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March 2007

IN THIS ISSUE

Wild Fish Runs is a bi-monthly publication for Wild Fish Conservancy members and supporters to provide program updates and networking assistance. The Wild Fish Conservancy is a conservation-ecology organization dedicated to the recovery and conservation of the Northwest’s wild-fish ecosystems. Since 1989, the Wild Fish Conservancy has sought to improve conditions for all of the region’s wild fish through science, education and advocacy. The Wild Fish Conservancy is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization.

PO Box 402
15629 Main St NE
Duvall, WA 98019


425-788-1167 (Phone)
425-788-9634 (Fax)

 

Want to get more involved? The Wild Fish Conservancy appreciates your support and can use your volunteer help in a number of ways including the annual benefit auction, educational programs, office assistance, staffing booths at public events, and participating in membership campaigns and other special events.  Please contact the office at 425-788-1167 if you would like to volunteer or have an event you would like mentioned in Wild Fish Runsor on the website.


WASHINGTON TROUT IS NOW WILD FISH CONSERVANCY

logoOn February 7 2007, Washington Trout changed its name to Wild Fish Conservancy. The decision was not taken lightly, and only after long and careful consideration. We believe the new name better reflects our mission; it is not meant to imply any fundamental change in our goals or strategies, but rather to clarify them, and to minimize ambiguities regarding our mission and affiliations.

After all, since the organization was founded in 1989, our work has always been about more than just trout; we have built a reputation as a leading advocate for the conservation and recovery of all of the Northwest’s wild-fish ecosystems. From the beginning, we have engaged in research, advocacy, and restoration initiatives aimed at protecting, preserving, and restoring all of the Northwest’s native fish populations, including populations of wild salmon, native char, marine rockfish, and even relatively unknown but vitally important species like Pacific lamprey, pygmy whitefish, and Olympic mudminnows.

Our primary focus has been and will remain the wild-fish resources of Washington State, but we always have and will continue to range significantly farther afield to effectively advocate for wild-fish conservation. Research on wild-fish populations and habitats in places as far away as Kamchatka has helped to inform our conservation and restoration initiatives right here at home, and resource-management policies in Alaska, British Columbia, Idaho, Oregon, and California can have a significant effect on wild-fish populations in Washington. A less geographically specific name will help to avoid potential confusion among funders, agencies, and even coalition partners we work with outside Washington State.

We wanted a name that was dynamic, meaningful, and did credit to the organization, its members, and supporters.  We needed a name that accurately described what we: advocating for scientifically credible and socially responsible wild-fish management; providing primary research on the status of wild-fish populations and habitats; restoring the capacity of wild-fish habitats to function ecologically, and; educating the public about the role and value of healthy wild-fish ecosystems. You might notice the recurrence of a particular theme in that impressive list: wild fish. And, an organization so dedicated to the conservation of a specific natural resource falls nicely under the definition of a conservancy. Ultimately, we determined that Wild Fish Conservancy is the name that most faithfully and clearly communicates who we are.

With your help, the Wild Fish Conservancy will continue to work for wild fish everyday. We look forward to joining you as we open this exciting new chapter in wild-fish recovery.

 

WILD FISH CONSERVANCY'S 16th ANNUAL WILD FISH SOIREE AND BENEFIT AUCTION

 

Join us on May 19, 2007 at the Chateau Ste Michelle, Washington’s oldest andmar07auction most acclaimed winery, for a memorable evening of gourmet food, fine wine and lively socializing.

Since our founding in 1989, we have built a reputation as a leading advocate for the conservation and recovery of the Northwest’s wild-fish ecosystems, under the name “Washington Trout.” This February, to better reflect and more effectively communicate our mission, we changed our name to Wild Fish Conservancy. This year’s Wild Fish Soiree will celebrate this exciting transition.

The Wild Fish Soiree, Wild Fish Conservancy’s principal fundraising event, will begin with a silent auction and hosted reception followed by a gourmet dinner and spirited live auction. The Soiree is a great opportunity to meet and mingle with the Wild Fish Conservancy’s staff, board of directors and members while bidding on a variety of exciting trips and get-aways, high quality fly fishing equipment and accessories, books, art work and much, much more.

