Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission

Spring 2009

   ■ Depending on Razor Clams
Being Frank

        It’s Been A Long 25 Years                                                                 NWIFC News...
Quinault Indian Nation

The Culture and Economics of Razor Clams
            A fierce, cold wind            the sturdy yew...
Tribal Voice

    Skokomish Tribe: Agreement Will Help Restore Watershed
           The Skokomish Tribe is wholly de-     ...
Squaxin Island Tribe
       Preventing Pollution in Little Skookum
Quinault Indian Nation

    Leading the Fight on Fish Disease
                        Pathologists and biologists tackle l...
Nooksack Tribe Revisits Traditional Dip Net
   It had been 25 years since the
Nooksack Tribe’s cultural re-
sources direct...
Wildlife Management

               Tribal Efforts Help Elk Herds
    Puyallup Tracking Method
    Shows Smaller Elk Herds...

                                     Lower Elwha staff Kim Sager-Fradkin (left), Brandon Nickerson (center) and...
CSI: Suquamish Tribe
         Fisheries biologist gathers evidence from fish carcasses

Culvert Blocks
                                                                               Pocket Estuary
Puyallup Tribe of Indians

     Returning Salmon Tracked with Sonar
                When salmon start returning in the fal...
Nisqually Indian Tribe
                                                                        Good harvest management by ...
Artificial Wetlands to Treat                                                                            Lummi Nation

          Violet (Vi) Anderson Hilbert
                   Taq Se Blu
          Upper Skagit tribal elder Violet ...
Biogas Plant Puts Cows to Work for Salmon

           About 1,000 Werkhoven Dairy Farm cows are powering a new biogas p...
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NWIFC Magazine Spring 2009


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Depending on Razor Clams ■
Fighting Fish Disease ■
Sustaining Elk Populations ■
Grandmothers Focus on Treaty Rights ■
Fish Carcasses Provide Clues ■
Cows Work for Salmon ■

