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Read this newsletter with photos and video clips, as well as past issues on our website: www.washingtontrout.org/newsletters.shtml
Wild Fish Runs, November 2003
News and updates from Washington Trout
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For more information on any of these topics, please check out our website at www.washingtontrout.org.
Wild Fish Runs is a bi-monthly publication for Washington Trout’s members and supporters to provide program updates and networking assistance. Washington Trout is a conservation-ecology organization dedicated to the preservation and recovery of Washington’s wild fish and the habitat they depend on. Since 1989, Washington Trout has sought to improve conditions for all of Washington’s wild fish through research, advocacy, and habitat restoration. Washington Trout is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization.
Land Use and Coho Prespawning Mortality in the Snohomish Watershed
Pre-spawning mortality occurs when adult salmon returning to streams and rivers die before they are able to spawn. To some extent, this is a natural phenomenon. It is known that predation by dogs, bears, otters, heron, and other animals that prey upon adult salmon contributes to pre-spawning mortality. Similarly, when streamflows drop quickly after a storm event, adult salmon may die from stranding before they are able to spawn. However, Washington Trout and NOAA Fisheries have recently observed alarmingly high rates of coho salmon (Onchorynchus kisutch) prespawning mortality in several urbanized watersheds in Seattle, suggesting that compromised water quality is also contributing to pre-spawning mortality. Despite its significant implications, the extent to which pre-spawning mortality occurs and its relationship to land use in Western Washington has not been studied.
In summer 2003 Washington Trout received a competitive grant through the Environmental Protection Agency’s Regional Geographic Initiative to perform coho salmon spawning-success surveys within sub-basins of the Snohomish watershed in Western Washington. Project partners include Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and NOAA Fisheries. Through this first-year field investigation, Washington Trout will document the spatial and temporal extent of coho salmon pre-spawn mortality in the Snohomish watershed, and catalogue and investigate the relationship of these occurrences with watershed characteristics and land use patterns.
Washington Trout’s spawning success surveys began in late October – stay posted for project updates and preliminary observations.
Washington Trout Field Biologist Mary Lou White measures and assesses the carcasses of chinook and coho salmon on Peoples Creek, a small tributary to the Snoqualmie River in King County.
Schoolhouse Creek Restoration Project:
Washington Trout and subcontractor R2 Resource Consultants are putting the finishing touches on the design and construction logistics for this low-gradient rearing habitat restoration project on the Washougal River in Skamania County. The next steps include a presentation of the proposed restoration actions to the adjacent landowners, and seeking permits for the project from the relevant county, state, and federal agencies.
Seattle Spawning Surveys
October marked the beginning of Washington Trout’s fifth consecutive year of performing salmon spawning surveys for Seattle Public Utilities. Washington Trout is performing weekly surveys of Thornton, Pipers, Longfellow, Fauntleroy, and Taylor Creeks in Seattle to document the number and species of live salmon and salmon carcasses, and the distribution of salmon redds, or nests. As in previous years, Washington Trout is evaluating salmon carcasses to determine if the salmon have spawned successfully.
In addition to the five Seattle streams, this fall Washington Trout is performing semiweekly spawning surveys on Des Moines Creek in the City of Des Moines. Here, Washington Trout surveyors are specifically focusing on evaluating the spawning success of the salmon that return to the creek.
Katherine Lynch (Seattle Public Utilities), Dale Russell and Bill McMillan (WA Trout) document spawning coho salmon nests (redds) in a pool tailout. Des Moines Creek is an urbanized watershed that flows into Puget Sound in southwestern King County.
NFWF Presentation in Atlanta
On October 13th, Washington Trout Conservation Biologist Micah Wait presented the findings of WT’s culvert project assessment to the Board of Directors of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. NFWF contracted WT to provide a quantitative and qualitative evaluation of the fisheries benefits arising from NFWF-funded fish passage restoration projects in the Pacific Northwest.
The presentation was titled: Evaluation of Fisheries Benefits Arising from the Repair, Replacement, and Removal of Culverts for Selected Projects Funded by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. The presentation consisted of a brief history and scope of culverts and associated ecological issues, summary and quantitative statistics generated by the assessment, issues and problems encountered during the assessment, and WT’s conclusions and recommendations for the Foundation.
This September and October, one hundred 4th and 5th grade students learned about the importance of native plants, native animals, and healthy ecosystems by participating in the Environmental Discovery Program, a joint educational project of Washington Trout and Stewardship Partners. The EDP is a hands-on, classroom and field-based environmental education program originally developed by Stewardship Partners that brings students from Seattle and the Snoqualmie Valley out to Oxbow Farm, an organic farm located between Duvall and Carnation on SR 203.
