Squaxin Island Tribe Studies Pocket Estuaries

The tribe is looking for places where salmon and other fish live in the saltwater:

The Squaxin Island Tribe is studying tiny pocket estuaries in deep South Sound to find out how important they are to endangered juvenile chinook salmon. The research is being funded by the state Salmon Recovery Funding Board.

“Anywhere a small stream flows into Puget Sound, juvenile chinook salmon can find refuge,” said Scott Steltzner, research biologist for the tribe.

For the next three years tribal researchers will be collecting data on juvenile salmon usage in at least 10 pocket estuaries south of the Tacoma Narrow Bridge. “Dozens of creeks flow into deep South Sound, but we don’t know if many chinook use these estuaries,” Steltzner said. Puget Sound chinook are listed as “threatened” under the federal Endangered Species Act.

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