Mail: qdnr@quinault.org   Phone: 1-360-276-8211 x7001

Quinault Fisheries

Lake Quinault Ownership Affirmed

federal court STANDS BY 2019 RULING THAT AFFIRMED LAKE Quinault IS OWNED BY THE QUINAULT NATION Taholah, WA – The Federal Circuit Court of Appeals on January 10, 2020 affirmed the U.S. Court of Federal Claims dismissal of a lawsuit that sought to revoke the ownership of Lake Quinault from the Quinault Indian Nation. The July 24, 2019 dismissal by the Court of Federal Claims affirmed two prior court decisions rejecting the claim that the Quinault Nation has no jurisdiction over the lake. “The court’s decision should mark the end of this misguided challenge to the Nation’s ownership of...

Chehalis Basin Restoration Plan Critical

CHEHALIS BASIN RESTORATION PLAN CRITICAL FOR SPRING CHINOOK SAYS QUINAULT NATION Taholah, WA – The Washington State Office of Chehalis Basin today released for public comment the Phase 1 draft of the Aquatic Species Restoration Plan (ASRP) for the Chehalis Basin, the largest river system contained entirely within the state. The ASRP is being developed jointly by the state, the Confederated Tribes of the Chehalis Reservation, the Quinault Indian Nation and other interests in the Basin. “We appreciate the ambitious scale of the ASRP and the opportunity to join with our Basin neighbors to reverse decades of habitat degradation...

Blueback Closure Latest Climate Change Impact

The decision to close commercial fishing for Quinault River blueback (sockeye) salmon for conservation purposes this year is part of the ongoing effort by the Quinault Indian Nation to deal with the very tangible costs of climate change. After announcing the blueback closure on the river last week for 2019, Quinault President Fawn Sharp traveled to Washington, D.C. with a message for Congress about how the entire Quinault ecosystem from the glacier to the ocean is being harmed by climate conditions that have major impacts, economically as well as environmentally. “We are really trying to do some forecasting, not...

Quinaults Can Regulate Water Quality

The Quinault Indian Nation can now regulate water quality on bodies of water within the reservation under a new U.S. Environmental Protection Agency action that provides the tribe with the same authority under the Clean Water Act as the state of Washington. The EPA last week approved a Quinault request to assume responsibilities of the Clean Water Act’s Water Quality Standards and Certification programs. “Specifically, this approval will enable the QIN to establish the regulatory and scientific foundation for protecting water quality by setting water quality goals and standards for the surface water bodies within the reservation,” the EPA...

Quinault Officials Skeptical of Chehalis River Dam

A month-long “scoping” period began Friday as state and federal regulators develop a framework for what will be examined in a pair of environmental impact statements on a proposal to build a dam to control flooding in the Chehalis River basin. Note: For more complete and recent information on the proposed dam please click HERE. The scoping process is to get public comment on the breadth of the environmental review. The Quinault Indian Nation immediately submitted a series of questions and concerns about the proposed Chehalis River dam, including how much it would cost, who will pay for it...

Governor Inslee Announces Agreement to Boost Salmon

Governor Inslee announced yesterday that representatives from the United States and Canada have agreed to recommend their governments approve new coast-wide fishing agreements under the Pacific Salmon Treaty. The agreement outlines each nation’s fishery management plans for Chinook, coho and chum stocks from 2019 to 2028. If approved, the treaty will result in more salmon returning to Washington and Oregon waters, where many populations are listed for protection under the federal Endangered Species Act. Governor Inslee Says This Step Comes at a Crucial Time “This step comes at a crucial time as we continue to see declines in Chinook...

WDFW Authorizes Transfer of Atlantic Salmon into Net Pens

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) has authorized Cooke Aquaculture to transport about 800,000 juvenile Atlantic salmon from the company’s hatchery in Rochester, Wash., to existing net-pen facilities in Puget Sound. WDFW issued the fish transport permit this week after working to ensure Cooke had met all of the state’s requirements for fish health. Earlier this year, state lawmakers passed legislation to phase out Atlantic salmon net pen operations in Puget Sound as soon as 2022. Cooke is continuing its operations in the meantime. On Aug. 2, Cooke submitted applications to move a total of 800,000 1-year-old...

State Must Replace Hundreds of Culverts to Save Salmon Habitats

In order to save Salmon habitats, Washington taxpayers face a bill of some $2.4 billion to repair hundreds of culverts over the next 11 years as a result of a U.S. Supreme Court decision Monday. Divided 4-4 with Justice Anthony Kennedy not participating, the tie lets stand a decision by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that the state was violating a series of tribal treaties with culverts that block salmon coming from and going to spawning grounds. Gov. Jay Inslee said the ruling brings “finality” to the long-running battle, and hopes various groups can work together to...

Poacher Gets Busted With 1,088 Sea Urchins

Sea urchins, those spiny creatures beach goers carefully avoid stepping on, are a hot commodity. Sometimes too hot. A sea urchin poacher was caught Jan. 7 when he pulled into Tacoma’s Breakwater Marina just east of Point Defiance Park. Officer Jake Greshock with the state Fish and Wildlife Department’s Central Sound Marine Detachment was watching the commercial diver from shore as he harvested green sea urchins north of the Tacoma Narrows bridges. When Greshock checked the diver’s 1,500 pounds of sea urchins at the marina he found several under the minimum 2 1/4-inch size limit. He called in three other officers and Sgt....

Dramatic Decline in Genetic Diversity of Northwest Salmon

Columbia River Chinook salmon have lost as much as two-thirds of their genetic diversity, Washington State University researchers have found. The researchers reached this conclusion after extracting DNA from scores of bone samples, some harvested as many as 7,000 years ago, and comparing them to the DNA of Chinook salmon currently swimming in the Snake and Columbia rivers. Preserving genetic diversity is a central goal of the Endangered Species Act, in part because it helps a species adapt to changing environments. Yet it is rarely measured to this degree. Writing in the journal PLOS One, the researchers say their analysis...