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NWIFC Magazine Spring 2009

  1. 1. Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission NWIFC News Spring 2009 INSIDE: ■ Depending on Razor Clams ■ Fighting Fish Disease ■ Sustaining Elk Populations ■ Grandmothers Focus on Treaty Rights ■ Fish Carcasses Provide Clues ■ Cows Work for Salmon
  2. 2. Being Frank It’s Been A Long 25 Years NWIFC News By Billy Frank Jr. Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission NWIFC Chairman 6730 Martin Way E. Olympia, WA 98516 W e’re marking an important milestone in salmon co-management this year. It’s the 25th anniversary of the North of Falcon (NOF) process, which sets treaty tribal and non-Indian fishing seasons in west- (360) 438-1180 ern Washington. We’ve sure come a long way in that time. NWIFC News is published quarterly. Free subscriptions are available. This edition is The 1974 Boldt de- months ago with de- also online at Articles in cision made it clear: velopment of con- NWIFC News may be reprinted. Treaty Indian tribes in servation goals, pre- western Washington season forecasts and NWIFC Chairman had reserved rights to estimates of impacts Billy Frank Jr. half of the harvestable to specific salmon salmon returning to stocks at various lev- Executive Director state waters and were els of fishing effort. Mike Grayum equal partners with the We’ll see more chi- state of Washington in nook in Puget Sound Information and Education Services managing the resource. this year because of Division Manager Slade Gorton, who the new Pacific Salm- Tony Meyer was Washington’s at- on Treaty agreement torney general at that that reduces harvest Regional Information Officers time, told Gov. Dan Evans that the of the fish by Alaskan and Canadian Debbie Preston, Coast; state didn’t have to implement the fishermen. This is a pink salmon year, Emmett O’Connell, South Sound; ruling. The case would be won on ap- too, so there will be more fishing op- Tiffany Royal, Hood Canal/Strait of Juan de Fuca; peal, he said, but he was wrong. portunity on these fish as well. Kari Neumeyer, North Sound For the next few years, the state Like all fisheries, though, these refused to implement the ruling and will come with some costs. We will Editorial Assistant there was chaos on the water. People have to pass most of the chinook sav- Sheila McCloud took the law into their own hands. It ings on to the spawning grounds. And got so bad that Judge Boldt suspend- while pink salmon will be plentiful Contributing Editor ed the state’s authority to manage this year, we have to carefully watch Steve Robinson salmon for several months and put these fisheries for incidental impacts the National Marine Fisheries Ser- to coho and ESA-listed Puget Sound NWIFC Member Tribes: Hoh, vice in charge. chinook. Jamestown S’Klallam, Lower Elwha Klallam, Those were dark days, but through “It seems like it would get easier Lummi Nation, Makah, Muckleshoot, them we were able to discover a path after 25 years, but it gets harder,” Nisqually, Nooksack, Port Gamble toward cooperation instead of litiga- Swinomish tribal fisheries manager S’Klallam, Puyallup, Quileute, Quinault tion. That path led to the North of Lorraine Loomis told me recently. Indian Nation, Sauk-Suiattle, Skokomish, Falcon process, named for the man- She is vice-chair of the NWIFC and Squaxin Island, Stillaguamish, Suquamish, agement area for Washington salmon the coordinator of tribal participation Swinomish, Tulalip and Upper Skagit stocks – which goes from Cape Fal- in NOF, one of the toughest jobs in con, Ore. to the Canadian border. Indian Country. Tribal contact information is available under While the process for setting salm- One of the reasons it’s getting Member Tribes at on seasons through NOF is highly harder is that as the resource shrinks, complex, the rules for getting there so does the room for error in salmon are simple: Be polite and try to meet management. While we do a good job each other’s needs while protecting managing our harvest and our hatch- weak and ESA-listed salmon stocks eries, we can’t control the main rea- and ensuring that enough adult sons for salmon declines, which are salmon escape harvest to sustain the loss and destruction of their habitat. On the cover: Charles Anderson, Quinault In- next generation. We develop fisher- Only through cooperation – the dian Nation member, scans the surfline for ra- ies based on their impacts to salmon kind of cooperation that helped create zor clams on Roosevelt Beach, south of Taholah, stocks on a river-by-river basis. and sustain the NOF process – will during a commercial razor clam dig in March. Photo: D. Preston Work on this year’s effort began we be able to do that. 2
  3. 3. Quinault Indian Nation The Culture and Economics of Razor Clams A fierce, cold wind the sturdy yew tree to flags the hood of Charles tease out the clam before Anderson’s windbreaker it could retreat into the as he scans the sand just sandy depths faster than a shy of the Pacific surf for person could dig. A woven the telltale bump of a ra- cedar bark basket held the zor clam. For the Quinault day’s harvest. Indian Nation (QIN) tribal The QIN’s Quinault member, harvesting razor Pride Seafood company clams on the ocean beach- is the only business on es near Taholah is some- the Washington coast thing he has done since he that commercially cans was a child. razor clams. This year, “It helps us pay our tribal members are earn- bills,” Anderson said dur- ing about $1.50 a pound ing a commercial razor for razor clams sold to the clam dig on Roosevelt company. Beach. “Many people “We ship razor clams all are unemployed. It’s sur- over the United States, but vival for us. We fish, dig most of the demand for the clams and hunt. We have canned clams is regional,” six kids, so every little bit said Robert Vessey, fish helps.” buyer for Quinault Pride Anderson’s family is Seafood. The company with him on this cold sun- also sells vacuum-packed ny day. Groups of families whole clams and bags of that have harvested togeth- diced clams for chowder. er for generations continue David James Jr. has been that tradition by lending a digging razor clams for as hand, a replacement shov- long as he can remember. Quinault Indian Nation member Donald Hawks participates in a commer- el or sharing a snack. “When I wanted school cial razor clam harvest on a beach near Ocean Shores this winter. Anderson’s tools are a clothes or spending mon- Photo: D. Preston specially designed steel ey, my family handed me shovel and a lightweight a razor clam shovel and and keeps food in the from their freezer,” said net that hangs off his a bucket,” James said. freezer.” Joe Schumacker, QIN’s waist. Historically, tribal “These days, it helps pay When he’s digging razor marine resources scientist. members used a stick from the power and phone bill clams to eat, James likes “It’s how they survive.” the smaller ones. The QIN and state work “They aren’t as chewy. together to assess the clam When you are digging populations on off-res- commercially, though, ervation beaches and de- you go after what they call velop harvest limits based the ‘mossbacks,’ the big on the available percent- ones,” he said. age of clams. The harvest “We know of some is shared equally between families that are eating ra- recreational and tribal dig- zor clams nearly every day gers. – D. Preston Quinault Indian Nation member Daniel Woods pursues razor clams af- ter dark using a lantern designed for night clam digging. Photo: D. Preston 3