Proceeds from the Benefit Auction go directly to support the Wild Fish Conservancy’s work to preserve, protect and restore the region’s wild-fish. The Wild Fish Conservancy is reaching out to communities, influencing policy leaders and advocating bold, innovative and effective approaches to conserving salmon, steelhead, trout and other wild fish populations throughout the region. 

To continue working for wild fish, the Wild Fish Conservancy depends on the support of individuals like you who are committed to wild-fish conservation. Help us meet the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead by attending this year’s Wild Fish Soiree and Benefit Auction.

Admission to the Wild Fish Soiree is $100 and includes dinner, wine and a one year Wild Fish Conservancy membership.

For more information about the 2007 Wild Fish Soiree & Benefit Auction please contact Tyler Cluverius at tyler@wildfishconservancy.org or call (425) 788-1167.

 

YOU CAN SUPPORT THE WILD FISH CONSERVANCY EVERYDAY

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PCC Natural Market Scripts Card: Wild Fish Conservancy is excited to announce that you can now support our work to preserve, protect and restore Washington’s wild fish ecosystems every time you shop at a PCC Natural Market.

Wild Fish Conservancy is now a participating partner in the PCC Scripts program.  This program allows you to purchase a $50.00 PCC Scripts card directly from the Wild Fish Conservancy and use it the same as cash at any PCC Natural Market.  The Wild Fish Conservancy will then receive 5% of the amount you spend as a donation.  Once you purchase the card from the Wild Fish Conservancy store you can recharge it as many times as you like at any PCC Market and the Wild Fish Conservancy will continue to receive 5% of every purchase.

For more information or to purchase your PCC Scripts card please contact the Wild Fish Conservancy office at 425-788-1167 or stop by the Wild Fish Conservancy store on Main Street in Duvall.

Workplace Giving: Federal and state employees may designate a portion of their paycheck to the Wild Fish Conservancy.  Workplace rules differ but here are a few ways you may designate dollars to the Wild Fish Conservancy:

Washington State Combined Fund Drive (CFD) – If you are a Washington state employee, including City of Seattle employees, you can direct a donation to the Wild Fish Conservancy through the Washington State Combined Fund Drive.  Simply note our organization number (315054) on your payroll deduction form or head to the CFD website and set-up giving options for the 2007 fiscal year.  Your monthly donation provides much needed, sustainable and predictable funding for the Wild Fish Conservancy’s projects and programs.

King County Employee Giving Program – If you are an employee of King County you can direct a donation to the Wild Fish Conservancy through the King County Employee Giving Program. King County employees can pledge an amount to be deducted from their paycheck and donated to as many as six nonprofit organizations of their choice. Deductions can be made: Bimonthly (deducted every paycheck); Monthly (deducted from the second paycheck each month); Annually (deducted once in January). Minimum donation per organization is $2.00. Maximum number of organization designations is six. To learn more about this program and to direct a donation to the Wild Fish Conservancy go to http://www.metrokc.gov/giving/

Work-Place Giving– Many employers allow you to direct money to the non-profit of your choice thorough their own donation programs.  Companies like Microsoft, REI, Boeing and many others choose to organize their own employee donation programs where paycheck dollars are directed to non-profit organizations.  Are you unsure of the policies of your employer?  Then contact the appropriate payroll staff and ask about workplace giving and let them know you would like to direct dollars to the Wild Fish Conservancy – if the option is not available then talk to your employer about starting one.  It is a wonderful opportunity to showcase your employer’s dedication to environmental issues!


YOU COULD WIN THIS BEAUTIFUL CANOE!

 canoe

Wild Fish Conservancy is raffling this beautiful 15’, 36” wide Chestnut Canoe, hand built and donated by Bill and Trudy Kindler. This gorgeous boat is hand laid from strips of reclaimed western red cedar, and trimmed in Honduras mahogany, Alaskan yellow cedar, and Peruvian walnut, with natural, hand caned seats, and brass fittings. It comes with two ash paddles hand made by the Shaw and Tenney Company, regarded as the gold standard in canoe paddles.

The boat is valued at over $3,000. Tickets are $5 each or you may purchase 5 tickets for only $20. The drawing will be held on April 2, 2007. All proceeds will support the Wild Fish Conservancy’s science, education and advocacy initiatives.  Visit the Wild Fish Conservancy web site for more pictures and information at www.wildfishconservancy.org.

