2011 Annual Report
Russell A. Svec
The Makah Fisheries Management Department has continued to adapt to a reduced self-
governance budget, which primarily supports fisheries management and hatchery programs.
These programs are tailored to protect the treaty fishing rights of the Makah tribe through
standards defined in the Bolt decision of 1974. Although budget constraints create challenges
for our department, we continue to be optimistic in the direction we have chosen by developing
an ecosystem based management approach to our freshwater and marine resources.
From time in memorial, the Makah tribe has relied on its natural resources to sustain the health
and wellbeing of its people—it’s what gives us our strength as a native people. I know for some
this may be overly profound, but it is clearly the truth. For me, and others who serve as policy
and technical representatives for the Makah tribe in fisheries management, it is obvious that we
continue to maintain our culture and status as a fishing people, just as we’ve done in the past.
Thanks to our past and present leaders, and to the strong support of our tribal community, our
identity remains the same!
With changes in national leadership, and in many federal agencies, our challenges become even
greater as we continue to move into the future. The influence of overzealous environmental
groups on federal policies, the never ending lawsuits that challenge directly or indirectly the
treaty rights of the Makah tribe, and the uncertainties of world-wide climate change are just a
few examples of the multitude of management challenges that we face as we defend the treaty
fishing rights of the Makah tribe. Furthermore, because of challenges like these, the Makah
Fisheries Management department has developed a comprehensive fisheries program that can
address the issues that threaten our right to access the sea and its commercially valued fisheries,
on which our lifestyle and heritage depend.
It is important to understand that protecting our rights can only be done by having a strong
negotiating team, supported by a fisheries department with across-the-board programs that can
influence decision making processes in ways that favor our inherited right to pursue our
traditional/cultural values and protect our access to commercially valued marine resources.
As you read through our quarterly report, notice that each program has a unique role and
responsibility in fisheries management, but each program is also intimately related to one
another. This interrelationship of programs allows the department to comprehensively address
issues that affect the Makah tribe and its aquatic resources. It is the functioning body of the
Makah Fisheries Department that is charged with protecting our treaty rights, which define who
we are today as the Makah people.
“Makah Fisheries Management is dedicated to protecting, sustaining, and enhancing the
relationship between the Makah Tribe and the many aquatic species that play a vital part in both
the Tribe’s cultural and economic well being.
We seek to utilize the environmental awareness and philosophies shared by past generations in
an effort to preserve the rich cultural traditions and move forward towards a better tomorrow.
We use a sustainable ecosystem-based approach to manage our ceremonial and subsistence
fisheries, commercial fisheries, and the aquatic and marine habitat within the Makah Usual and
Accustomed Hunting and Fishing Grounds and Stations.
We, the MFM staff, are dedicated, committed, and competent to serve our community in working
to conserve, restore, and enhance our freshwater and marine fishery resources.”
Our projects include comprehensive monitoring programs, stock and habitat enhancement and
restoration efforts, and fisheries management participation at the highest state, federal, and
international levels. All of these efforts promote our status as a federally recognized sovereign
This figure shows the borders of the Makah usual and accustomed (U&A) fishing grounds.
Fisheries Management Team 2011
Fisheries Management Program Division
Russell Svec Program Manager 645-3156 email@example.com
Cheryl Sones Executive Secretary 645-3160 firstname.lastname@example.org
Victor Lebuis Salmon Biologist 645-3168 email@example.com
Joseph Petersen Groundfish Biologist 645-3157 firstname.lastname@example.org
Jackie Johnson Data Manager 645-3158 email@example.com
Zacarias Espinoza Sampler 645-3083 firstname.lastname@example.org
Ian Franco Observer 640-1756 email@example.com
Joseph Gonce Observer 640-8532 firstname.lastname@example.org
Scientific Research Division
Yongwen Gao Research Scientist 645-3164 email@example.com
Vacant Aquaculture Tech III 645-3165
Vacant Habitat Division Manager 645-3173
Kimberly Clark Watershed Scientist 645-3155 firstname.lastname@example.org
Lawrence Cooke Project Biologist 645-3175 email@example.com
Vacant Field Project Supervisor 645-3150
Michael Dulik Habitat Tech III 645-3152 firstname.lastname@example.org
Seraphina Peters Habitat Tech II 645-2256 email@example.com
Lance Wilkie Stream Surveyor II
Glenn Johnson Stream Surveyor II
Angel Corpuz Stream Surveyor II
Travis Butterfield Stream Surveyor II
Sustainable Resources Division
Dana Sarff Sustainable Resources Coordinator III 645-3151 firstname.lastname@example.org
Raymond Colby Water Quality Specialist 645-3162 email@example.com
Douglas Sternback Air Quality Specialist II 645-3273 firstname.lastname@example.org
Billy Noel, Jr. Water Quality Tech III/NPS 645-3159 email@example.com
Marine Mammal Division
Jonathan Scordino Marine Mammal Biologist 645-3176 firstname.lastname@example.org
Adrianne Akmajian Marine Mammal Tech II 645-2083 email@example.com
Joseph Hinton Hatchery Manager 963-2784 firstname.lastname@example.org
William Mahone, Sr. Production Manager 963-2784 email@example.com
Deborah Cooke Hatchery Tech II 963-2784 firstname.lastname@example.org
John Ides, Sr. Hatchery Tech II 963-2784
MAKAH FISHERIES MANAGEMENT
DIVISION AND PROGRAM CATEGORIES
1) Department Management: to protect Makah treaty fishing rights through an ecosystem-
based fisheries management approach
2) Data Management: Manage the harvest data to provide biologists, managers, and Makah
fishermen with accurate fishery data for all fisheries within the Makah Usual and
Accustomed Hunting and Fishing Area (U&A).