  4. 4. Tribal Voice Skokomish Tribe: Agreement Will Help Restore Watershed The Skokomish Tribe is wholly de- We’ve also called upon our people voted and committed to restoring the over the years, asking them, “What does Skokomish watershed and its resources it mean to you? How will it affect you – not just for the next five years, not just and how can we mitigate for the harm for another 40 years, but forever. that has been done?” The late elder Joe Part of this commitment has involved Andrews said it best: “They need to put recent work with the city of Tacoma the river back where it belongs!” on the impacts of the city’s Cushman The agreement signed in January re- Hydroelectric Project on the Skokom- solves a $5.8 billion damages claim by ish watershed. In January, we signed a the tribe and long-standing disputes over historic agreement with the city that ad- terms of the federal license for the proj- dresses how to bring the ecosystem back ect. River restoration, instream flows, to life. fish habitat and fish passage improve- The Cushman Hydroelectric Project Joseph Pavel ments, wildlife habitat and restoration is actually two dams and an out-of-basin of fish populations are among the issues diversion to a power-generating plant on ogy of the river system, and deeply af- addressed by the agreement. It also al- the shores of Hood Canal. fecting Skokomish tribal culture and our lows the city to operate the dams for an- Cushman Dam No. 1 was built in treaty-reserved fishing rights. other 40 years. 1926, creating Lake Cushman. It was This milestone has been long in the The impact to the tribe can never be built without fish passage facilities and making and the tribe has persevered undone, but this agreement represents an completely blocked access to the upper during this long process. This has also opportunity to begin the healing process North Fork of the Skokomish River. been a personal journey – my great to the environment the tribe depends Cushman Dam No. 2 was built down- grandfather, George Adams, protested upon for its survival. The health and stream from Lake Cushman and com- the dams’ construction and my mother, well-being of the Skokomish watershed pleted in 1930, forming Lake Kokanee. Anne Pavel, was the tribal chair when the is vital to the Skokomish tribal culture, It was also constructed without fish dam’s original operating license expired tradition, subsistence and economy. We passage facilities but did incorporate a in 1974. The tribe intervened when look forward to our future relationship diversion of all North Fork Skokomish Tacoma submitted an application for with the city of Tacoma to ensure the River flows out of the basin to the power re-licensing. The application gathered resources we depend upon are available plant on the shores of Hood Canal, de- dust at the Federal Energy Regulatory for generations to come. watering the lower North Fork. Commission (FERC) for 11 years. I Joseph Pavel is the Skokomish tribal Together, the two dams reduced the first became involved when FERC chairman and director of the tribe’s nat- river’s water flow to a trickle, funda- replied with a request for additional ural resources department. mentally altering the biology and geol- information. Generations Skokomish elder Emily Miller sorts through sweet grass and bear grass, in preparation for making a basket in the late 1960s. The weavers sorted the grasses by size so they would know which bundles were similar in length and thickness. They also used cattails in their weaving. Photo: Skokomish Tribe 4
  5. 5. Squaxin Island Tribe Preventing Pollution in Little Skookum The Squaxin Island Tribe High concentrations of ready being seen in other is working with local shell- bacteria are routinely found southern Puget Sound inlets, fish companies to ensure in Lynch Creek just below Konovsky said. Little Skookum Inlet doesn’t Fawn Lake, and during the Just north of Little Skoo- become too polluted for recent heavy rains, coming kum Inlet lies Oakland Bay, shellfish harvest. The tribe out of Skookum Creek. another productive shellfish and the companies began an “The first step in stopping area, which has seen an in- intensive monitoring effort pollution is increased moni- crease in water pollution, last fall to protect the bay toring,” Konovsky said. threatening several shellfish after ongoing monitoring “Now that we have some harvesting beds. detected slowly increasing clues to the sources, we can “We had to scramble to bacteria levels, especially focus our investigations.” ramp up monitoring and re- during extreme rain storms. Employees from seven search to prevent a massive “It is still very safe to eat shellfish companies regu- harvest closure in Oakland shellfish from Little Skoo- larly monitor water quality Bay. We’re getting a head kum, but we want to solve in several streams that feed start in Little Skookum,” any water pollution problems Little Skookum. They also Konovsky said. before they get any worse,” track rainfall in the water- “Little Skookum is a very said John Konovsky, the shed. The state Department special place for the Squaxin tribe’s environmental pro- of Health monitors saltwater Island Tribe. It is the back- gram manager. quality in the bay. The tribe yard for many of our tribal Little Skookum produces is coordinating the overall members,” said Andy Whit- more than 12 percent of efforts, and is working with ener, natural resources direc- Washington’s shellfish. The Mason County and Mason tor for the tribe. “If we fail to Levi Keesecker, a Squaxin Island Tribe bi- most likely sources of the Conservation District to find prevent pollution from clos- ologist, takes a water sample at the mouth increased water pollution are workable solutions. ing Little Skookum, it would of Deer Creek as it flows into Little Skoo- kum Inlet. Deer Creek is a major suspect failing septic systems and The tribe wants to prevent be a huge blow to us and our in rising pollution levels in Little Skookum. poor livestock management the kind of slow decline of neighbors.” – E. O’Connell Photo: E. O’Connell practices. Skookum Inlet that is al- Education is Key to Protecting Oakland Bay People living along Oakland Bay private shellfish farm- don’t think they have anything to do ers are among the larg- ‘We can’t clean up Oakland Bay with the significant increase in pollution est employers in Mason in the bay, according to a survey by the County. without the help of all the landowners Sa-Heh-Wa-Mish Stewardship Initiative Other results of the in the watershed.’ and the Squaxin Island Tribe. survey include: ANDy WHITENER, “We have direct evidence that the hu- • More than half of the director of natural resources, man population around the bay contrib- owners of septic systems Squaxin Island Tribe utes to water pollution, but it’s hard for that had not been inspect- people to connect their individual actions ed in the last five years with the problem,” said John Konovsky, said their septic was a not problem. shut down shellfish harvest. environmental program manager for the • More than 60 percent of livestock Both Mason County and the Mason tribe. Recent studies have identified hu- owners said they didn’t have enough Conservation District are poised to help man and livestock fecal coliform as a livestock to pose a problem. landowners with money for septic tank source of pollution threatening Oakland These conclusions were gleaned from riser installation and assistance with Bay. interviews late last year with more than livestock management. The funds are “We can’t clean up Oakland Bay with- 150 Oakland Bay residents. intended to ease the financial burdens of out the help of all the landowners in the “Right now, there is an unfortunate improving stewardship. watershed,” said Andy Whitener, natu- disconnect between what we know about In addition to the massive impact a ral resources director for the tribe. “The the pollution and the best way to clean it shellfish harvest closure would have first step is to be able to draw the link up,” Konovsky said. “We need to some- on the local economy, decreased water between where the pollution is coming how make the connection real to ensure quality in Oakland Bay is a huge threat from and the impact it’s having on hu- that we all know how to do our part.” to human health and local property val- man health and people’s jobs.” In Oakland Bay, it only takes the fail- ues. “Living next to a poisoned body of Oakland Bay is the largest producer ure of four septic systems in one year water is not a great selling point,” Ko- of manila clams in the country and to increase bacteria to levels that would novsky said. – E. O’Connell 5
