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News and Updates from
Wild Fish Runs is a bi-monthly
publication for WT members and supporters to provide program updates and
networking assistance. WT is a conservation-ecology organization dedicated to
the preservation and recovery of
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. Please contact the office at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to volunteer or have an event you would like mentioned in Wild Fish Runsor on the website!
The year is almost over, a new year about to begin. Around here it is a season of chill and damp, of grey rain-swollen rivers running under dormant banks. But it’s also a season of feasts and holidays, when many of us celebrate important cultural, social, religious, and family traditions.
It has been a year of growth and accomplishment at Washington Trout, and we want to thank you, our members and supporters, for the commitment that made it possible. On behalf of the staff and board at Washington Trout, let me extend to you and yours our very best wishes during this season of celebration, hope, and joy.
The eggs of this year’s salmon runs are under the gravel for the most part, some Coho still finishing up in the high tributaries. Those eggs have a long way to go, a lot of hazards to face, before they emerge, grow, make it to the sea, and return to these same gravels. But for now, under the mantle of quiet winter, they hold the unlimited promise of this season, of abiding cycles that keep us all whole, physically, culturally, spiritually.
With your help and support, Washington Trout is going to
continue working everyday to protect and conserve the abiding cycles of
Again, please accept our best wishes for a happy holiday season, and a healthy and prosperous new year.
Very Truly Yours,
PCC Natural Market Scripts Card: Washington Trout is excited to
announce that you can now support our work to preserve, protect and restore
WT is now a participating partner in the PCC Scripts program. This program allows you to purchase a $50.00 PCC Scripts card directly from WT and use it the same as cash at any PCC Natural Market. WT will then receive 5% of the amount you spend as a donation. Once you purchase the card from the WT office you can recharge it as many times as you like at any PCC Market and WT will continue to receive 5% of every purchase.
For more information or to purchase your PCC Scripts card please contact the
WT office at 425-788-1167 or stop by the WT store on
This holiday season while pondering the perfect gift for a family member or friend, consider giving a gift that proudly demonstrates your passion for our treasured natural heritage and one that will truly and profoundly enrich the lives of the special people on your list. This holiday season give those near to you a Washington Trout Gift Membership.
A gift membership or donation to
Washington Trout will support critical wild fish research, education, advocacy,
and habitat restoration. Your thoughtful support will provide us with much
needed funds to carry out our mission to preserve, protect and restore
For more information or to purchase a Gift Membership please contact the WT
office at 425-788-1167 or stop by the WT store on
Shop the WT
Find the perfect gift with the knowledge that all proceeds support WT’s work
to preserve, protect and restore
The WT store is fully stocked with an exciting array of gifts including 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. We also carry TOPO! map and GPS programs; fun gifts for your dog or cat; and WT logo hats and fleece blankets. The store is packed with items for kids and the young-at-heart including: exciting and messy science kits; games, puzzles and tools to explore the outdoors; and a beautiful selection of animal hand puppets. Our book selection includes a broad selection of field guides, fish reference books and nature oriented fiction and children’s books.
You can view a few of our store items online at www.washingtontrout.org/store.shtml
and remember that our remaining stock of TOPO! Mapping programs are 40%
off through the holiday season. The Washington Trout store is
open Monday – Saturday from
‘til as well as Sunday Dec 24th
for that last minute shopping. If you need 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
Workplace Giving: This is also the time of year federal and state employees may designate a portion of their paycheck to Washington Trout. Workplace rules differ but here are a few ways you may designate dollars to WT;
United Way – It is that time of year again when employees
have the option of directing their designating
Work-Place Giving– If your employer does not participate in the United Way workplace giving program they still may allow you to direct money to the non-profit of your choice. Companies like Microsoft, REI 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 WT – if the option is not available then talk to your employer about starting one. It is a wonderful opportunity to showcase your employers dedication to environmental issues!
You Could Win This Beautiful Canoe!
Washington Trout is raffling this beautiful 15’,
36” wide 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 get 5 tickets for only $20 and the drawing will be held on
Come out and support WT at the following events. Also, be sure to save the date for WT’s annual Wild Fish Soiree Auction and Benefit. This gourmet wine and food experience is the highlight of WT’s annual social calendar. The ’07 event will be held at the lovely Chateau Ste Michelle in Woodinville on Saturday, May 19th.