The program consists of full day field trip to Oxbow Farm, a pre-field trip classroom visit, and a follow-up classroom visit. The Environmental Discovery Program is all about “discovering” the outdoors, and students take advantage of the two classroom visits and wonderful farm setting to learn about native plants and animals, go exploring on guided nature hikes, and awaken their appreciation for the great outdoors. The Fall 2003 season field trips took place the week of September 29th, with classroom visits occurring the weeks of September 22nd and October 13th.
Three classes make up the field trip – Animal Lives, Plant Identification, and Discovery Skills. Animal Lives emphasizes the importance of native animals, their habitat needs, and the delicate balance of an ecosystem through educational games and activities. A new activity was added this fall – The Journey Home – in which students role-play the journey of salmon as they return from the estuary to the spawning grounds. The Journey Home illustrates habitat needs such as log jams to create pools and protection, trees for shade to help control water temperature, ponds with slackwater and off-channel habitat to provide an area to rest, and gravel for the spawning grounds. Obstacles the salmon will face include animal predators, human fisherman, manmade physical barriers represented by the culvert and dam, and manmade chemical problems as one of the home creeks is “dead” due to pollution. The class is split so that most of the students are playing the role of the returning salmon, with the remaining students becoming animal predators and human fisherman.
In the Plant Identification class, students use a dichotomous tree key and field guides to identify and learn interesting facts about native trees and shrubs that are part of a re-vegetation project at Oxbow Farm. The main activity in Discovery Skills is a hike through a natural area that leads to Oxbow Lake. On the hike students are encouraged to explore the natural environment by looking at plant life, searching for animal tracks, listening for birds, and of course, collecting lots and lots of bugs.
WT Outreach Coordinator Leah Hausman helps two students use the dichotomous tree key during the Plant Identification class at Oxbow Farm.
The two classroom visits help prepare students for the field trip and build upon the lessons they have learned. Before the first classroom visit, students research an animal or plant native to the region and that they might find at Oxbow Farm. In the first classroom visit, several students give presentations on their research project and are then the class is introduced to vocabulary for the Plant Identification and Animal Lives classes, the use of field guides, and review the lifecycle and habitat needs of Pacific salmon. Students are given a field guide assignment to do on their own in-between the field trip and follow-up class visit. During the follow-up visit, students present on their field guide findings, participate in an activity about wetlands, and finish by creating a picture, poem, or story about their experience with the Environmental Discovery Program.
WT would like to thank our excellent volunteers, without whom the field trips and the overall program would not have been the outstanding success that it was: Brooke Alford, Barbara Bruell, Nancy Hahn, Reiko Myers, Anna-Karin Roo, and Keli Sullivan. WT would also like to thank Hancor Manufacturing for donating the piece of culvert that was used in “The Journey Home” to illustrate some of the habitat structures salmon face during their migrations.
Washington Trout believes strongly in the importance of environmental education and is moving towards expanding our outreach and education program capabilities. Coordinating the Environmental Discovery Program is a strong step towards realizing those goals. The Environmental Discovery Program will be held again in the spring of 2004. For more field trip pictures, stories by the students, and to learn more about this program, visit www.washingtontrout.org/EDP.shtml.
Defend the Clean Water Act – Comments due November 10th!
The Bush Administration is proposing changes to the Clean Water Act that would undermine protection of water quality in the nation’s rivers and streams.
The Environmental Protection Agency has issued a published a proposed new plan for Oregon water quality standards that will gut requirements that force polluters to clean up their act. Under the proposed plan, the federal government will prevent the public and state government from making the important decision about how clean their rivers and streams should be. The rule could also allow federal dams to pollute rivers by exempting them from current requirements under the Clean Water Act.
This “Oregon” rule is the first salvo in Bush Administration’s attack on the nation’s clean water -- it contains many of the same bad provisions that the EPA is proposing in an upcoming national water quality rule.
Your help is needed to keep the Bush Administration from moving ahead with this “dirty watersheds” plan for Oregon and the nation. Please send comments to the EPA communicating your opposition to the proposed rule. A fact sheet with details about the proposal and sample comments prepared by American Rivers to help you develop your own comments are available online at www.washingtontrout.org.
With 30 years of work under the Clean Water Act, great progress has been made in cleaning up our rives and streams. Don’t allow the Bush Administration to take this step backward; support continued strong protection for clean water.