 

SHOP THE WILD FISH CONSERVANCY STORE AND HELP SAVE WILD FISH

The Wild Fish Conservancy store is fully stocked with an exciting array of exquisite art prints from Joseph Tomelleri and Tanya Hill; Ray Troll t-shirts and books; holiday cards, note cards and calendars; correspondence kits, beautiful leather bound journals and calligraphy sets.

The store is also packed with items for kids and the young-at-heart including: fun and messy science kits; games, puzzles and tools to explore the outdoors; and a beautiful selection of animal hand puppets. Our book section includes a broad selection of field guides, reference books, nature oriented fiction and non-fiction and children’s books, and remember that our remaining stock of TOPO! Mapping programs are 40% off.

The Wild Fish Conservancy store is open Monday – Saturday from 10:00am till 5:00pm.  If you’d like to place an order and can’t make it out to Duvall, contact the office at 425-788-1167 and we’ll be happy to take your order and ship it to you.  We are located on SR 203 at 15629 Main St NE in Duvall, WA.

 

ICICLE CREEK UPDATE

Eliot Drucker, Wild Fish Conservancy Director of Science & Research (Physiology)

icicle1With support from the Icicle Fund, the Wild Fish Conservancy laid groundwork in 2006 for long-term study of ecological change in the Icicle Creek watershed.  Recent improvements in fish passage at the Leavenworth National Fish Hatchery (LNFH) have opened up miles of high-quality habitat for migratory salmonids, providing invaluable scientific and educational opportunities.  Primary goals of the project are to use Icicle Creek as a model to explore how a large section of watershed that has been long isolated from the influence of anadromy responds to the removal of fish passage barriers; to learn how the process of recolonization by migratory fish occurs; and to examine how the return of anadromy impacts overall watershed health.

In August 2006, Wild Fish Conservancy staff conducted snorkel surveys spanning 18 miles of the mainstream Icicle to collect data on fish species composition, distribution, and relative abundance during base flow conditions.  Eleven species of fish were observed, including trout, salmon and char.  Of special note was the documentation of bull trout in the upper Icicle basin, well above all man-made impediments and a suspected natural barrier to fish movement in the mainstream Icicle.  This suggests that recent improvements in fish passage at LNFH have given pioneering migrant fish the potential to utilize a far broader range of habitat in the Icicle Creek watershed than in previous years, possibly including the highest reaches of the upper basin, and that a boulder field above the hatchery facility likely allows at least some fish migration, contrary to previous hypotheses.

During the summer and fall, resident rainbow trout in the upper basin weremar07icicle2 collected and implanted with PIT tags to allow tracking of fish movement.  Tissue samples from these fish were also collected for genetic analysis in collaboration with Dr. Gary Winans of NOAA Fisheries.  As part of an investigation of food web dynamics, invertebrate prey organisms were sampled from the water column and stream bed.

In January 2007, John Crandall of The Nature Conservancy accompanied our staff in a return to Icicle Creek to perform additional snorkel surveys to help characterize seasonal variation in fish density and diversity.  At night, amidst entrained ice floes and along ice shelves at the channel margins, the crew observed small groups of juvenile rainbow trout, coho salmon, and chinook salmon.

Taken together, the data collected during 2006 and 2007 contribute to a snapshot of ecological conditions in the early months of the return of anadromy to Icicle Creek.  Establishment of this baseline is critical for detecting signs of ecological change in subsequent years during which habitat above the hatchery is fully and permanently reconnected.

The past year also marked a number of exciting outreach and educational activities in the watershed.  In September 2006, Wild Fish Conservancy staff participated in the Wenatchee River Salmon Festival to share environmental science with children and their families and to discuss current research activities in Icicle Creek.  In October, staff collected fish use data in the mainstem Wenatchee River to assist with the development of educational materials and public programs for the new Barn Beach Reserve Learning Center in Leavenworth.  Led by Education Coordinator, Casey Ralston, the Wild Fish Conservancy volunteered its successful Environmental Discovery Program as a model for classroom and field-based outdoor education focusing on the Wenatchee River watershed.  The program, hosted by the Barn Beach Reserve, will target upper elementary and middle school students from the Cascade, Wenatchee, Cashmere, Eastmont and Entiat school districts.  As 2007 began, Wild Fish Conservancy’s Micah Wait and Jamie Glasgow were invited to give an interview on KOHO radio in Leavenworth to outline ongoing research activities and describe plans for the coming year.