  6. 6. Quinault Indian Nation Leading the Fight on Fish Disease Pathologists and biologists tackle lethal IHN fish virus ike humans, fish can carry pathogens that don’t kill them. Dif- L ferent strains of the same pathogen, however, can be lethal. That’s the problem confronting the Quinault Indian Nation (QIN) with their steelhead enhancement efforts in the Quinault River wa- tershed. Quinault River steelhead have tected in the Humptulips, Chehalis, been infected with a strain of Queets and the Quinault systems. Infectious Hematopoetic Necrosis The QIN has decided to destroy (IHN), a virus that has killed fish each time the disease has ap- hundreds of thousands of steelhead peared. “We need answers about in the Columbia River watershed how the fish are acquiring this dis- since it was first detected in ease so we can adjust our manage- hatchery trout in Idaho in the 1970s ment plans accordingly,” said Ty- and spread to the lower Columbia ler Jurasin, QIN operations section River by the 1990s. It attacks the manager. blood-forming tissues such as the QIN successfully applied for kidney and spleen, causing death $50,000 from the Bureau of Indian by anemia. Affairs and joined with U.S. Fish “There are several strains of this and Wildlife Service (USFWS) to virus,” said Bruce Stewart, fish fund research that will answer the health program manager for the key questions regarding this strain Northwest Indian Fisheries Com- of IHN. Two U.S. Geological Sur- mission (NWIFC). “Here in west- vey (USGS) researchers will work ern Washington, we typically see closely with QIN and USFWS to the strain that is endemic in sock- study the genetic strain of IHN eye salmon. Although this strain is found on the coast and attempt to lethal to young sockeye salmon, it quantify how much virus is shed does not appear to be as lethal to from infected hatchery fish. They Steven Quilt, QIN fish culturist and tribal member, steelhead stocks.” also will try to determine how long prepares to spawn a Quinault River steelhead at the The strain found in QIN steel- the IHN virus stays alive in the wa- QIN’s Lake Quinault Hatchery. Photo: D. Preston head, however, is highly lethal to ters of Lake Quinault after it is shed steelhead. It was detected for the from a fish. first time in western Washington Samples of lake water will be of the Hagerman Valley and in the in 1997 in steelhead and the QIN’s seeded with live virus to see how Lower Columbia in some years. Salmon River Hatchery. It did not long it survives at varying tempera- “Although we don’t know how reappear until 2007 when it was de- tures. the virus is being brought into our “Gael Kurath, the lead USGS re- coastal systems in Washington, we searcher on the project, is one of the suspect there is some link to in- top scientists in the nation who has fected fish that are leaving the Co- done work on this strain of IHN,” lumbia River,” Stewart said. “The Stewart said. tribes are taking the lead to try to Kurath traced the origin of this get answers about this disease.” strain of IHN lethal to steelhead to All four Washington coastal its source in the Hagerman Valley in treaty tribes have prioritized seek- Idaho where it first appeared more ing Hatchery Reform funding for a than 35 years ago. This strain has second year of IHN research. occasionally flared up downstream – D. Preston As part of the research into the pathogen invading Lake Quinault steelhead, researchers are looking at hatchery steelhead reared in the net pens on Lake Quinault to determine how long the pathogen remains viable in various tempera- tures of lake water. Photo: D. Preston 6
  7. 7. Nooksack Tribe Revisits Traditional Dip Net It had been 25 years since the Nooksack Tribe’s cultural re- sources director, George Swa- naset Jr., made a traditional dip net. He and his grandfather used to fish with a dip net in the Nook- sack River, but the method has fallen out of practice in favor of larger set nets. Swanaset re- cently made a long-handled net with a cedar handle, vine maple hoop and bone rings, to dem- onstrate dip-netting to young adults in the tribe’s YouthBuild program. “Basically what it is, is a net on a stick,” he said. “You drift your net down into a pool until you feel something bump. You Jeremiah Johnny (left), a Nooksack fisherman and the tribe’s cultural habitat technician, and George Swanaset Jr., Nooksack tribal member and cultural resources director (center), watch tribal member Jessica Williams use a won’t catch it the first time. dip net in the Nooksack River. Photo: K. Neumeyer You just feel a bump and know it’s there. It’s really a long, slow fish get warned. You got your in their usual and accustomed “Part of their leadership de- process, but once you start feel- dip net, you’re pulling them in areas. They’re learning “the velopment is learning more ing them in there, then you start one at a time, there’s nothing struggles and the battles that about their culture,” Canete catching them one by one.” there for them to be scared of.” fishing Indians have been going said. “How they were federally One of the advantages of a Dip nets also allow fishermen through and still go through to- recognized, just what their an- dip net is that it catches fish by to safely release native fish that day,” said tribal council mem- cestors went through and what surprise, he said. they do not wish to take from ber and YouthBuild program we have to preserve today as “I seem to have caught more the river. manager Katherine Canete. the new generation. And also, fish in a dip net than I did an The YouthBuild students had The YouthBuild program is I was never taught these things eddy net when I was fishing the been studying the 1974 U.S. v. open to tribal members aged 16 when I was young, so it’s also river,” Swanaset said. “In an Washington federal court rul- to 24. Students earn their GED giving me the opportunity to eddy net, they hang there and ing, the Boldt decision, which or high school diploma and learn more.” – K. Neumeyer splash around and all the other reaffirmed tribes’ right to fish learn leadership skills. Little Geoduck Right: Lummi Shellfish geoduck specialist Fla- vian Point (right) and shellfish specialist Leah Paisano plant geoduck seeds in sand trays, where they will grow for up to three months. Above: Geoduck larvae are magnified on a computer screen. The Lummi Nation is one of a few shellfish growers with the capacity to raise geoduck larvae to the seed stage for commercial sale. Photos: K. Neumeyer 7
  8. 8. Wildlife Management Tribal Efforts Help Elk Herds Puyallup Tracking Method Shows Smaller Elk Herds The South Rainier elk herd is smaller than previously thought, according to a new population model devel- oped by the Puyallup Tribe of Indians. “Our results point to a herd size of about 900. That’s about 1,100 fewer animals than a previous estimate by the state Department of Fish and Wildlife,” said Barbara Moeller, wildlife management biologist with the Puyal- lup Tribe. The tribe’s target population for the herd is 2,100. The model, which is the first of its kind in western Washington, allows the tribe to more easily estimate the size of the herd using aerial surveys. Called a “sightabil- ity model,” the program helps determine population size by gauging the relationship between the number of elk that can be seen from the air and those that can’t be seen because of the amount and type of vegetation in the area. Some members of the South Rainier elk herd cross the Cowlitz River near Packwood. The str Following the success of the model work completed by previously thought, according to new research by the Puyallup Tribe of Indians. Photo: B. Moelle the tribe, state wildlife managers have followed suit and are trying to develop similar models for estimating elk Years of research and radio collaring by the tribe were traditional range has been populations for both the Nooksack and the Mount St. used to build the model. be threatened by further d Helens herds. “The population modeling work we have completed and county officials.” “Previously, state wildlife managers have made elk complements the ongoing management activities and To help reverse this tren population estimates with a technique that uses harvest herd research project we are working to complete,” stored more than 300 acre data,” Moeller said. “Using a sightability model ap- Moeller said. tribe also is working to p proach, we can be more accurate and efficient.” Several factors, including development that has en- buying 45 acres of bottom The older method used by the state doesn’t take into croached on the herd’s historic