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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
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.
Auctioneer Jerry Toner leads the lively bidding.
Join us on
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or call (425) 788-1167.
Natural Market Scripts Card: Wild Fish Conservancy is excited to announce
that you can now support our work to preserve, protect and restore
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
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:
King County Employee Giving Program – If you are an employee
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!
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
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
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 till .
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
ICICLE CREEK UPDATE
Eliot Drucker, Wild Fish Conservancy Director of Science & Research (Physiology)
The Icicle Creek boulder field, January 2007.
With 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 mainstem 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 mainstem 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.
It’s winter. It’s night. It’s freezing. It’s science. It’s a WFC snorkel survey on Icicle creek.
During the summer and fall, resident rainbow trout in the upper basin were 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
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
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
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
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
It is hard to determine WDFW’s current intention regarding the
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.
Roy Iwai, Water Resources Research
Analyst, City of
Olympic Mudminnow, Novumbra Hubbsi, an endemic state species of concern.
The Olympic mudminnow was designated as a
sensitive species in
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
The partnership between Wild Fish Conservancy and the City of
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
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
Two female resident Killer Whales. Photo courtesy of whale-images.com
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,
The Southern Resident killer
whales feed primarily on chinook salmon and forage in
The recovery of Southern
Resident killer whales is clearly tied to restoring and maintaining a healthy
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
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
Wild Fish Conservancy's Conservation Ecologist,
Micah Wait, Wild Fish Conservancy Conservation Ecologist
The Wild Fish Conservancy’s Conservation Ecologist,
A juvenile chum caught along the west Whidbey coastline. Juvenile
salmon travel from natal rivers, such as the
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
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
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 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,
Instructors Needed for Spring Education Programs
Want 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
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
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