As the 2007 field season begins in earnest this spring, the Wild Fish Conservancy will continue its characterization of current ecological conditions in Icicle Creek, select long-term study sites and initiate site-specific research activities, and continue to communicate findings to the public.

The Wild Fish Conservancy gratefully acknowledges the Icicle Fund’s commitment to environmental stewardship in the Wenatchee River Basin, and its financial support of this research program in the Icicle Creek watershed.


WDFW RELEASES DRAFT STEELHEAD-MANAGEMENT PLAN

Final ESA-Listing Decision for Puget Sound Steelhead Due in March

Ramon Vanden Brulle, Wild Fish Conservancy Conservation Analyst


In December 2006, Wild Fish Runs reported that Wild Fish Conservancy advocacy staff had been participating with other wild-fish advocates and stakeholders on a “Steelhead Plan Advisory Group” convened by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.  WDFW convened the Advisory Group to seek public input on the development of a new statewide steelhead-management plan. As we reported in December, WDFW originally intended to develop a steelhead plan for Puget Sound that would serve as a model for other regional plans throughout the state. Since then, WDFW modified its intentions, and focused on developing a general statewide plan that will be a template for the individual regional plans.

After receiving substantive input from members of the Advisory Group, WDFW released a public-review draft of the statewide steelhead management plan in early January, inviting written comment from members of the Advisory Group. Wild Fish Conservancy Resource Analyst Nick Gayeski drafted a review of the management plan and it was submitted to WDFW on January 12, 2007.

While acknowledging WDFW’s incorporation of input from the Advisory Group, the review expressed our concern that the Draft Steelhead Management Plan still lacked sufficient detail, specific performance thresholds, timetables, and management triggers. We agreed with other reviewers that WDFW must acknowledge evidence of much higher historical abundance, productivity, and diversity in native steelhead populations than the draft plan and its supporting science document estimates, and accordingly adopt much more ambitious recovery goals.

Regarding hatchery management, we expressed our long-standing concern over WDFW’s continued failure to acknowledge or address the findings and recommendations of the federally appointed Independent Science Advisory Board and Salmon Recovery Science Review Panel. The ISAB and RSRP have both published reports that tend to undermine some of WDFW’s fundamental management assumptions, and that could potentially require more significant management changes than WDFW appears to contemplate.

Both the ISAB and RSRP have found that current hatchery practices are “almost certainly” imposing negative impacts on wild steelhead populations and likely impeding their recovery. They found that proposals for modified “conservation” hatcheries were unproven, largely unevaluated, and “dominated” by a high level of risk. They both have recommended the closure of existing programs and the limiting of new programs until they can be rigorously tested and evaluated. We recommended that the Draft Steelhead Management Plan specifically cite ISAB and RSRP reports, and incorporate many of their findings and recommendations into its new artificial-production management policies and practices. For the complete text of the review, click here...

WDFW had originally intended to develop a management plan specific to Puget Sound steelhead, apparently in response to NOAA Fisheries’ spring 2006 proposal to list Puget Sound steelhead as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act. The department has expressed its hope that new conservation measures incorporated into an overhauled steelhead management plan could convince the federal agency to forgo listing PS steelhead. NOAA Fisheries has said it would consider any proposals from WDFW before finalizing a listing decision on March 29, 2007.  Wild Fish Conservancy has joined nearly every other regional conservation organization in supporting the listing of PS steelhead. The biological data, an evaluation of current protective efforts, and the management record of the relevant state agencies support the conclusion that an ESA listing is necessary to save PS steelhead from extinction.

It is hard to determine WDFW’s current intention regarding the Puget Sound listing proposal. But given its focus on a general statewide plan, and current timetables, it is hard to see how WDFW will be able to influence NOAA’s final listing decision. The statewide steelhead management plan is not likely to be finalized, and a Puget Sound plan will not even be developed by the March 29 deadline.

