DNR partners with Department of Ecology, Squaxin Tribe and South Sound Salmon Enhancement group to restore Puget Sound

From the DNR blog Ear to the Ground: http://washingtondnr.wordpress.com/

DNR and its partners have removed 3,150 square feet of overwater docking structure — the last remaining overwater structure on Squaxin Island. Removed were 48 creosote treated wood pilings and 84.6 tons of creosote treated wood.

The dock, which provided tribal members access to an old long house on the island, is the second phase of creosote removal for this project. A 400-foot rock bulkhead along the Squaxin Island shoreline, adjacent to the dock, was also removed by the South Sound Salmon Enhancement Group.

Squaxin Island has documented surf smelt spawning habitat in that area. Removal of the treated wood and over water structures will improve the habitat for the smelt, as well as other species, such as migrating salmon.

Large structures that are built in the nearshore environment have been known to cast large shadows in the shallow waters that are used for migrating fish. These shadows are seen as a threat causing the fish to swim around them into deeper water where predators can eat them.

By keeping the nearshore clear of overwater structures that block sunlight and don’t contain toxic chemicals, we can help improve migratory corridors for our fish that we depend on.

Photos courtesy of Monica Shoemaker/DNR

Photo: Monica Shoemaker/DNR

Tribal Fishery Feeds the State of Missouri

Early this October natural resources staff tagged 600 adult coho in Budd, Case and Hammersley Inlets with spaghetti tags. This easily visible tag is inserted just below the dorsal fin. Each tag contains a unique identification number and a phone number to the natural resources department.

Tag being inserted into an adult salmon.

These fish were captured by natural resources staff in the lower ends of the inlets in areas that are generally closed to Tribal fisheries during the coho managment season. The purpose of this study is to track when these fish move out of the inlets and where they ultimately end up.

More information on mangament for coho can be found at:

Fishing regulations and maps

Several weeks after tagging the Department began recieving calls from several grocery stores in St. Louis Missouri reporting Squaxin tags on salmon they were about to fillet. This was followed by a phone call from a fish processing plant in Missouri that had found numerous Squaxin tags in shipments of fish they were buying. According to the processing plant manager fish bought from South Puget Sound feed three quarters of the state of Missouri.