winter range area, are used by elk. consideration the mortalities that occur in the popula- limiting the herd’s size. “Having a better handle o tion from causes other than reported harvest. Mortali- “These elk depend on there being food on the valley equals better managemen ties caused by wounding during hunting, auto collisions, floors in the winter, below where snow typically is,” closely and accurately we poaching, predation, natural causes and disease, for ex- Moeller said. “But those traditional feeding areas are better chance we have of m ample, aren’t taken into consideration. being taken up by development. Too much of the elk’s lation of elk for many year Folders Contribute to Increased Elk Tag Returns for Muckleshoot The Muckleshoot Indian Tribe distributed free hunting paper- Each binder costs the tribe $40 and is provided free to every work binders to their hunters last fall and as a result, there was hunter. The blaze-orange organizers include a field observation a boost in the percentage of returned tags after the season closed form, blank Rite-In-The-Rain reporting pages, zip ties to secure December 31. tags, up-to-date ordinance and regulations, and a clear vinyl pouch “Harvest reporting has increased substantially this year,” said to hold tags and a pen. Dave Vales, wildlife biologist for the Muckleshoot Tribe. “Even The post-season tag data is one of the most basic elements of as the number of hunters we license increases every year, we saw tribal wildlife management. a sharp uptick in the percentage of tags we had returned this last “Even though our harvest numbers are dwarfed by the number season.” of animals taken by non-tribal hunters, accurate harvest reporting The tribe typically has had more than 90 percent returns but that is an essential aspect of our management,” said Dennis Anderson, declined to 87 percent in 2006 and 2007. In 2008, returns increased chair of the tribe’s wildlife committee. “We use this in conjunction to 95 percent. with the other data we collect, such as information from our radio- “It’s amazing that such a simple device, just a binder to keep all collared elk and deer studies and on habitat conditions to set season of their records together, is having such an impact on our ability to regulations.” – E. O’Connell collect data,” Vales said. The Muckleshoot Tribe is passing out binders to help hunters organize their paperwork. Photo: T. Meyer 8
  9. 9. Thrive Lower Elwha staff Kim Sager-Fradkin (left), Brandon Nickerson (center) and Phillip Blackcrow monitor an elk’s temperature and collect hair and blood samples during a radio-collar capture. Photo: Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe ruggling herd is much smaller than Lower Elwha Klallam Starts Roosevelt Elk Study er, Puyallup Tribe With an interest in the long-term sustainability “The tribe has little information about these of elk populations on the north Olympic Penin- herds, such as whether the populations are in- fragmented and continues to sula, the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe has started creasing or decreasing,” said Lower Elwha Klal- development allowed by state a three-year research project to gather informa- lam Tribe wildlife biologist Kim Sager-Fradkin. tion about the elk herds between the Elwha River “The tribe is interested in how elk use floodplain nd, two years ago the tribe re- and Clallam Bay. habitats along the Elwha before the dams are es of winter elk habitat. The The tribe has two key goals: to gather basic removed. We are also interested in developing protect existing elk habitat by information on the Roosevelt elk that live in the methods for long-term population monitoring m land that is already being Elwha River region prior to deconstruction of throughout the entire Pysht GMU.” the Elwha dams in 2012; and develop methods For the next three years, the tribe will be on how many elk are out there for longer-term monitoring of these herds. This collecting fecal pellets for DNA analysis, con- nt,” Moeller said. “The more will allow the tribe to determine if the elk popu- ducting helicopter surveys, and capturing and e can track their numbers, the lation is increasing, equipping several managing a sustainable popu- decreasing or re- ‘The tribe is interested in how elk use elk with Global rs to come.” – E. O’Connell maining stable. The study will pro- floodplain habitats along the Elwha be- Positioning System (GPS) radio-track- vide the tribe with fore the dams are removed.’ ing collars. Since information about January, the tribe seasonal elk move- KIM SAGER-FRADKIN, has been fitting elk ment patterns, habi- wildlife biologist, with radio collars, tat requirements, and Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe which will help the population size and tribe track move- structure. ment patterns. The tribe is focusing on the Pysht Game Man- The tribe always has used elk for subsistence, agement Unit (GMU), which runs north of High- cultural and spiritual purposes, and strives to way 101, from the Elwha River west to Clallam preserve its treaty-reserved right to hunt. This Bay. Little is known about the herds in this area, elk management program is aimed at collecting which includes the Elwha and Indian valleys and data that will allow the tribe and Washington the Joyce-Piedmont area. Department of Fish and Wildlife to set more bio- Frequent inhabitants of region’s valleys, elk logically based harvest regulations, thus ensur- rely on the Elwha River floodplain for food, ing the long-term sustainability of these herds, overwintering and calving. Deconstructing the Sager-Fradkin said. 108-foot Elwha Dam and the 210-foot Glines Funding for the study comes from the Depart- Canyon Dam will help restore more than 500 ment of Health and Human Services-Adminis- acres, including floodplain habitat, which have tration for Native Americans and the U.S. Fish been inundated by water for nearly 90 years. and Wildlife Service. – T. Royal 9
  10. 10. CSI: Suquamish Tribe Fisheries biologist gathers evidence from fish carcasses Left: Jon Oleyar, fisheries biologist for the Suquamish Tribe, retrieves a coho salmon carcass during a stream survey on Dickerson Creek. Above: Oleyar pokes around the stream looking for carcasses. Photos:T. Royal J on Oleyar likens stream surveying to the television show CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. But rather than seek- ing evidence to solve a crime, the Suquamish Tribe fisher- He measures its length, makes note of the gender and checks the snout for a coded-wire tag. Visit www.nwifc. The millimeter-long tag con- org/section/ ies biologist hikes Kitsap County’s streams for evidence of spawned-out salmon carcasses – particularly coho. tains information about which podcasts to hear hatchery it came from and when an audio version Late fall is a busy time of the vations, he can figure out what it was released. He also notes if year for tribal staff throughout happened to the latter. the fish’s adipose fin is missing of this story. western Washington as they hit “This is a perfect specimen,” or intact. If it’s missing, it’s a the streams to try to gauge the he said of a discovered intact hatchery fish; if it’s intact, it’s number of adult salmon that re- fish. “It’s still relatively fresh most likely a wild fish. the tribe monitor the various turned to spawn. and a critter – probably a river Carcasses play an important salmon population trends over “I feel like I’m part of a CSI otter – recently attacked and role in the wild and in science. the last decade, understand their team – Coho Stream Investiga- killed this female. By noting The decaying fish are a source needs and observe how they re- tor,” he said. “Just finding them the absence of eggs and a worn of food for animals and provide act to changes to their environ- is the hard part. You have to tail fin, from digging a salmon nutrients for streamside vegeta- ment,” Oleyar said. think like a fish or a predator – egg nest in the gravel, I would tion that helps improve water Since 1998, between the ‘Where would I go to spawn?’ say she most likely spawned quality. For biologists, count- months of October and Decem- or ‘Where would I go to eat this prior to being killed.” ing dead fish gives them a good ber, Oleyar has made weekly fish?’ ” It’s the ideal scenario – the idea of how many are coming hikes up and down Kitsap’s He finds carcasses in various fish gets to spawn, the predator back to their natal streams. numerous salmon-producing states, from fully intact to par- gets what it needs and Oleyar is “All this information has creeks, including Dickerson tially eaten. Based on his obser- still able to collect his sample. been very powerful in helping Creek. The stream is a tributary to Chico Creek, one of the most productive salmon streams in Sheet of Ice Kitsap County. The tribe’s extensive coho Freezing temperatures, combined database is one of the strongest with lower water levels, froze parts in the state and is often con- of Bear Creek this winter. sulted by local and state agen- cies for management and other The Bogachiel River tributary is one of many streams the Quileute informational needs. Tribe surveys for salmon and steel- “In the 10 years we’ve been head to aid in forecasting fish re- doing this, we sampled well turns. over 10,000 coho alone,” he Photo: D. Preston said. – T. Royal 10