In the meantime, NOAA fisheries has announced its intention to apply the existing steelhead 4d Rule to PS steelhead, when and if they are officially listed. The 4d Rule will govern the regulation of land-use, water-use, fisheries, and hatchery practices that could affect the conservation and recovery of listed PS steelhead and their habitats.


OLYMPIC MUDMINNOW MAPPING

Jamie Glasgow, Wild Fish Conservancy Director of Science & Research (Ecology)
Roy Iwai, Water Resources Research Analyst, City of Olympia

The Olympic mudminnow (Novumbra hubbsi) is one of five species worldwide in the family Umbridae and is the only member of the genus Novumbra.   They are usually found in slow-moving streams, wetlands and ponds. Within these habitats, mudminnows require a muddy bottom, little or no water flow and abundant aquatic vegetation.  The current known distribution of the Olympic mudminnow includes the southern and western lowlands of the Olympic Peninsula, the Chehalis and lower Deschutes River drainages, and south Puget Sound, west of the Nisqually River.  They have also been documented in isolated portions of King and Snohomish County. They are found nowhere else in the world.

mar07omm2The Olympic mudminnow was designated as a sensitive species in Washington in 1999, because of the continued loss of and threats to its habitat and its very limited range.  This listing confers a high level of protection for the species.  State permitting and local Critical Areas ordinances are the main regulatory vehicles to protect mudminnow habitat.  The current mapping of mudminnow distribution among area streams and wetlands, however, does not adequately identify specific locations where fish are present or where presence is presumed, and thus the regulations offer only limited protection for the species.  No detailed surveys have yet been conducted at this scale.   Better dissemination of existing and newly collected high-resolution mudminnow distribution information is also needed, as are specific recommendations for best management practices where mudminnow are known or suspected to reside.

During winter 2007, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) compiled all current known distribution data of the Olympic mudminnow from earlier surveys by WDFW and anecdotal observations by local fish biologists, including the Wild Fish Conservancy.  This provides a good foundation for more extensive basin-by-basin surveys to examine the distribution in tributaries, ditched channels, and small wetland areas typically not shown on regulatory or planning maps.  New surveys are needed to identify critical seasonal habitat and refuge areas for the fish, and provide a better understanding of its biology and ecology.

To this end, Wild Fish Conservancy is working with WDFW and the City of Olympiamar07omm1 on a pilot project to systematically survey areas of known and suspected mudminnow presence in Olympia watersheds.  The study aims to determine the seasonal extent of mudminnow range at a scale useful for permit review, road infrastructure maintenance, and future research including status and trend monitoring.  These data, in conjunction with new detailed water typing information from Wild Fish Conservancy, will be made available to all local jurisdictions, tribes, and state agencies, in order to better protect this sensitive species.

The partnership between Wild Fish Conservancy and the City of Olympia is an excellent sharing of resources that combines Wild Fish Conservancy’s experience in fish science with the City’s ability to modify land management based on the findings of the study.  Increasing development pressure, especially in Olympia’s Urban Growth Areas, requires the City to respond quickly to development needs while conserving natural resources.  Limited City staff resources and the lack in expertise in field data collection and knowledge of current research methods is an increasing problem as the demands for information increases.

Because of their habitat preferences, mudminnow in the urban area require a significantly different approach to management than what is typically accepted for salmonids.  Wild Fish Conservancy, along with WDFW and the City of Olympia, developed a new monitoring strategy specifically for Olympic mudminnows that includes monitoring in small wetlands and ditched tributaries.   The strategy also calls for a range of sampling methods to best measure the fishes’ distribution.

Wild Fish Conservancy’s close partnership with the City in this study fills a monitoring data gap and also facilitates information sharing between the WDFW and several local entities.  The new fish surveys help to expand the WDFW mudminnow database and increase the knowledge base among local jurisdictions and land managers.  As a pilot study, this effort will be an important catalyst to better understand the distribution of this unique fish in the Thurston County region and across its range.


