Lake Quinault Management Plan
The Quinault Indian Nation Division of Natural Resources (QDNR) is developing a Lake Quinault Management Plan to guide future management of the Lake. The plan will be based on best available science and be informed by the input of tribal members, managing jurisdictions and the Lake community.
The Quinault Indian Nation owns and manages the waters and bed of Lake Quinault up to its Ordinary High Water Mark (generally the natural vegetation line on the shore). The management and regulatory authority for areas around Lake Quinault above the Ordinary High Water Mark is shared between the National Park Service, the US Forest Service, Grays Harbor County, and the Quinault Indian Nation (within its reservation).
Lake Quinault provides important habitat for Blueback – a culturally, ecologically, and economically vital sockeye species to the Quinault Indian Nation. Activities below the Ordinary High Water Mark, like bulkhead construction, docks, dumping debris, poaching, introducing non-native plants or animals, and disturbing the nearshore areas, can cause harm to the Lake and Blueback population. Activities above the Ordinary High Water Mark, like vegetation clearing, leaking onsite sewage systems, and herbicide use can also cause harm to the Lake and the Blueback.
To make sure the Lake Quinault Management Plan reflects your values and concerns, the QDNR is requesting that all community members share what you value most about the Lake and what issues are most important to you. You can do this by completing an online survey. It only takes 10 minutes and you will also be entered into a raffle to win a gift card!
All community members are encouraged to access the online survey here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/FL5ST9M
Community Outreach update 10/1/2021:
The SurveyMonkey online survey will close at the end of November. As of September 29 we received 204 responses, with 57% coming from QIN members. The raffle for $50 gift cards will take place after the survey closes and winners will have their cards just in time for the holidays!
Community outreach around the Lake Quinault Management Plan has been ongoing since April 2021. QDNR and consultants have been meeting with agency personnel and community members to discuss the plan and gather ideas for what should be included. Two in-person meetings were held with community members in August. In general, recommendations from community engagement meetings focused on a few specific topics: onsite sewage systems, control of predator fish, control of aquatic invasive species, dock building, drift log management, boating, access, and communications. Meetings with agencies often delved deeper into procedural authorities, such as which jurisdiction regulates onsite sewage systems in different upland areas around the lake.
A full summary of results of the community engagement and the online survey will be included in the draft plan. We are planning in-person open houses at the lake and in Taholah for spring 2022 to get feedback on draft recommendations in the plan.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Why is the Quinault Indian Nation undertaking this plan now?
The Quinault Indian Nation is developing the plan to set long-term strategies to protect and restore the health of Lake Quinault for the benefit of the entire lake community. The Quinault Indian Nation wants everyone who visits and lives along Lake Quinault to respect the natural beauty of the lake and ensure the lake and its Blueback population stay healthy. The beauty, tranquility, and bounty of Lake Quinault draws visitors to the lake. The lake-dependent businesses and lodgings depend on a healthy Lake Quinault to succeed.
The planning process is designed to provide opportunities for the lake community to share their values and concerns and to provide feedback on the plan recommendations.
- How can I comment on the plan?
There are several ways that Lake Quinault community members can share what they value most about the Lake and what issues are most important to them. First you can complete an online survey. It only takes 10 minutes, and you will also be entered into a raffle to win a gift card! https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/FL5ST9M
QDNR will also be holding two open houses in late summer to present the draft plan recommendations and receive community feedback. The open houses are planned to be held in Taholah and at the lake. To see when these events are scheduled, check this project webpage.
- What kinds of recommendations will the plan have?
The plan will include recommended strategies to protect the lake from damaging activities in and around the lake. All recommendations will be based on best available science and will include examples of effective management actions being taken in other lakes in the region. For example, to prevent introduction of aquatic invasive species into the lake, the plan will likely recommend continuation of boat inspections and boat washing.
- What about activities above the Ordinary High Water Mark? How can the plan impact these activities if the Quinault Indian Nation does not own the land?
The management and regulatory authority for areas around Lake Quinault above the Ordinary High Water Mark (OHWM) is shared between the National Park Service, the US Forest Service, Grays Harbor County, and the Quinault Indian Nation. The Quinault Indian Nation owns and manages the waters and bed of Lake Quinault up to the OHWM.
The plan will assess the impacts of uses and activities above and below the OHWM and will include recommended strategies to protect the lake from damaging activities above and below the OHWM.
- What types of activities will the plan address?
The plan will assess the impacts of the following types of activities that can harm the lake and Blueback populations:
Land use activities below the OHWM:
- Shoreline bulkheads
- Mooring buoys
- Dumping debris
- Water withdrawals
- Removal of large driftwood
Land use activities above the OHWM:
- Clearing of vegetation and removal of large driftwood
- Runoff of pollutants, like fertilizers
- Leaking onsite sewage systems
- Boating activities (motorized)
- Release of gas and oil and other pollutants
- Introducing non-native vegetation and non-native animals (like snails) that harm the natural ecological balance of the lake
- Disturbance of nearshore habitats important to Blueback
- How will this plan affect fishing opportunities?
The plan will not be a regulatory document and so will not affect fishing opportunities. It may provide recommendations on how to protect and conserve native fish populations in the lake that the QIN may use in the future to revise fishing regulations.
Relevant QDNR Links: