Suquamish Fisheries Dept.
18490 Suquamish Way
Suquamish, WA 98392
It is the mission of the Fisheries Department to preserve, protect and enhance treaty reserved resources within the Tribal usual and accustomed grounds and stations for subsistence, ceremonial, cultural and commercial benefits for present and future generations of Suquamish Tribal members.
- Fisheries Administration
- Fin Fish
- Salmon Enhancement
- Salmon Recovery
- Environmental Program
- Tribal Enrollment
- Archaeology & Historic Preservation Program
Tribal Enrollment identifies and processes enrollment for Automatic, Tribal, and Legal Adoption. It also handles lineage testing for Enrollment, as well as licensing qualified Tribal members for salmon or shellfish harvesting activities, as guaranteed by the Point Elliot Treaty of 1855.
The Marine Fish Program is responsible for the management of all marine fish stocks. The majority of staff time is spent on salmon species. Both fisheries management and salmon stock assessment activities primarily focus in and around the Kitsap Peninsula. Salmon management activities include preseason fishery planning (Pacific Fisheries Management Council /North of Falcon process, Puget Sound Salmon Management Plan implementation), and in-season fishery management (run size assessment, harvest coordination, harvest allocation, catch monitoring, test fisheries). Salmon stock assessment work includes stock identification (coded wire tag sampling, genetic stock identification sampling), stock age structure (scale sampling), and spawning escapement enumeration. Other marine species actively managed include halibut, herring, steelhead and a number of bottom fishes.
The Salmon Enhancement program provides the salmon brood stock necessary to restore and/or expand salmon runs within the Suquamish usual and accustomed fishing area, with emphasis on East Kitsap County. The primary goal is to provide salmon for Tribal 10E fisheries through two elements: (1) restore naturally spawning chum and coho populations, and (2) provide hatchery chinook and coho for harvest without impacting listed species or other weak wild salmon stocks. Staff members operate and maintain two brood stock hatcheries, one marine net pen facility, and a second net pen facility operated jointly with the Muckleshoot Tribe, and 14 satellite facilities.
The Shellfish Program provides both shellfish harvest management and enhancement services to Tribal members. Some of the activities include:
•Providing technical analysis for negotiation for 8 shellfish species’ harvest agreements and intertribal allocation agreements each year between Suquamish, other Tribes and the State of Washington,
•Conducting geoduck and intertidal clam population surveys,
•Assessing crab condition to limit harvest of soft crab,
•Assessing size, sex, & condition of shrimp prior to commercial fisheries to protect the long-term health of the population.
•Scheduling of over 50 commercial shellfish openings,
•Monitoring harvest and accounting for catch in all shellfish fisheries,
•Actively coordinating tideland lease agreements which allows the Tribe to enhance and harvest manila clams on private properties within Dyes Inlet basin,
•Testing for PSP biotoxin and monitoring water quality.
The Environmental Program is responsible for the protection of Treaty-reserved fishery resources, aquatic habitat, and cultural resources within the Suquamish Tribe’s Usual and Accustomed fishing area (U & A). The program currently focuses its resources within Kitsap, King, and Snohomish counties. The Environmental Program of the Fisheries Department also has two staff archaeologists to address cultural resources issues. Suquamish Tribal archaeologists are the primary contacts for cultural resources management topics within the adjudicated Usual & Accustomed fishing area of the Suquamish Tribe. Tribal archaeologists work with the Suquamish Tribal Council, Tribal members, and Tribal staff to deal with traditional cultural places, archaeological resources, and discoveries of human remains.
Fisheries processes registration and licensing of Tribal vessels used in harvesting operations, and regulates Tribal hunting activities and issues hunting licenses to Tribal members.
Fisheries also coordinates volunteers who help maintain habitat, preserve and increase harvests.