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May 2004

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 Runs or on the website.

 

HABITAT RESTORATION, RESEARCH AND PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT


MARINE NEARSHORE SEINING

Micah Wait

Spring is here, and along with abundant sunshine and blooming flowers, it has brought juvenile salmon to the marine nearshore waters of Puget Sound. In April,may04_beachseine Washington Trout crews sampled the waters of Penn Cove and Hood Canal to document juvenile fish use in a variety of habitats. WT staff spent a day with the beach seining crew of the Skagit River System Cooperative (SRSC) on Grasser’s Lagoon in Penn Cove. The SRSC field staff demonstrated beach seine operation and technique, including net deployment and marine species identification. WT is in the process of applying to the Salmon Recovery Funding Board for a grant to assess juvenile salmonid use of the marine nearshore along the western side of Whidbey Island. If funded, we plan to use a standardized sampling protocol, based on the SRSC methodology, which will allow for the exchange of data between the numerous groups sampling for juvenile salmonids in north Puget Sound.

On the other side of Puget Sound, WT staff spent three days sampling nearshore may04_juvenilechumhabitats along the delta of the Dosewallips River. As a part of pre-restoration monitoring, WT crews have been beach seining in the marine portions of the Dosewallips estuary. Sampling was conducted in three types of nearshore habitat: fluvial influenced nearshore, blind tidal channels and associated nearshore, and beach spits. We spent three days sampling on the Dose and were joined by volunteers from Point No Point Treaty Council and Washington State Parks. The salt water milieu offered a challenging array of new fish for the WT staff to identify; species encountered included juvenile chum and pink salmon, starry flounder, staghorn sculpin, Pacific sand dab, arrow goby, and crescent gunnel. Fish use sampling in the Dosewallips estuary will continue throughout the year.

 

SAN JUAN COUNTY WATERTYPING SURVEYS

Jamie Glasgow

Data collected during the surveys will be incorporated into an interactive web-based Geographic Information System (GIS). Due to intensive survey effort associated with this project, the web page will enable visitors, the general publicmay04_sanjuanwatertype and agency staff alike, to view detailed information and photographs about all the information that was collected during the course of the project.  The web page will also allow users to select which background layers they would like to view; options include county and private roads, topography, and aerial photographs.

Washington Trout’s watertyping surveys on Orcas Island are part of a larger effort, including nearshore beach seining and historical ecology surveys, to better understand the role that San Juan County watersheds may play in native salmon recovery.  Project funding has been provided by the US Army Corps of Engineers through the Samish Indian Nation.

 

SCHOOLHOUSE CREEK RESTORATION PROJECT

Jamie Glasgow

Project designs and permit applications are underway for Washington Trout’s restoration and enhancement of a spring-fed wetland complex tributary to the Washougal River in Skamania County.  Project components include increasing the amount of water held within the wetland by raising the height of the culvert inlet that currently drains the wetland; improving fish passage to upstream spawning and rearing habitat; and creating beaver habitat to encourage beaver activity away from County-owned roads and culverts.  All areas disturbed during the construction phase of the project will be revegetated with native trees and shrubs.  It is anticipated that ground will be broken during July or August 2004.  Washington Trout and consultant R2 Resource Consultants, along with project partners Columbia Land Trust and the Lower Columbia Fish Enhancement Group, anticipate project construction will take 1-2 weeks.  Funding for the project has been provided by the Salmon Recovery Funding Board, with significant matching funds from the Lower Columbia Fish Enhancement Group as well as local businesses and landowners.

 

WILD SALMON RECOVERY INITIATIVE

 

SCOPING HEARINGS ANNOUNCED FOR PUGET SOUND HATCHERY EIS

Ramon Vanden Brulle

NOAA Fisheries has announced the beginning of the public processes related to the federal agency’s evaluation of hatchery programs in Puget Sound. During June, NOAA Fisheries will hold public hearings throughout the region to solicit public input on the scope of issues that should be addressed in the Environmental Impact Statement the agency is preparing as part of its evaluation of two “Resource Management Plans” for Puget Sound hatcheries. NOAA will accept written public input until July 12, 2004.

The two RMPs, one for chinook hatchery programs and the other for non-chinook salmon and steelhead programs, were submitted last fall by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Puget Sound Treaty Tribes to NOAA Fisheries for approval under the 4d Rule for Puget Sound chinook. Individual populations of chinook throughout Puget Sound, Hood Canal, and the eastern Strait of Juan De Fuca have been listed as Threatened under the Endangered Species Act since 1999. The plans are required to detail how each of the relevant individual hatchery programs will be operated, what its expected impacts to listed PS chinook will be, how those impacts are being or will be minimized or eliminated, or how the benefits of the hatchery program justify its risks and impacts.

