Stillaguamish Tribe Department of Natural Resources
What We Will Cover Co-managing the Fisheries Natural history and cultural significance Life cycle – redds to estuary Fish identification with live hatchery fish Life cycle – to the sea and back Life history requirements Status of local stocks Challenges and solutions
Salmon evolved about 40 million years agofollowing the end of the Cretaceous Period. (Fish had been around since 400 million years ago.) Raven 1986
Over the next 20 million years, global cooling shifted productivity from fresh water to the oceans, and increased food availability.Pacific salmon ( ) separated from Atlantic salmon ( )20 million years ago. Speciation occurred with emergence of different types of water systems: lakes, rivers, small streams, etc.
For example: the Extinct by the Pleistocene 2Million Years ago By Stanton Fink (left) and Ray Troll (right)
Food for wildlifeWatershed nutrientsQuinn 2005 (ecosystem services)
How are salmon different from 99% of other fish?
Anadromous & Semelparous Migratory fish that live mostlyat sea and breed in fresh water. And breed once in their lifetime.
Alevin Emergence FryAdult The Salmon lifecycle Parr Smolt
Average eggs laid 2000 – 4000, largely depending on size. Eggs and alevin need cold, oxygenated water in the gravel. Time to hatching depends on temperature & oxygen. In general, . At 5°C 87 – 120 days, depending on species. At 10°C, 60 – 80 days. Quinn 2005
Alevins with yolk sacs in the gravel, this is a very sensitive stage. Alevins tend toburrow throughspaces betweengravel and orient themselves upstream.
Emerging Chinook fry (in the Stillaguamish River, this happens in about four to five months – so Feb to March) Survival rates Eggs to hatching: pink 11%, Coho 25%, Chinook 38%Egg to migrant Chinook survival based on Stillaguamish smolt trap data averages 10%.
Pinks and chumtend to headstraight to theestuary.Chinook will rearupriver if suitablehabitat is available.In Alaska, moreChinook are‘stream-type’.Chinook spendmore time inestuaries than pinkor chum (this canmean Puget Sound Quinn 2005at large).
Coho tend to spend ayear in freshwater, .Trout may spend asmany as three years.They feed on algaeand aquatic insectsfound on streambottoms or in ponds. Quinn 2005As they grow they willeat small fish. They need places of refuge & well oxygenated water. They can be territorial.
Changes that OccurIon regulation, color, thyroid hormones, shape. Fish become silvery and elongated Chinook fry left and in the process of smolting, right. (Quinn/Bell)
Optimal Out-migrant Habitat Eelgrass beds Salt marsh Pocket estuaries
Small pocketestuaries formbehind small spits,often withfreshwater inputs,are good foodsources andprotection frompredators.
Our salmon travel to the North Pacific Ocean. (Salmon tagged at sea and recovered in N Am or Japan. Quinn 2005)At sea, salmon tend to stay in near surface waters and move toward surface at night (as does zooplankton).
Life at Sea Populations from other rivers converge. Gain 90% of their bodyweight, eating fish, squid, crustaceans. Orient by using magneto-reception, N ocean temperatures.
Life at SeaMarine survival estimates: 5% or less Overall survival is less than 1% - but given appropriate habitat this may be enough to sustain a population.
Life at SeaSalmon get caught and we like to eat them!
Sockeyerear in lakeseatingzooplanktonLeft to right: Daphnia,Diaptomus, Cyclops Quinn 2005
In the estuary Chinook eatzooplankton and invertebrates, smallfish, larval crabs and as they grow eatlarger fish.Crab Neomysis top &zoeae top, Corophium amphipodsCrabmegalopbottomBy Greg Jensen Ctenophore
Threats facing salmon today and efforts at recovery Habitat loss and degradation Over fishing Pollution Changing ocean conditions
Puget Sound Chinook were listed as threatened under the endangered species act in 1999. At least 34% of Puget Sound salmon stocks are depressed, in critical condition, or already extinct.In CA, OR, ID, & WA, salmon are now extinct in 40% of therivers in which they historically spawned. 30 – 50% ofremaining stocks are in jeopardy.
Local Threatened Stock Status Less than 7%historic estimatesNorth Fork Chinook: 1060South Fork 188 (Includes Skykomish andSnoqualmie rivers)Chinook (Sky and Sno)Bull trout (NF Sky, SF Sky, Salmon Creek,Troublesome Creek)
Local recovery efforts consist of groups focused on habitat enhancement plus hatcheries. • Stillaguamish Watershed Council • Snohomish Salmon Forum • Sound Salmon Solutions • Local fish clubs and many more • Stillaguamish Restoration hatchery enhances spawning success and is not a ‘fish farm’
In the Stillaguamish River Chinook harvest is not permitted for the public or the Stillaguamish Tribe.In 2009, the Tribe had their first ceremonial take of Chinook in over 20 years. They caught two.Limited hatchery Chinook harvest is permitted in the Snohomish Basin. Following: photos of Stillaguamish Hatchery operation
The Stillaguamish Tribe restorationSpawning hatchery releases tens of thousands of Chinook fry each year, and educates several hundred students.
Issues related to salmon decline How you can help!
Over-fishing and Poaching Report suspicion or evidence of poaching to WA Dept of Fish & wildlife. 877-933-9847
Report all lost gear to WA Dept. of Fish and wildlife. 800-477-6224 Report all spills to the local port authority.Derelict Fishing Gear2.6 million pounds in Puget Sound kill millions of animals each year
Practice good water quality behavior Volunteer to help restore stream buffers and instream conditions Fence streams from livestock (good for our water too!) Report lost fishing gear Restore salt marsh/estuary/nearshore habitat Restoration hatcheries
Steelhead salmon and/or Rainbow Trout The most diverse life history. Can spawn multiple times(iteroparous), can reside entirely in freshwater or migrate to sea. Spawn in spring rather than fall.
Cutthroat troutSpring spawner, found on both sides of Rockies, can be freshwater resident, iteroparous. Have adfluvial (live in lakes, spawn in streams) and sea-run types.
Pink and sockeye females at seaFemale chum and female coho at sea
Chinook or king orblackmouth salmon The largest and leastcommon Pacific salmon. Mature at 4 – 6 years. Favored food of orcas. 2011 Forecast Stillaguamish: 665 Snohomish: 589211 Charles Wood in Quinn 2005
Chum or dog salmonOncorhynchus keta Third most abundant species, mature at 3, 4, or 5 years of age.2011 ForecastStillaguamish :11,314Snohomish: 9,572
Coho or silver or blueback salmonOncorhynchus kisutch Mature from 2- 4 years.2011 ForecastStillaguamish: 66,600Snohomish: 180,000
Sockeye or red salmonOncorhynchus nerka Second most abundant species, live mostly in lakes when in freshwater.
Pink or humpy salmonOncorhynchus gorbuschaThe smallest and most abundantsalmon. Mature at 2 years. 2011 Forecast Stillaguamish: 657, 643 Snohomish: 1,332,388!!! Get yer smokers ready!