Saturday, June 24, 2017

Water

Stewarding fresh water and ocean fisheries

Water is a life force on the Quinault Indian Reservation. Water moves in the form of ocean, river, glacier, lake, fog, wetland, seep and spring – not to mention 120 inches of annual rain.

Water is vital for
* drinking water
* fishing economy
* transportation
* fish and wildlife habitat
* cultural observances
* community life and recreation

Three major rivers – the Queets, Raft, and Quinault – flow west from the Olympic Mountains across the Reservation to the sea. For centuries villages have been raised along the banks of these rivers that provide spawning and rearing grounds for a diversity of fish including the iconic “blueback” sockeye salmon, steelhead, bull trout, and coho, chinook and chum salmon.

Clouds, fog and forest growth help keep temperatures moderate all year round. This moisture and moderate temperature ensure plant growth and provides habitat for a wide variety of creatures. Prairie wetlands throughout the Reservation provide open grazing for deer and elk, habitat for birds and smaller mammals, and sunlight and rich nutrients for berries and other food, medicinal and basketry plants.

Twenty-five miles of unspoiled Pacific shoreline comprise the western border of the Reservation. Coastal waters provide razor clams, Dungeness crabs, black cod, halibut, mussels and seaweeds for traditional foods and medicines. They are home to seals, otters, whales and hundreds of species of birds. Tidal pools feature sea anemones and other marine creatures.

The Quinault Indian Nation monitors water quality in its rivers, in Lake Quinault and along the coast. QDNR has a water quality program to help the Nation maintain cool clean water for fish, wildlife and human uses.