KILLER WHALE RECOVERY PLAN

Nick Gayeski, Wild Fish Conservancy Aquatic Ecologist

mar07killerwhalesOn March 2, 2007 Wild Fish Conservancy submitted a review of a public-review draft of a proposed recovery plan for Southern Resident killer whales, listed as an endangered species by the National Marine Fisheries Service in November 2005. The Southern Resident population is made up of three pods of killer whales that live and feed, mostly on chinook salmon, in Puget Sound, Georgia Straight, the Straight of Juan de Fuca, and the nearby Washington Coast.

The Southern Resident population numbered over 100 whales in the mid-1960s.  Between 1967 and 1973 a live-capture program removed approximately 34 individuals from the population for public display in aquaria, reducing the population to 71 individuals by the early 1970s. By 1996, the population had rebounded to 97 whales, but then experienced an abrupt decline, dropping to 79 by 2001. In 2004 the Southern Resident population numbered 84 killer whales. The primary factors threatening the population include loss of prey, primarily chinook salmon, toxic contamination, noise pollution, and the potential for catastrophic oil spills.

The Northern Resident killer whale population, whose range overlaps with Southern Residents in the Georgia Straight, currently numbers just over 200 whales and has also recently experienced a sharp decline from a high of 220 in 1996. In 2004, Canada listed the Northern Resident population as threatened and the Southern Resident population as endangered under the Species at Risk Act, the Canadian counterpart to the U.S. ESA.

The Southern Resident killer whales feed primarily on chinook salmon and forage in Puget Sound, the Strait of Juan De Fuca, and the southern end of Georgia Strait from May to September when chinook from Puget Sound and British Columbia rivers migrate through these areas en route to spawning destinations. As chinook numbers decline in September chum salmon appear to become the dominant item in killer whale diets into November. Less is known about diet and foraging between November and mid-May. Some evidence suggests that residents move to coastal areas along Washington and British Columbia to feed. Some members of the Southern Resident population have been found as far south as Monterey Bay where they have been observed feeding on chinook salmon from California populations.

The recovery of Southern Resident killer whales is clearly tied to restoring and maintaining a healthy Puget Sound and to recovering local chinook salmon populations to levels of abundance that existed prior to 1960. Wild Fish Conservancy believes that salmon harvest management can play a key role in starting the process of killer whale recovery. Recent analyses by killer whales experts at Canada Department of Fisheries and Oceans Pacific Biological Station have established significant correlations between annual mortality rates of both regional populations of resident killer whales and the abundance of chinook salmon in major regions along the British Columbia Coast, the West Coast of Vancouver Island, and Southeast Alaska.

The energetic requirements of juvenile and adult killer whales are well known. NMFS’ 2002 Status Review of Southern Resident killer whales, for example, states that 800,000 adult salmon annually are needed to maintain the current population. Currently, less than 200,000 chinook return to Puget Sound waters annually (of which only 25% are wild). Of course chinook and other salmon from areas outside Puget Sound can and do contribute to Southern Resident killer whale foraging, but it is clear that significant  increases in the abundance  of Puget Sound chinook will be a prerequisite to avoiding the extinction of Southern Resident killer whales.

Fisheries world-wide are recognizing the need to incorporate ecosystem considerations when managing the harvest of target species; specifically, the need to account for the consumption requirements of top predators in marine ecosystems. Southern Resident killer whales are the top predator of the marine ecosystems that they inhabit in Puget Sound and surrounding waters. Regional fisheries managers should identify an annual level of  chinook abundance necessary to support the recovery of Southern (and Northern) Resident killer whales, and specifically allocate those chinook to the killer whale population, adjusting fisheries to assure a high probability of realizing the allocation. Wild Fish Conservancy believes this should be a primary objective for the upcoming renegotiation of the Pacific Salmon Treaty between the U.S. and Canada that will begin in 2008, and that this objective will have to be achieved before NMFS can approve the Treaty under the ESA.


GEORGIA BASING PUGET SOUND RESEARCH CONFERENCE

Micah Wait, Wild Fish Conservancy Conservation Ecologist

 

 

keystonespitboatThe Georgia Basin / Puget Sound Research Conference will be held March 26th-29th in Vancouver, BC. This transboundary and international event is an opportunity for researchers, planners and policy makers to share science and information about the condition and management of the shared Puget Sound Georgia Basin region. The conference is a joint effort of
the Puget Sound Action Team and Georgia Basin Action Plan. The event draws scientists, First Nations and tribal government representatives, resource managers, community leaders, policy makers, educators and students.