Written comments must be submitted by Monday, November 10, 2003 to:
Valerie Badon, ORC-158,
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region X,
1200 Sixth Avenue, Seattle, WA 98101,
Attention Docket ID No. OW-2003-0068,
via e-mail: OW-Docket@epa.gov
Or take action immediately through American River's Eaction site:
Background: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is under federal court order to write new water quality standards for temperature and dissolved oxygen in Oregon. The order came from a lawsuit, Northwest Environmental Advocates v. EPA, that challenged EPA’s approval of Oregon’s 1996 water quality standards. These standards were inadequate to meet the requirements of the Clean Water Act (CWA) and the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Salmon, steelhead, and bull trout are cold-water species in Oregon that are listed as threatened and endangered under the ESA. High water temperatures cause disease, reproductive failure, and death in these fish.
Instead of protecting our salmon and rivers, though, the EPA rules actually propose a process to exempt federal dams from the Clean Water Act. The process sets in place a swift and strict time frame in which EPA would be required to consider lower standards for Oregon’s rivers and streams where federal dams affect them. The result would avoid controlling pollution and lower standards for clean water protection, harming water quality and all that depend on it, including Oregon communities and businesses that depend on healthy rivers as an economic resource.
The high-speed exemption proposed for federal dams stands in stark contrast to the proposal's lack of urgency in delaying actions to lower the lethal temperatures in Oregon's rivers and streams. These high temperatures cause disease, reproductive failure, and death in threatened and endangered salmon, steelhead, and bull trout.
This proposed exemption of federal dams from Oregon water quality standards is for the first step toward a promised national rule that would affect this nation's waterways and wildlife on a nationwide scale.
EPA is proposing a process that could exempt the operators of federal dams in Oregon from compliance with the Clean Water Act. This is the first public proposal that carries out proposals discussed over the last year for a new national “dirty watershed”. Federal dam owners like the Army Corps of Engineers and Bureau of Reclamation are seeking exemptions from water quality standards. A publicly leaked version of the dirty watershed rule shows EPA is working on developing a rule with a wide range of loopholes for many water polluters.
Conservation and environmental groups, as well as businesses and communities that rely on clean water and a healthy environment, are united in seeking to stop a federal dam exemption in any proposed rule.
For more information or questions, contact the Northwest Offices of American Rivers:
David Moryc, American Rivers Northwest Regional Office
320 SW Stark St., Suite 418
Portland, Oregon 97204
Washington Trout and Timber Creek cordially invite you to attend the last weekend of Visions of Nature, a benefit art show presenting works from regional and national artists, with proceeds from art sales benefiting Washington Trout’s wild fish recovery programs. The show is being held at Timber Creek, a Redmond gallery that specializes in fine art and country living accessories. Visions of Nature features the works of Nancy Glazier, John Austin Hanna, Earl Harper, Tim Harris, Tanya Hill and Gill Sanders. The show began with an artist reception on Saturday October 18th and runs through Sunday November 9th.
These artists capture their personal ‘vision of nature’ through oils, pastels, prints, wood carvings, and photography and have earned reputations for excellence within their fields. Tanya Hill’s work was recently described by renowned environmentalist and author David Foreman as “fascinating and intriguing; capturing the spirit of the wilderness.” Al Agnew of Wildlife Art News says of Gill Sander’s hand-carved wood trout, "The wood carvings of artists such as Gill Sanders do not rely upon colors and scale patterns to make the finny creatures look alive; that flowing efficient body form is an artistic statement in itself."
Washington Trout and Timber Creek hope that the Visions of Nature show will inspire you to bring a glimpse of the wild home with you and help protect the future of our wild salmon, trout, and char. Twenty-five percent of proceeds from art sales will go to support Washington Trout’s habitat restoration, research, advocacy, and community outreach programs. Visions of Nature will be held at Timber Creek, located at 25629 NE Redmond-Fall City Rd, Redmond, WA 98053. Timber Creek is open Friday & Saturday 11am - 6pm and Sunday 12-6pm.
More information about the participating artists and pictures of their work are available online at www.washingtontrout.org and www.timbercreekhome.com. If you have any questions please contact Washington Trout at (425) 788-1167, by email at email@example.com, or visit us online at www.washingtontrout.org.
The main gallery building at Timber Creek
Gill Sanders (left) and Earl Harper (right) at the Visions of Nature artist reception.
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. Check out the website for more information on volunteer opportunities and our calendar, which lists upcoming WT and other organizations’ events, meetings, classes, etc. Please contact Leah Hausman at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have an event you would like mentioned in Wild Fish Runs or on the website!
Give the Gift of Wildness this Holiday Season!
In this season of compassion, giving, and hope, please consider the gift of conservation – of healthy habitat and a future for wild fish – by giving a tax-deductible gift membership or holiday donation to Washington Trout.