  11. 11. Culvert Blocks Pocket Estuary in Sequim Bay The approximately 4-acre Pitship Estuary has great potential as an area for salmon to feed, rear and forage, but only a half-acre of this area can be used by salmon because of a 3-foot-long fish-blocking culvert. The Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe is partnering with North Olympic Salmon Coalition (NOSC) and the city of Sequim to help this little estuary be all that it can be. They plan to replace the culvert with a 28-foot-long bridge near the intersection of West Sequim Bay and U.S. Coast Survey maps are being used to plan forest restoration near the mouth of the Nisqually River. Map: Nisqually Indian Tribe Whitefeather roads. “With the tribe, the coalition and the city working to- Historic Maps Guide the gether, we can get more done together than trying to do it alone. In the end, the fish benefit sooner than later,” Way to Forest Recovery said Byron Rot, the tribe’s habitat program manager. “These small pocket estuaries have been documented The Nisqually Indian Tribe also taking into consideration as great habitat for migrating juvenile salmon because is using maps drawn by the current conditions. of the freshwater and saltwater that mix here,” said Re- U.S. Coast Survey in the 1800s The new forest will eventually becca Benjamin, NOSC’s executive director. “The fish to figure out how to replant contribute large woody debris coming from Jimmycomelately Creek and Sequim Bay a forest near the mouth of the and build logjams naturally in will no doubt benefit from this area after we replace the Nisqually River that hasn’t ex- the estuary. culvert with the bridge.” isted for more than a century. “Juvenile salmon use log- The area doesn’t look much different from when it “The maps that were drawn jams as hiding places from was mapped in the late 1800s, but the road and culvert as part of the survey were in- predators, and as a place to find that were installed in the mid-1900s interfere with the credibly accurate and give us food,” Troutt said. “The health exchange of freshwater and saltwater – a primary func- a good idea of where the forest of the river and of the estuary tion of any estuary. It also provides poor fish passage was before much of this area depends on there being forests conditions and decreases the fish’s ability to access the was converted into a ranch,” nearby.” marsh habitat. said David Troutt, natural re- The U.S. Coast Survey was “It’s still a salt marsh but it could be better,” Rot said. sources director for the tribe. a 19th century federal effort to “We suspect summer chum will utilize this when it be- Restoration of the ancient plot Pacific Northwest coasts comes available.” Summer chum are listed as “threat- forest is part of a large estuary in preparation for settlement. ened” under the federal Endangered Species Act. restoration effort by the tribe The maps were drawn about 20 Project funding came from the Salmon Recovery and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife years after settlement began in Funding Board, North Olympic Salmon Coalition and Service (USFWS). The tribe has the area, so some evidence of the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe. Construction is ex- restored more than 140 acres of development – like fields and pected to start this year. – T. Royal the former cattle ranch back to orchards – already are depicted. An aerial photo shows existing conditions in the Pitship Estuary, estuary over the past decade; “Despite that, you can see ex- where a culvert prevents salmon from fully accessing 4 acres of USFWS hopes to restore anoth- actly where the forest used to habitat. Photo: Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe er 700 acres next summer. reach down into the estuary,” The tribe’s Geographic In- Troutt said. “We’re using what formation Services department they saw to help restore habitat used versions of the old maps that has been degraded since – enhanced by the state Depart- settlement.” ment of Natural Resources and He added, “It not just impor- the University of Washington tant to restore salmon habitat, – and overlaid them with cur- it’s important to restore it in the rent aerial photos of the estuary. best way possible. These maps Combining old maps and new give us a window into the past, technology, tribal restoration to see how the forest was like biologists are planning the for- before major human interfer- est restoration not just on what ence.” – E. O’Connell the forest used to look like, but 11
  12. 12. Puyallup Tribe of Indians Returning Salmon Tracked with Sonar When salmon start returning in the fall, the Puyallup River is obscured by a chalky mix of glacial silt, making it almost impos- sible for the adult salmon to be seen. This poses a problem for salmon managers who would like to see through the murk and count every salmon. For the past couple of years, the Puyallup Tribe of Indians has used an advanced so- nar system to peer though the glacial sedi- ment and count salmon. The tribe installed a Dual Frequency Identification Sonar (DIDSON) in the lower Puyallup River. “If there is a larger population spawning in the glacial mainstem that we can’t see, that is something we really want to know,” said Russ Ladley, resource protection man- ager for the Puyallup Tribe. “Having this system low on the mainstem will also help us understand run timing a lot better.” Andrew Berger, Puyallup Tribe fisheries biologist, counts salmon as they migrate past a DIDSON sonar the tribe has stationed in the lower river. Photo: E. O’Connell The images presented by the DIDSON system are black and white and are more accurate than “Tracking salmon populations over the years is some of other types of sonar. Puyallup staff regularly download the most important work salmon managers can do,” Lad- data collected by the sonar and count fish back at the of- ley said. After the adult salmon migration is largely over fice. “It takes about an hour and a half to watch a day’s in the lower river, the tribe plans to move the DIDSON to worth of data,” Ladley said. a fish ladder in the upper Puyallup to count steelhead. Developed at the University of Washington for the U.S. “The most basic information, like how many fish are Navy to find mines on ship hulls, DIDSON was quickly moving through the system at any given time, is vital to applied to fisheries management. DIDSON also has been salmon recovery efforts,” Ladley said. “With more infor- used to track juvenile salmon on the Columbia River and mation on salmon runs, everyone benefits.” adult spawners in Alaska. – E. O’Connell Tribe, City Explore Boise Creek Salmon Restoration A popular and critical reach any fish spawn or juvenile fish “We’re hoping we can of spawning habitat in the Puy- emerge from the gravel, they improve the habitat to make ‘We’re going to take a allup River watershed is a step won’t have much food or many Boise Creek a better home close look at what is closer to a complete makeover places to hide from predators.” for salmon,” said Mayor by the Puyallup Tribe of Indi- Both the chinook and steel- John Wise. possible and what will ans. head that spawn in Boise Creek “Right now there is a lack give salmon the biggest The tribe was awarded a are part of larger Puget Sound of quality habitat in a large bang for the buck.’ $120,000 grant by the state stocks listed as “threatened” section of the creek,” Lad- Salmon Recovery Funding under the federal Endangered ley said. “We’re going to RUSS LADLEy, Board to explore how Boise Species Act. take a close look at what is resource protection manager, Creek could be made more hos- Rerouting the section of possible and what will give Puyallup Tribe pitable to juvenile salmon. creek that flows through the salmon the biggest bang for “More chinook and steelhead Enumclaw municipal golf the buck.” spawn in Boise Creek per mile course, planting streamside Opening salmon passage “The most important thing than in any other place in the trees and adding large woody above a series of old mill ponds salmon need to recover is good watershed,” said Russ Ladley, debris to the streambed are all also is on the drawing board. habitat,” he added. “This proj- resource protection manager under consideration. The city “Salmon would be able to ac- ect will let us see the real poten- for the Puyallup Tribe. “But the of Enumclaw ultimately will cess more than a mile of good tial for restoring Boise Creek.” habitat in the creek has been de- approve any enhancement ac- habitat above an impassable se- – E. O’Connell graded to the point that even if tions. ries of waterfalls,” Ladley said. 12
  13. 13. Nisqually Indian Tribe Good harvest management by Another benefit to chinook es- More Chinook Spawn, tribal and state salmon co-man- agers has led to more chinook capement was a new rule requir- ing non-tribal sport anglers on Thanks to Harvest Plan reaching the spawning grounds on the Nisqually River this year, the Nisqually and nearby marine waters to release wild chinook. despite fewer returning chinook. More than 90 percent of the chi- “Because we managed our fish- nook returning to the Nisqually eries the right way, we were able this year were hatchery fish, to reach our escapement goal,” identified by a clipped adipose said David Troutt, natural re- fin. sources director for the Nisqually “These kinds of fisheries, Tribe. Escapement is the number where there are a lot of hatchery of salmon that are allowed to fish and few wild fish, are effec- reach the spawning grounds. tive in terminal areas like rivers,” Nisqually River chinook are Troutt said. “But cutting fisheries part of a larger Puget Sound alone won’t matter if we don’t do population of chinook listed as anything about habitat.” “threatened” under the federal For over a decade, the tribe has Endangered Species Act. led a community-based salmon The number of chinook har- recovery effort in the watershed. vested dropped from around “Our communities are rally- 20,000 in recent years to 13,000 ing behind recovering salmon,” this year. Returns to the tribe’s Troutt said. “Because of the co- hatcheries dropped from a high operation we have here, we’ve of 15,000 to fewer than 5,000. made great strides in ensuring At the same time, the number of that salmon have the habitat they chinook reaching the spawning need when they return to spawn. grounds increased from around For example, over the last de- 2,000 in recent years to more cade the tribe has restored more than 3,300. than 140 acres of estuary habitat To protect chinook, the tribe at the mouth of the Nisqually cut the number of fishing days River. But we have a lot of work Reuben Wells Jr. hoists a chinook salmon at the Nisqually Tribe’s by more than half and restricted to do before we really recover Clear Creek hatchery. Thomas Wells (right) and Emiliano Perez look on. Photo: E. O’Connell tribal fishermen to a smaller sec- Nisqually River chinook.” tion of the river. – E. O’Connell Pipeline Grants to Restore, Protect Watershed Demonstrating a commitment to protect zone that will provide overall improve- and restore the Nisqually River watershed, ments and protection for the watershed. To the Nisqually Indian Tribe and the state de- select projects, the tribe worked with Fish The Fort Lewis grant will: partments of Fish and Wildlife and Ecology and Wildlife, Ecology and the U.S. Army recently awarded five grants totaling more Corps of Engineers. Biologists from Pierce ● Restore 6 acres of oak and than $450,000 to projects that will improve and Thurston County planning departments prairie habitat along Muck Creek. and maintain more than 60 threatened acres also were involved. of the watershed. The recipients were Fort “We are thrilled to support projects to The Nisqually River Land Lewis and Nisqually River Land Trust. improve the health of the entire watershed Trust grants will: The five grants are part of the “Williams and protect the river for future generations Pipeline Mitigation Fund,” a Nisqually of Nisqually to enjoy,” said Cynthia Iyall, ● Restore 16 acres of riverside Tribe-administered program created to chairman of the Nisqually Tribe. “The forest. minimize the environmental harm of a new total acres of habitat that will be protected ● Permanently protect 35 acres 22-mile natural gas pipeline constructed in or restored with these grants is more than near the Mashel River and 20 2006 in Pierce and Thurston counties. The double the area impacted by the pipeline.” acres near Ohop Creek. construction replaced a section of pipeline “The pipeline project impacted specific ● Enhance one acre of riverside that was considered unsafe. sorts of habitat, like streamside vegetation wetland on a Nisqually River The fund was created as a condition and wetlands,” said David Troutt, natural side channel. of local, state and federal environmental resources director for the tribe. “This kind permits for the pipeline construction. The of mitigation allowed us to choose projects mitigation funds can be used to support that best addressed the needs of the water- projects outside the pipeline construction shed’s ecosystem.” – E. O’Connell 13
  14. 14. Artificial Wetlands to Treat Lummi Nation Stormwater near Tulalip Bay to Move Road off River Bank The Lummi Nation has part- nered with Whatcom County and the Whatcom Land Trust to re- align a portion of a county road that runs past the tribe’s Skookum Creek Hatchery. This section of the road segment serves primarily as access to the hatchery and a sys- tem of logging roads. Moving the road off the bank of the South Fork of the Nooksack River will allow the tribe to restore Val Streeter (left), stormwater planner for the Tulalip Tribes, and Julia Gold, environmental the habitat to its natural condition, planner, observe stormwater runoff seeping across the sidewalk onto Totem Beach Road. by replanting native vegetation Photo: K. Neumeyer in the riparian area and building Stormwater runoff from the parking Concern about water pollution in Tulalip logjams for instream cover and lots and playfield at Tulalip Elementary Bay has grown because of the increasing complexity. runs directly into Tulalip Bay. Traveling population in the surrounding area. Po- The Nooksack River’s South through conventional drains and pipes, at tential contaminants in stormwater runoff Fork spring chinook population is times seeping over the sidewalk onto To- include dissolved metals, such as copper facing extinction, largely because tem Beach Road, the water potentially shavings from car brake pads. Even in of lost and degraded habitat. Res- picks up pollutants. trace amounts, copper can be fatal to juve- toration projects such as this one At the nearby Boys and Girls Club, the nile salmon. It interferes with their alarm are key to recovering the popula- lack of drainage results in a parking lot pheromones, making them vulnerable to tion. pond when it rains. predators. It also impairs salmon’s breath- In January, the Whatcom Coun- As an alternative to conventional storm- ing, brain function and sense of smell, in- ty Council vacated about 3,000 water detention methods, the Tulalip Tribes terferes with migration and depresses the feet of Saxon Road in Acme. The are using low impact development (LID) immune system. Lummi Nation’s Natural Resourc- to improve water quality and to fix sev- “What an artificial wetland does is hold es Department plans to reconstruct eral drainage problems. The