Show, Booth 612,
Show, Booth 816,
v Wild Fish Soiree Auction and Benefit, Woodinville 5/19
For over a decade the Washington Department of Fish and
Wildlife has been announcing its intention to develop a revised statewide
steelhead-management plan. As a first step in developing a statewide plan, WDFW
is currently developing a new Steelhead Resource Management Plan (RMP) for
The Department has invited advocates of sport fishing and
conservation interests to participate on a Steelhead Plan Advisory Group, to
provide review and input on the developing plan. Washington Trout was invited
as an advocate of conservation interests and is being represented by WT
Eventually, the department will develop RMPs for every
steelhead management unit in
Steelhead photo by Bill McMillan
So far, WDFW has communicated mixed messages regarding the
purpose of the Puget Sound RMP. On the one hand, some WDFW staff, including
Department Director Jeff Koenings, have indicated that
the RMP is intended to convince NOAA Fisheries that ESA-listing of
The confusion regarding the ultimate goal of the RMP is a significant issue, and its resolution will determine whether WT and other members of the conservation caucus continue to participate with the Advisory Group. In the meantime, the conservation caucus has expressed its concern that several issues central to managing the recovery of wild steelhead populations are being inadequately addressed in WDFW’s proposed approach. Among the most prominent of these issues are: (1) WDFW’s estimate of historical steelhead abundance is too low; the RMP needs a valid baseline of historical wild steelhead abundance in order to properly judge the magnitude of the decline in abundance and diversity of wild populations and set robust recovery targets; (2) WDFW needs to adequately define and designate genuine wild-only steelhead management zones that encompass a broad spatial array of populations, life-history types, and stream sizes, including rivers as large as the Skagit; and (3) the need to drastically alter, reduce, or eliminate current steelhead hatchery programs, and to conduct scientifically credible tests of any proposed hatchery reform measures.
Washington Trout and the other members of the conservation caucus agree that these three issues, among others, constitute bottom lines for developing a scientifically credible plan for managing wild steelhead to recovery. At the moment we are in a wait-and-see mode regarding whether or not we should continue to participate on the Advisory Group.
Washington Trout supports the long overdue development of a
coordinated approach to managing wild steelhead recovery in
Director of Science & Research (Ecology)
Washington Trout is currently working with Seattle Public
Utilities to synthesize and summarize seven years of physical and biological
data regarding fish and fish habitat in five urban watersheds within the
SPU has used Washington Trout data to identify and implement
a variety of in stream habitat improvement projects, address water quality and
fish passage problems, and launch a significant effort to better understand the
Coho pre-spawning mortality phenomenon that affects several of
The report being developed by WT and SPU will summarize the
information gathered since 1999, and provide opportunities to improve how
With the information provided by Washington Trout’s data collection and analysis, SPU is now working with NOAA Fisheries, the US Fish and Wildlife Service, and other consultants that specialize in watershed processes. The systematic collection of fish and fish habitat data to inform City infrastructure management and habitat improvement decisions sets an important precedent for cities throughout the Northwest. We hope this precedent will be observed and mimicked by other cities in the region that are trying to balance growth, quality of life, and fish-recovery decisions.
Washington Trout is proud to have been involved with SPU in
the substantial on-the-ground data collection and analysis efforts since 1999,
and we look forward to many more years of providing the City with accurate
information about the fish and habitats within
Ramon Vanden Brulle
To stop current
fishing management from illegally jeopardizing the recovery of Puget Sound
Chinook salmon, Washington Trout joined the Salmon Spawning & Recovery
Alliance, the Native Fish Society, and the Clark-Skamania Flyfishers in filing
a complaint in
The Puget Sound
Comprehensive Chinook Management Plan: Harvest Management Component, a Resource Management Plan, or RMP,
was developed by
We think NOAA erred in approving the RMP in at least several ways. The RMP does not meet the criteria NOAA Fisheries set in 2000 for approving salmon-harvest plans. PS Chinook are caught in fisheries in Canada, Alaska, the Washington coast, and in Puget Sound, and when the catch is combined from all fisheries, the total harvest is too high for the listed salmon to recover. NOAA Fisheries failed to consider or impose changes in fishing practices, locations, seasons, gear, or methods as reasonable and prudent alternatives.
In 2002 NOAA Fisheries’ own Puget Sound Technical Recovery Team (TRT) issued criteria for determining the viability of individual populations of PS Chinook. However, the abundance targets developed for the harvest plan are often less than one-tenth of the TRT goals.
Even using the
inappropriate abundance-targets, NOAA acknowledges that currently approved
harvest rates are too high to allow recovery for important populations of PS
Chinook in the Cedar, Nooksack,
Besides all that, new information obligates NOAA Fisheries to re-open its evaluation. Data released in August 2006 demonstrates that impacts from Canadian fisheries on PS Chinook are much higher than previously believed. The ESA requires the federal agency to re-initiate its evaluation processes when new information shows that impacts on a listed animal are greater than expected.