Members at all levels receive regular and complete updates through the bi-monthly electronic newsletter Wild Fish Runs, and the semi-annual Washington Trout Report, our handsome and informative journal of Washington Trout activities and other important issues. The recipient of your gift membership at the $35 and $50 levels will receive the 2004 calendar, Trout of North America, illustrated by Joseph R. Tomellari, a beautiful appointment for the office or study of any wild-fish enthusiast. Joseph R. Tomellari’s remarkable drawings and paintings of North America’s wild fish set the scientific and artistic standard for taxonomic illustration. Each month features a different illustration of a representative trout or char, exquisitely rendered in full color, accompanied by a map of the fish’s native range, and brief summaries of each species’ habitat, traits, and natural history.
For gifts at the $150 level and up, members will receive the calendar and a copy of Washington: A Gallery of the Seasons, by renowned landscape photographer Bruce Heinemann, a collection of stirring color photographs illustrating Washington’s diverse natural beauty. In images both intimate and grant, Heinemann captures the diversity, beauty and value of Washington’s rich natural ecosystems. Heinemann’s photos have appeared in numerous publications, including Sierra, Audubon, and National Geographic. Of course, gifts and donations are tax-deductible.
To find out more about how you can support WT this holiday season while giving a unique, tax-deductible gift to a treasured friend, call the office at (425) 788-1167 or go online at www.washingtontrout.org/supportWT.shtml.
Washington Trout has a Don Hill 16 Foot Custom Guide Wood Drift Boat (Model 16ST) for sale. The boat is in like-new condition and has never been in the water. This model is described by Don Hill as the “best all-round boat.”
The hull is constructed of a single piece of ¼ inch marine plywood with a one-piece ½ inch marine plywood bottom with a custom epoxy finish. It is built with a removable front deck and knee brace, ½ inch floorboards and a sliding front seat for load balance. The chines, battens, stem and handrails are of the finest grade oak, and ribs and seats are made of clear vertical grain fir. WT’s comes with the optional front storage seat, front gear brace with deck, custom rear seat, and its own trailer.
All profits from the sale of this boat go to help fund Washington Trout’s wild fish recovery programs.
With an original price of $10,020, Washington Trout is selling the boat for the excellent value of $5000. Come see this beautiful craft for yourself, which is parked most days in front of the WT Store at 15629 Main St NE, Duvall, WA 98019. Pictures of the boat are available online at www.washingtontrout.org/driftboat.shtml. Please inquire on the boat by stopping by the store, calling us at 425-788-1167, or emailing email@example.com. You can also find out more information on the boat’s manufacturing at Don Hill River Boats.
It is that time of year again when employees have the option of directing their designating United Way dollars to the nonprofit organizations of their choice. We hope you will remember to write in “Washington Trout” in the designated giving section on your donation form. Since Washington Trout is not a United Way member agency, we do not receive any funding from the Community Safety Net fund unless individuals designate their gifts to Washington Trout. If you have any questions, please contact Leah Hausman: 425-788-1167 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Shop the WT Store and Support Salmon Recovery:
The WT Store is a fun way to open up the front of our office and make a space where people can come in, learn about Washington Trout, and buy something with the knowledge that all proceeds go to support WT. We have been trying to expand our inventory, bringing in new items and product lines that we think you and your family will enjoy.
We have a wide variety of items to appeal to adults, kids, and kids-at-heart: puppets; stuffed animals; scientific games and kits; tools to explore the outdoors; books to educate and entertain all age levels; Burt’s Bees and Bunny’s Bath personal products; art prints by Joseph Tomelleri, Tanya Hill, Jean Ferrier and original pastels by Tim Harris; chocolate; candles; computer map programs; cards; calendars; treats and gifts for your dog or cat; and of course, WT logo hats, fleece and travel coffee mugs.
The WT Store is open Tuesday – Saturday, 10am-5pm. We are located on SR 203 at 15629 Main St NE in Duvall, WA. If you need directions to the store, please call 425-788-1167 or email email@example.com.
You can do your usual online shopping and help support Washington Trout by shopping through the WT shopping village at GreaterGood.com. Choose from more than 100 brand name retailers like eBay, Amazon.com, PetsMart, The Disney Store, Dell, Lands’ End and many more. Up to 15% of everything you buy benefits Washington Trout. To go directly to the WT shopping village, visit http://www.greatergood.com/partner/washingtontrout.
WellSpent.Org is another great source for online shopping. WellSpent.org has thousands of products - including electronics, software, computers, tools, appliances, camping gear and much more - available at discount prices. Every purchase you make generates a donation for the non-profit cause of your choice. So visit http://www.wellspent.org/, search for Washington Trout, and help yourself to some great gifts - you'll be helping us, too!