South Sound Salmon Forecast and Squaxin Annual Regulations

It’s time to get your boats ready and gear mended because fishing season is just around the corner.  We are expecting to see some good returns of Fall Chinook  with approximately 19,500 expected to come back to Tumwater Falls Hatchery this year.   The coho season was a real downer last year with record low returns but the forecast looks promising with expected net pen coho returns to be around 51,000.

Fall chum numbers look to be lower this year from last with 264,000  coming back to our region.  Being an odd year, escapement goals for Totten Inlet (Kennedy) will be 11,500 chum and Eld Inlet (McLane & Perry) will be 14,500 chum.

2011 Deep South Sound Salmon Forecast

You should  see some Pink salmon dipping down in our waters.  South Sound Pink returns for Puyallup and Nisqually are expected to be around the million mark.

Squaxin Island Tribe fishing regulations are available on the web! Currently we have no fisheries open, but when we do open for fishing all emergency regulations will be posted on our website.

Check out the  2011 Squaxin Annual Fishing Regulations here:

Squaxin Annual Chinook Fishing Regulations

Squaxin Annual Coho & Chum Fishing Regulations

If  you have any questions regarding the Squaxin Island Tribe’s salmon fisheries please contact:

Joseph Peters

Fish Biologist/Harvest Manager


Arcadia Boat Launch Closure

The long-awaited reconstruction of the Arcadia Boat Ramp will begin in early July.  Fishermen and clam diggers please be aware that the ramp will be closed to all traffic during the construction period and use of the parking lot will be limited.
The 2011 Tribal Canoe Journey Launching and the First Salmon Ceremony will be held on the recently acquired Collier property, located on the point just north of the construction site.
The badly damaged existing ramp will be replaced with a new two-lane ramp long enough to allow access at lower tides.
For information, contact: Dan Neelands, Construction Manager @ 360-432-3975,

Restoring the Deschutes Estuary would benefit salmon from all over Puget Sound

Salmon smolts from numerous Puget Sound river systems migrate into Budd Inlet. The Squaxin Island Tribe has been monitoring salmon usage there and we’ve found extensive use by juvenile salmon all over the region.

This isn’t really surprising. Deep south Puget Sound is one of the most productive areas in the world for the food juvenile salmon need. Its natural that they would evolve to migrate to a place with a lot of food before heading out to the ocean. To increase the habitat they prefer here would only benefit them.

The image above is based on coded wire tag (CWT) data taken from salmon found in Budd Inlet. CWTs are tiny pieces of metal inserted into the snouts of hatchery salmon so scientists can determine their origin.

While its likely there were some Deschutes origin chinook that were caught in the study, we can’t quantify their use accurately since they aren’t fitted with CWTs. We did see a surge in fish soon after the Deschutes hatchery made their releases.

Puget Sound chinook are currently listed under the federal Endangered Species Act.

An article in the right hand column of page 12 of this magazine summarizes the tribe’s research in juvenile salmon usage in Budd Inlet and throughout deep South Sound.

The myth of the connection between Wilder and White and Capitol Lake

The creation of what we now know as Capitol Lake was not the natural outgrowth of a landscaping plan for the Capitol Campus. Rather, it was the result of a decades-long lobbying effort by local businessmen, politicians and city-fathers to create an appealing water feature and “scrape the moss off” Olympia.

Recently, lake defenders have distorted the origin story of Capitol Lake for use as a cloak of legacy. The defenders of the lake present the argument that the Wilder and White plan for the campus was the origin of the lake idea. This position is wrong. They claim that restoring the estuary would disparage our own history. The true origins of Capitol Lake inform not only our misunderstanding of local history, but also how we move forward with the future of the lake and the Deschutes River estuary.

The initial campus plan called for a modest reflecting pool, but it was a group of prominent Olympia citizens that suggested creating a much larger lake by impounding the Deschutes River with a dam running east-to-west. This more drastic proposal was not embraced by the State Capitol Commission and was immediately rejected.
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