The Wild Fish Conservancy’s Conservation Ecologist, Micah Wait, will present the findings of the West Whidbey Juvenile Fish Use Assessment on Wednesday Marchkeystonespitjuvchum 28th, as a part of the Juvenile Salmon Habitat session. The Wild Fish Conservancy sampled the nearshore waters of western Whidbey Island during the juvenile salmon outmigration periods of 2005 and 2006. The purpose of the sampling was to determine the location, timing, species composition, river of origin, and size of juvenile salmon using nearshore habitats on Whidbey Island in Admiralty Inlet and the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

For more information about the Georgia Basin Puget Sound Research Conference, or if you would like to register to attend please see the conference website at: http://www.engr.washington.edu/epp/ psgb/index.html


WILD FISH CONSERVANCY WELL RECEIVED AT NORTHWEST OUTDOOR SHOWS

February was a busy month for us here at the Wild Fish Conservancy. Along with the name change and all that it entailed, our outreach team hit the road and was out talking to hundreds, if not thousands, of outdoor enthusiasts at three of the region’s most popular sportsmen’s shows: the Washington Sportsmen’s Show in Puyallup; The Fly Fishing Show in Bellevue; and the Evergreen Sportsmen’s Show in Monroe.

While the show schedule was somewhat harried, the timing could not have been better. With a prominent booth at each event, we had a unique opportunity to let the community know about our new name just days after it became official. And, based on the many conversations we had, response to the change was overwhelmingly positive.

We were also fortunate to have with us at each show our beautiful cedar strip canoe. Hand built and donated by Bill and Trudy Kindler, the boat is a real attention getter and a terrific raffle item.  At the three shows combined, we sold over 500 raffle tickets and raised nearly $2,500 for our environmental science education program for kids. Further, as a result of being at these shows and talking with attendees about the Wild Fish Conservancy, we were able to recruit 73 new members. 

Thanks so much to all of you who came by our booth(s) at the shows. It was a pleasure to meet you and your generous support is greatly appreciated.

 

WILD FISH CONSERVANCY PREPARES FOR SPRING EDUCATION FIELD TRIPS

Wild Fish Conservancy is getting ready for the upcoming season of the Environmental Discovery Program. In May, EDP staff will be working with ten classes of third, fourth, and fifth graders.  Each class will receive two classroom visits and will participate in an all day field trip to Oxbow Farm in Carnation, WA.  Students will learn about native plants and animals, habitats, water quality, and healthy ecosystems through hands-on, interactive lessons.  If you know a teacher who would like to sign-up or get more information about this program, please contact Casey Ralston at 425-788-1167 or casey@wildfishconservancy.org


Instructors Needed for Spring Education Programs

mar07educationWant to get outside this spring?  We are looking for people to help lead our Environmental Discovery Program field trips in May. The EDP is a hands-on, classroom and field-based environmental education program that brings students from Seattle and the surrounding areas to Oxbow Farm, an organic farm located between Duvall and Carnation on SR 203. Come help our students explore the natural environment and learn about the importance of native plants, animals, and ecosystems.  Volunteer and paid instructor positions are available.  Please contact Casey Ralston 425-788-1167 or casey@wildfishconservancy.org to learn more about this opportunity

Why are people snorkeling in Icicle Creek in the middle of the night?
You may not have seen them, but Wild Fish Conservancy staff are keeping very busy in Icicle Creek.  The research is exciting but another important part of this project is talking to the public about what we are doing and explaining why this science is important.  Wild Fish Conservancy will be partnering with Barn Beach Reserve in Leavenworth to develop a variety of education and outreach tools to keep students and community members informed about what our scientists are learning in the field.

Wild Fish Conservancy educators and technicians have created up-to-date ‘fishy’ resource materials and hands-on science activities for elementary and middle school students.  Staff members have been working with teachers from the Cascade and Wenatchee School districts to develop potential fieldtrips for their students in fall 2007, and project leaders will present the first in a series of public Icicle-research updates to a group of Audubon volunteers in April.  Stay tuned- We still have lots to learn about Icicle Creek and we look forward to sharing any news with you!

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