Washington Trout and its co-plaintiffs respect and acknowledge Tribal rights to fish for salmon, and we support existing treaty obligations and NOAA regulations that offer strong protection for Tribal fishing rights. But impacts from Canadian and non-tribal US fisheries can be reduced while still honoring treaties with Native Americans. NOAA does have the ability and responsibility to regulate non-tribal fisheries to avoid jeopardizing Chinook recovery.
We are asking the court to order NOAA to withdraw its approval of the RMP and develop more appropriate salmon-harvest regulation.
Washington Trout staff and volunteers hosted the “Happy
Salmon Homecoming Poster Contest” at the Wenatchee River Salmon Festival at the
Leavenworth National Fish Hatchery from September 28th –
This year’s winner was 5-year-old Ryan Cooper from
Washington Trout will use Ryan’s winning artwork to develop
a poster that celebrates and promotes ongoing and new developments to restore
full and unencumbered passage for wild Chinook salmon, steelhead trout, and
bull trout in Icicle Creek. Diversion dams and other in stream structures
associated with the
Washington Trout’s Environmental Discovery Program kicked off its fifth year of providing exciting education programs for elementary school students. This fall, approximately 150 third, fourth, and fifth grade students from Duvall and Carnation all learned hands-on lessons about protecting and conserving healthy ecosystems.
The success and popularity of the
water-quality curriculum continued to increase this season. Teachers are
excited about the class, how it fosters critical thinking and allows students
to study issues in science, math, and social studies simultaneously. The water-quality unit includes a basic
review of the water cycle and watershed functions, and a discussion of point
and non-point source pollution. Students identify different human activities
that impact aquatic ecosystems, and in the field they collect water samples and
conduct chemical tests to determine if the
A lot of dedicated people help make this program a reality. Many thanks to our field instructors Brooke Alford, Barb Bruell, Aileen Ponio, Kate Reedy, Katy Shipe, and Cindy Uthus. We’d also like to thank the teachers who make time to bring their classes out to Oxbow Farm this fall, Judy Harris (Eagle Rock Multiage School), Krista Clowers, Pat Morrison, and Jerry Price (Stillwater Elementary), and Suzanne Boroughs (Duvall Christian School)- thanks again for your commitment to environmental education and we look forward to seeing you again next year.
In the winter of 2005 I took Issues in Environmental Science 201 at
I got to carry water, inspect juvenile fish, and record data
for a study monitoring the effectiveness of a new pump facility on Cherry Creek
Cherry Creek showed me how field research is conducted, but
when I went to
The Engineered Log Jam Study was the first project I participated in for a consistent period of time. The study reintroduced the idea and importance of log jams for habitat formation and stabilizing banks of rivers. I gained a deeper appreciation of the jams as we had to climb in and out of them trying to find the tags that track the wood and monitor the changes of the river. It was a first-rate experience to wade down the river and glance down into the deep pools formed underneath the log jams, and to see giant Chinook salmon stacked up waiting to spawn.
Being out in the field has been a new adventure each time. I have jumped out of the boat a little to soon, gotten stuck in knee deep mud, lost the bottom of my boot, peeled off some bark on a log only to find a group of bees underneath, and dropped my pencil down a log jam, but all of this made the experiences real. It was not just about conducting research; it was also knowing that this research will help us protect and conserve wildlife and habitat for the future.
I want to express nothing but admiration for the WT biologists, ecologists, scientists and the field crew who work incredibly hard on these projects for years at a time. My utmost gratitude goes to the crews for taking me along and being such excellent teachers. I’m currently honing my skills at mud sliding and getting into a boat without help. I would go back out in a heartbeat.
In October, Kristen left her position at WT to accept a research position at an environmental consulting firm. Throughout Kristen’s tenure as Outreach and Development Coordinator she worked tirelessly with the research and advocacy staff to inform WT members and the general public about WT’s mission, projects, and activities.
Kristen organized WT’s successful participation at events throughout the region, including the Stillaguamish Festival of the River, Wenatchee River Salmon Festival and the Northwest Flower and Garden Show. She played a key role in the success of WT’s annual Wild Fish Soiree.
Washington Trout wishes Kristen every success as she moves on to an exciting new phase of her career. We have no doubt she will continue to make a valuable contribution wherever she goes.
Tyler and his wife moved to
“This is an exciting
opportunity to make a difference,” says
“I identify with the urgency and sense of purpose that the team here at WT brings to their work,” he says.