The public processes associated with the ESA approval of Puget Sound hatcheries offer proponents of hatchery reform the best opportunity for influencing the pace, direction, and scope of  hatchery reform in Puget Sound. The RMPs and the individual hatchery plans can be evaluated to determine how they reconcile with existing and emerging hatchery-reform recommendations, including the recent findings of the Columbia River Power and Conservation Planning Council’s Independent Science Advisory Board and the Hatchery Science Review Group. More importantly, the public has the opportunity to promote the adoption of firm timelines, performance standards, and enforcement mechanisms for the implementation of reform efforts.
All the information to participate in this current process is available on the following NOAA web site:  http://www.nwr.noaa.gov/1srd/Propagation/PSHatchEIS/.  The schedule of public meetings and comment deadlines, key issues to be addressed, and the full text of the RMPs, the individual hatchery plans, public comments submitted to WDFW regarding the hatchery plans, and WDFW’s responses to those comments are all available for review on the web site.

Washington Trout submitted substantial comments to WDFW regarding the individual hatchery plans (available at www.washingtontrout.org). In general, WT found the hatchery plans inadequate to warrant ESA authorization, and recommended that WDFW withdraw them for significant revision, and/or consider scaling back or discontinuing many of its Puget Sound hatchery programs. We identified several general concerns that run throughout all or many of the documents:

  • In general, the plans fail to adequately describe clear program goals, justifications, performance standards and indicators, or adequately detailed monitoring and evaluation protocols or timetables;
  • A number of erroneous and/or unsupported assumptions, critical deficiencies, and omissions run throughout the plans;
  • The overall size of the chinook, coho, and steelhead hatchery programs in Puget Sound are far too large to responsibly accommodate the levels of risk and uncertainty presented in the individual hatchery plans;
  • The hatchery plans are often in direct conflict with critical elements of WDFW’s own Wild Salmonid Policy, and do not appear to reconcile with the hatchery-reform recommendations of the ISAB, HSRG, or other scientific/policy bodies.

Washington Trout urges all wild-fish advocates to join us in engaging and attempting to influence NOAA’s evaluation process. NOAA Fisheries will convene four public Scoping Hearings throughout the Puget Sound Region in June:

  • June 7, 2004, 6 - 8:30pm; Public Utility District No. 1 of Skagit County, 1415 Freeway Drive, Mount Vernon, Washington
  • June 8, 2004, 6 - 8:30pm; NOAA Office Building 9 Auditorium, 7600 Sand Point Way N.E., Seattle, Washington
  • June 14, 2004, 6 - 8:30pm; Mary E. Theler Community Center, 2871 NE State Route 3, Belfair, Washington
  •  June 15, 2004, 6 - 8:30pm; Jefferson County Public Library, 620 Cedar Avenue, Port Hadlock, Washington

The public comment period ends on July 12, 2004. Comments may be submitted either before or after the public meetings. Address comments and requests for information related to preparation of the EIS, or requests to be added to the mailing list for this project, to Allyson Ouzts, NMFS, 525 N.E. Oregon Street, Suite 510, Portland, Oregon 97232; fax 503/872-2737. Comments may be submitted by e-mail to: PShatcheryEIS.nwr@noaa.gov. In the subject line of the e-mail, include the document identifier: Puget Sound Region Hatchery EIS.


EDUCATION & OUTREACH

 

SPRING 2004 ENVIRONMENTAL DISCOVERY PROGRAM UNDERWAY

Leah Hausman


The spring Environmental Discovery Program is in full-swing! Four 4th grade classes are participating in the EDP this season – one class each from Loyal Heights Elementary and Stevens Elementary in Seattle, and two classes from Stillwater Elementary in Carnation. The EDP is a hands-on, classroom and field-based environmental education program that teaches students about the importance of native plants, native animals, and healthy ecosystems. The program was originally developed by Stewardship Partners and brings students out to Oxbow Farm, an organic farm located between Duvall and Carnation on SR 203. Students begin with a two-hour classroom visit by WT Outreach Coordinator Leah Hausman where they are introduced to concepts, vocabulary, and skills that they will apply during their full-day field trip which takes place the following week. Hausman then returns to the classroom for another two-hour interactive presentation to follow-up on activities the students conducted in the field. Classroom visits began on May 18th, field trips took place the week of May 24th, and follow-up classroom visits will take place on June 2nd and 3rd.