tribes’ Natural water, similar to a storm detention pond ex- the road, moving it away from the Resources Department is engineering wet- cept you have much more soil and vegeta- river and onto the tribe’s hatch- lands to absorb stormwater and filter out tion that you use in order to filter the wa- ery property and an adjacent par- pollutants before it drains into the bay. ter,” said Julia Gold, environmental planner cel purchased by Whatcom Land “For fish, it’s much better to address your for the tribes. Trust. stormwater naturally, as it would happen This summer, the tribes’ Natural Resourc- The land trust bought the prop- without us,” said Val Streeter, stormwater es Department plans to install two catch ba- erty with a state Salmon Recovery planner for the tribes. “So that’s why we’re sins in the Boys and Girls Club parking lot, Funding Board grant, for the pur- getting away from the conventional storm- to drain into a constructed wetland adjacent pose of salmon habitat protection water treatment – pipes, curbs, gutters, to an existing natural wetland. Below the and enhancement. Once the road detention ponds – and moving into more playfield, an existing natural wetland will is completed, Lummi Nation and natural treatment, where you don’t disturb be enhanced and drainage will be improved Whatcom Land Trust will give the land as much and try to mimic nature to to prevent water from flooding onto Totem the right-of-way to the county. the greatest extent possible.” Beach Road. Additional engineered wet- The tribe also is working with lands will treat water from the school park- Longview Timber, another adja- ing lots and improve absorption of pollut- cent landowner, to move a small ‘For fish, it’s much ants from the runoff. section of the road off the river better to address your Low impact development techniques al- within its property boundary. ready have been successfully used at Tu- The tribe plans to develop a pub- stormwater naturally, lalip’s beda?chelh (Beh-Daa-Cha) Behav- lic education program that uses the as it would happen ioral Health Department and Health Clinic. Skookum Reach Habitat Restora- without us.’ The beda?chelh parking lot has permeable tion project site as an educational VAL STREETER, pavement and the health clinic site uses laboratory to demonstrate the steps stormwater planner, biofiltration in addition to conventional un- being taken to restore endangered Tulalip Tribes derground water detention. – K. Neumeyer salmon stocks. – K. Neumeyer 14
  15. 15. Passages Violet (Vi) Anderson Hilbert Taq Se Blu Upper Skagit tribal elder Violet (Vi) Anderson Hilbert, Taq Se Blu, died Dec. 19, 2008 at her La Conner home, at the age of 90. Hilbert was a world-renowned language expert, dedi- cated to preserving the native Lushootseed language. As Colleen Jollie, former tribal liaison for the state Depart- ment of Transportation, told the Seattle Times, “If you can speak Lushootseed, it’s because Vi Hilbert taught some- body, who taught somebody, who taught somebody.” Hilbert was named a Washington State Living Trea- sure in 1989, and received a National Heritage Fellowship about Puget Sound. from the National Endowment of the Arts, presented by Hilbert was preceded in death by parents, Louise Jimmy President Clinton in 1994. She founded the Lushootseed and Charlie Anderson; husband, Henry Don Hilbert; sons, Research Center in Seattle and taught at the University Denny Woodcock and Ron Hilbert-Coy. She is survived of Washington and The Evergreen State College. She co- by daughter Lois Schluter and her husband, Walter; and wrote Lushootseed dictionaries and grammar books, and numerous grandchildren, countless friends, colleagues published books of place names, stories and teachings and adopted relations. Makah Grandmothers Walk for Treaty Rights Three Makah grandmothers hold the obligations contained “We’re supposed to be cov- and were very supportive,” walked most of the way from in treaties signed with Indian ered as long as the grass grows Markishtum said. Neah Bay to Portland – more tribes. and water flows,” Adams said. Timely gifts also kept them than 300 miles – to draw atten- “We weren’t doing it just “I’m concerned the health care going, from donors such as tion to the treaty rights of all for our tribe, we did it for all obligation is not being met now, Chamblin’s doctor, an employ- Indian people. tribes,” Adams said. High on that the standard of care is low ee of the Bureau of Indian Af- Gail Adams, Dotti Chamblin their list of priorities were top- and that care will not be there fairs office in Portland and the and Rhonda Markishtum spent ics such as health care, domes- for future generations.” Coeur d’Alene Tribe in Idaho. several weeks making the jour- tic violence, the tribal court Chamblin attends many re- “Gail and I decided to drive ney, carrying signs urging state system and the Makah Tribe’s gional and national gatherings to the National Congress of and U.S. governments to up- treaty right to whale. of tribal governments such as American Indians (NCAI) Affiliated Tribes of Northwest meeting in Phoenix, Ariz., after Indians and National Congress we got to Portland,” Markish- of American Indians. tum said. The donation from “She kind of lit a fire under Coeur d’Alene got the women us and we started doing a lot of to Phoenix and a place to stay. research into the law and trea- The drive through other na- ties,” Adams said. tive lands impressed upon the The women walked to Port- women the needs of all Indian land’s Bureau of Indian Affairs people. office via Port Angeles. They “Other folks have it worse also made stops at the federal in Indian Country,” Markish- courthouse in Tacoma and took tum said. “That’s why it is so up post on the steps of the state important that we continue to legislature in Olympia. speak up about treaty rights.” “In Sequim and Bremerton, – D. Preston people asked a lot of questions Makah tribal members Gail Adams (left) and Rhonda Mark- ishtum display signs they carried on their journey from Neah Bay to Portland. Photo: D. Preston 15
  16. 16. Biogas Plant Puts Cows to Work for Salmon About 1,000 Werkhoven Dairy Farm cows are powering a new biogas plant on Tulalip tribal property. Profits from the plant will help pay for future salmon restoration projects. Photo: K. Neumeyer A new biogas plant on Tul- to power about 300 homes. blamed for increased levels of Not only does the process alip tribal property in Monroe “We got involved because fecal coliform and a decline in keep dairy farm waste out of is creating more than energy; we wanted to get some of the the water quality of nearby riv- the rivers, but it also improves it’s also generating revenue for nutrients and bacteria out of the ers. air quality by reducing the future salmon restoration proj- water,” said Daryl Williams, Qualco’s biogas plant con- greenhouse gases released by ects. Tulalip environmental liaison verts dairy farm manure into methane. And byproducts from Qualco Energy, a nonprofit and executive director of the methane gas, which fuels a chicken farms and cheesemak- formed by the Tulalip Tribes, tribe’s Quil Ceda Power com- generator to produce electric- ers are feeding the biodigester the Sno/Sky Agricultural Alli- pany. “When we start to bring ity. The leftover liquids go back instead of winding up in county ance and Northwest Chinook in money, it will help pay for to the farms to be used as fertil- sewers. Recovery, has a contract with some of the habitat restoration izer, and the biosolids are com- “Cheese whey makes the Puget Sound Energy to sell the projects we have planned.” posted on site to be sold to local digester more efficient,” power generated by methane The Tualco Valley, where soil companies. Williams said. “Cheese whey gas produced by cow manure. the Snoqualmie and Skykomish So far, 1,000 cows from the and manure work well together Qualco’s biodigester has been rivers join to form the Snohom- Werkhoven Dairy Farm are for increasing the release of operating since December, con- ish River, is home to thousands providing the manure, but ad- methane.” sistently producing 450 kilo- of acres of farmland. Waste ditional farmers are expected to – K. Neumeyer watt hours of energy – enough from dairy farms has been sign on.