Squaxin Net Pens – Coho Transfer Photos

Juvienle Coho in the Squaxin Net Pens

Thousands of Juvenile Coho in the Squaxin Net Pens

Above is just a snap shot of the 1.5 million coho that will be released in June 2009.  On average only 3 % of these released coho will return as adults in Fall of 2010.  That is approximately 45,000 adult coho available for harvest by Sport and Commercial fisheries in South Puget Sound.

Pictures of Coho Transfer to Net Pens on Flickr

Short Video of Coho Transfer on You Tube

Squaxin Tribe begins Transfer of Juvenile Coho to Net Pens

The Kisutch transfering coho to the Net Pens.

The Kisutch transferring coho to the Net Pens.

This week the Squaxin Island Tribe Natural Resources (SINR) and Washington State Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) started hauling the first batch of juvenile coho to the South Sound Net Pens (SSNP) located in Peale Passage.   SSNP is a co-managed facility by the SINR and WDFW that has released an average of 1.5 million coho smolt yearly to benefit  Sport and commercial fisheries through out the Puget Sound.

Offloading coho into a Net Pen

Offloading coho into a Net Pen

SINR staff will be monitoring and feeding these juvenile for the next four months;releasing them in June.   These coho are at around 31 fish per pound when they arrive and will be released at about 15 fish to the pound.   After release these coho will make the journey to the ocean feed for a year and return to the deep South Puget Sound as adult coho in the Fall of 2010.

Coho in the Net Pens

Coho in the Net Pens. Photo courtesy of Rana Brown-Shellfish

The fish arriving this week are reared at Skookumchuck Hatchery. Early next week we will be transferring fish from Wallace.     Stay tuned for more photos!

How recreation will be impacted by the restoration of the Deschutes Estuary

Fishing chums in Kennedy Creek by oysters4me.

This Thursday morning, CLAMP will discuss how the restoration of the Deschutes Estuary would impact recreation around where Capitol Lake is now.

A draft chapter of our Alternatives Analysis outlines the options. It pretty basically says that certain docks would be high and dry during low tide and that different sorts of fish would be available because a freshwater lake is different than a estuary. For example, the non-native bass that prey on salmon smolts wouldn’t survive in an estuary.

One thing the chapter doesn’t spell out is the benefit to fishermen, most obviously hook-and-line sport fishermen. Anyone can take a look at the crowds along the estuary of nearby Kennedy or McLane creeks in the fall and see the interest that those fishing opportunities generate. Access to these tidelands, which would increase if the Deschutes Estuary were restored, would benefit sport fisherman access to returning salmon. Over 10,000 chinook returned to the hatchery on the Deschutes River this last year (here’s a pdf of the state’s hatchery report).

You can read the entire draft chapter here or download it here.

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Join the conversation about the future of the Deschutes Estuary

Between now and June, a local committee charged with coming up with a recommendation of what to do with Capitol Lake and the Deschutes River Estuary (CLAMP) will come to a decision. If you’re interested in restoring the Deschutes Estuary, now is the time to start getting engaged.

The City of Olympia is already talking about how to engage their citizens in the process. You can read more about that here, here and here.

CLAMP’s agenda’s are regularly posted on the website of the Thurston Regional Planning Council. Here is this month’s agenda.

There have been regular reports presented to CLAMP covering various broad topics, such as how the various options presented to CLAMP would impact wildlife, flooding, public restoration, among other topics. I’m going to try to over the next few months go back to these papers and blog a bit about how restoring the estuary would be a benefit.

This month we’re going to talk about public recreation and how it would be impacted by the eventual fate of the estuary.

The Squaxin Island Tribe is firmly committed to the restoration of the estuary. The tribe has always depended on the natural resources of the region and the Deschutes River estuary was a big part of supporting these resources.

You can go here to find out more about the tribe’s position on restoring the estuary.

New Weather Station for Oakland Bay

The Natural Resources Department at the Squaxin Island Tribe has been a pioneer in the scientific investigation of water pollution in Oakland Bay.  One of our key findings is that windy conditions stir up bacteria laden sediment at the upper end of the bay and those bacteria can close down shellfish harvest.

We have always been hampered by the lack of weather stations in the area to get more accurate wind data.  Currently the data comes from Shelton Airport.  To partially solve the problem, Natural Resources developed a partnership with Pioneer School to install a King 5 SchoolNet Weather Station.  The proposal received funding funding from the Squaxin Island Tribe’s 1% commission and the weather station has been installed.

It can be viewed at http://www.aws.com/FlashDisplay.asp?id=SHPNR.  John Konovsky