may04_EDPclassroomA new “class” for the EDP was introduced this spring – Water Quality. In the effort to continue evolving the program to meet teachers’ needs, each teacher can now adapt their class’s participation in the EDP by selecting from the five program modules – The Journey Home, Discovery Skills, Water Quality, Animal Lives, and Plant Identification. Each class does a minimum of three modules. WT continues to work towards the development of a potential pilot project to apply video technology to underwater and/or above-ground sites on Oxbow Farm, providing students with a year-round, unique perspective to animal life and activity at the farm. This upcoming Fall 2004 season, the EDP will begin to expand overall program size – eight classes are scheduled to participate this fall and even more the following spring. WT looks forward to reaching more students at new schools with this wonderful program.

WT would like to thank our great team of volunteers for helping make the EDP happen this season. The program needs at least two volunteers for each field trip to lead groups of students through their activities and around the site. Without volunteer support and involvement, the Environmental Discovery Program simply would not be possible. So a very heartfelt thanks to Lynda Kamerrer, Laurel Moulton, DouGlas Palenshus, Casey Ralston, Frank Staller, Linda Versage, and Sue Wood. WT would also like to thank and recognize the teachers participating this season for all their assistance in preparing students and for their commitment to including environmental education in their very busy schedules: Joana Choi from Loyal Heights Elementary, Susie Diessner from Stevens Elementary, and Pat Morrison and Orlene Olsen from Stillwater Elementary.

 may04_WQclass1 may04_WQclass2

 

WT's Hausman leading students from Stillwater Elementary through the "Water Quality" field trip. Students sampled water and tested for a variety of parameters including temperature, Dissolved Oxygen, pH, phosphates and nitrates.

 

2ND ANNUAL FRESHWATER MUSSELS OF THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST SYMPOSIUM

Micah Wait

For the second year running our staff participated in the annual Freshwater Mussels of the Pacific Northwest Symposium. WT Conservation Biologist Micah Wait presented current WT research concerning the population of Western pearlshell mussels (Margaritifera falcata) in King County’s Bear Creek. Freshwater mussels are long-lived creatures (up to 130 years) that make their living by filtering food, such as algae, bacteria, and suspended microdetritus, from the water column. During an early larval stage they are also obligate parasites on fish, and in this region that means trout and salmon. The glochidia, as the larval forms are called, attach themselves to the gills of a host fish and remain attached for 1-3 weeks. The main purpose of the parasitic life stage is as a dispersal mechanism for the juvenile mussels, and there is little if any harm done to the fish. Historically, M. falcata was present in many of the low gradient stream systems in the Puget Sound Lowlands, but due to changes in water quality and physical stream habitats many of these populations are extirpated or no longer viable. Bear Creek is home to one of the last remaining large populations of M. falcata in the Pacific Northwest.

This year’s conference was well attended, with over 100 participants, including Tom Watters, the Curator of Mollusks at the Ohio State University Museum of Biological Diversity and the president of the Freshwater Mollusk Conservation Society. WT’s research included an examination of juvenile recruitment within the system, resurveys of mussel beds studied in 2002, and a caged mussel study (please see the September 2002 and July 2003 issues of Wild Fish Runs). The conference was sponsored by Pacific Northwest Native Freshwater Mussel Workgroup. The purpose of the Workgroup is to provide an open forum for discussions focusing on native freshwater mussels, dissemination of related information, and to provide guidance on integrated planning of mussel research, management, and education.  The goal of the Workgroup is to ensure that freshwater mussel research, management, and educational activities are coordinated, prioritized, and are consistent with information needs identified.  Current representation in the workgroup includes:  Portland State University, Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, University of California-Berkeley, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, U. S. Forest Service (Utah), U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Washington and Alaska), The Nature Conservancy, Washington Trout, Washington Department of Natural Resources, Deixis Consultants, Snohomish County, Bear Creek Water Tenders, Washington Department of Ecology, and retired biologists.


