggests that there has been better ocean survival than previous years.
The results from this year’s fisheries will be used to plug back into fishery management decisions for next year. In the months of February through April, Squaxin Natural Resources takes part in the North of Falcon process, part of the Pacific Fishery Management Council. This series of meetings gathers state, federal, and tribal fishery managers to plan Washington coastal, Strait of Juan de Fuca, and Puget Sound recreational and commercial salmon fisheries. Tribal and State fisheries managers negotiate and agree on harvest impacts on forecasted returns, as well as scheduled fisheries.