EVENTS/VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES


2004 WILD FISH SOIREE & BENEFIT AUCTION A HUGE SUCCESS

Leah Hausman

WT held its 13th Annual Wild Fish Soiree & Benefit Auction on Sunday May 16th at Lowell-Hunt Catering’s beautiful dining and entertainment facility on South Lake Union in downtown Seattle. The evening was a remarkable success and raised more money for WT’s advocacy, research and restoration programs than any previous event, nearly $45,000. WT was honored to have Bruce Brown, author of Mountain in the Clouds, give the keynote speech. Brown gave an inspirational presentation to over 115 auction attendees and supporters, sharing his philosophy on the demise of salmon and where the movement has gone over the past two decades. Taking the audience on an extemporaneous, visionary, and heartfelt journey of the wild salmon movement, Brown discussed the changing social and political environments from the early 1980s to present day. Mountain in the Clouds was a seminal piece of literature not only for the larger conservation movement, but also for the founders of Washington Trout. His work was in the hearts and minds of WT’s founders as they worked to create an organization that would rise to meet the challenges brought to light in his writing.

may04_auction1WT was very pleased and excited to present several “feature” items in the live auction, bidding generated on all of these items contributed significant funds towards the record-breaking success of the 2004 Soiree. WT would like to extend our thanks to Julian and Miranda McHardy for donating a week of fly-fishing on the River Dee in Scotland, Michael and Myrna Darland for a Fly-Fishing Expedition Package with Southern Chile Expeditions, Russell Lowell for his Cutthroat Camp: Lowell-Hunt Style, Michael Uehara and Regula Wipf for a Multiventure Package at King Pacific Lodge, and Kent O’Neill and Cere Gillette for an all-inclusive trip to The Lodge at Gold River.

"Fund-A-Dream" bidding raised $6,350 for the purchase of a 3-person pontoon boat for WT field research. Thanks to the generosity of our Fund-A-Dream bidders, WT raised enough money to purchase an Aire Ocelot pontoon boat. The Ocelot is a commercial-grade boat that comes equipped with dry boxes, safety equipment, and all the necessary extras. This boat will allow WT field crews to access and survey habitats that we had previously been unable to reach due to low-flow conditions and other access limitations. The crew is eagerly looking forward to taking our newest piece of equipment out for a spin!

Washington Trout extends our appreciation to all our members and supporters who attended the event, donated items, or volunteered to help make the auction such a wonderful success. WT would like to give special acknowledgement to our sponsors: Hill’s Discount Flies, Lowell-Hunt Catering, and Sierra Nevada Brewing Company. Your generous support helps make possible all our efforts on behalf of Washington's wild fish.

 may04_auction2

Auctioneer Jerry Toner and WT's Micah Wait stir up a bidding war on an original bracelet by Candance Beardslee in the live auction.

 

Want to get more involved with Washington Trout? WT appreciates your support and can use your volunteer help in a number of ways including the annual WT auction, educational programs, mailing and office assistance, staffing booths at public events, and participating in membership campaigns and other special events. Check out the website for more information on volunteer opportunities and our calendar, which lists upcoming WT and other organizations’ events, meetings, classes, etc. Please contact Leah Hausman at leah@washingtontrout.org if you have an event you would like mentioned in Wild Fish Runsor on the website!

 

OTHER NEWS

 

SHOP THE WT STORE AND SUPPORT SALMON RECOVERY

The WT Store is a fun way to open up the front of our office and make a space where people can come in, learn about Washington Trout, and buy something with the knowledge that all proceeds go to support WT. We have been expanding our inventory, bringing in new items and product lines that we think you and your family will enjoy.

We have a wide variety of items to appeal to adults, kids, and kids-at-heart: puppets; stuffed animals; scientific games and kits; tools to explore the outdoors; books to educate and entertain all age levels; Burt’s Bees and Bunny’s Bath personal products; art prints by Joseph Tomelleri, Tanya Hill, Jean Ferrier and original pastels by Tim Harris; chocolate; candles; computer map programs; cards; calendars; treats and gifts for your dog or cat; and of course, WT logo hats, fleece and travel coffee mugs. Check out some of our store items online at www.washingtontrout.org/store.shtml.

The WT Store is open Tuesday – Saturday, 10am-5pm. We are located on SR 203 at 15629 Main St NE in Duvall, WA. If you need directions to the store, please call 425-788-1167 or email wildfish@washingtontrout.org.


SHOPPING ONLINE?

You can do your usual online shopping and help support Washington Trout by shopping through the WT shopping village at GreaterGood.com. Choose from more than 100 brand name retailers like eBay, Amazon.com, PetsMart, The Disney Store, Dell, Lands’ End and many more. Up to 15% of everything you buy benefits Washington Trout. To go directly to the WT shopping village, visit http://www.greatergood.com/partner/washingtontrout.

WellSpent.Org is another great source for online shopping. WellSpent.org has thousands of products - including electronics, software, computers, tools, appliances, camping gear and much more - available at discount prices. Every purchase you make generates a donation for the non-profit cause of your choice. So visit www.wellspent.org, search for Washington Trout, and help yourself to some great gifts - you'll be helping us, too!

 





 



 

 

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