3) Salmon Management: the goal of this program is to increase harvest opportunities of
salmonids for Makah tribal fishermen while protecting, conserving, and enhancing
salmonid stocks within the region
4) Groundfish Management: this program manages to protect the Makah Tribe’s treaty
rights through sustainable fisheries with an emphasis on environmental, economic and
5) Marine Mammal Management: this program is charged with researching and sustainably
managing marine mammals as important biological and cultural resources within the
Makah Usual and Accustomed hunting and fishing area
6) Shellfish Management: to fulfill Makah treaties rights and co-manage the shellfish
resources within the Makah U&A.
7) Fisheries Research: conduct research on fish population dynamics, stock structure,
migration, and climate regime shifts in the coastal regions of the Pacific Northwest.
8) Habitat Enhancement: to protect, enhance and restore freshwater aquatic resources on
the Makah reservation and within the Makah U&A.
9) Hatchery and Salmon Recovery: 1) to facilitate the recovery of salmon stocks on the
reservation and in the U&A in order to restore and enhance traditional Makah ceremonial
and subsistence usage, 2) to monitor the health of salmon stocks, and 3) to provide accurate
stock status information for use in fisheries management decisions..
10) Sustainable Resource Management: protect treaty rights secured in the 1855 Treaty of
Neah Bay and the aquatic resources on the reservation and within the Makah U&A.
11) Water Quality: to protect both freshwater and marine water resources for human and
aquatic life in waters on and adjacent to the Makah reservation. The program goal follows
the main principle of the Clean Water Act, which is “…to restore and maintain the
chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the nations waters.”
12) Air Quality: to protect air resources within the Makah airshed, both on and adjacent to the
Makah Reservation within the Makah U&A. The program is based on the Clean Air Act,
with special attention being paid to the “air-water interface”, and how air pollution ends up
affecting both freshwater and marine water resources, and ultimately our fishing resources.
Cheryl Sones – Administrative Support/Executive Secretary
Seraphina Peters – Support Specialist II
For information about Makah Fisheries Management (MFM) Program Budget see Makah CY
2011 Tribal Budget by Fund. Fund 35 expenses also known as: BIA Compact – BIA Self
Governance – BIA Funding Agreement. Fund 35 monies are used to pay for all or portions of
the following programs or services of the Makah Tribe: Fisheries Management, Hoko Hatchery,
Fisheries Sustainable Resources, NR (Fisheries Enforcement), Shellfish- Geoduck, Marine
Mammal Management. Fund 35 Revenues are received from BIA Self Governance Compact
Tribal dollars. MFM programs and divisions also receive financial support from competitive
grants which are represented by fund 30 to fund 34 budgets.
Makah On-Reservation Fish Buyers
An ordinance, known as the Makah Fish Buying License Ordinance, regulates commercial
buying and selling of Makah Treaty caught fish inside and outside the exterior boundaries of the
Makah Indian Reservation. The provisions of the regulation are: Annual licenses are valid
January 1 through December 31 and cost non-members $2,500.00 and members of Makah Tribe
and tribally owned entities - $25.00. Three-month quarterly licenses may be purchased for
$1,000.00 for non-members for any calendar quarter. No person shall buy fish caught in the
exercise of Makah fishing rights without having first obtained a Makah Fish Buyers License.
This year there were 19 Makah tribally owned fish buyer businesses and 1 non-tribal business.
Cheryl Sones coordinates with Pam Singleton of Washington Department Fish and Wildlife State
Licensing Division. For more information see Makah Fish Buying License Ordinance No. 39B.
Makah Fish Selling Cards
We utilize the online fishing card ID program created by the Northwest Indian Fisheries
Commission (NWIFC) to upload fisherman’s information and photos to expedite the process of
card creation. To date 1,008 cards new cards have been issued and 38 renewal for Makah tribal
members. Fact: The NWIFC represents 20 Northwest tribes and process fishing identification
cards and buyer licenses for almost all member tribes except a few tribes that have their own ID
Makah Vessel Registration
The newly developed check list for vessel registrations is working out quite well and everyone is
complying. Tribal law provides that it is unlawful for any member to operate or otherwise use, in
the exercise of treaty fishing rights, any boat which has not been lawfully registered with the
Tribal Fisheries Department. I am currently working on a new Access database for Makah vessel
fishermen registration. For more information see Ordinance 22A.
Makah fishing vessels at the Neah Bay Marina.
Makah Fishing Regulation
Makah Tribal Fishing Regulations are posted locally and emailed and faxed to a distribution list
that includes other Tribes, state, attorneys, NWIFC, USCG, NMFS and other federal agencies.
Cheryl Sones proofreads regulations written by MFM biologists and writes regulations for some
fisheries. Mrs. Sones also contacts Makah fishermen on regulations 24/7 if the regulation will
affect their fishing operations.
Blessing Of The Makah Fishing Fleet, 2011
The Annual Blessing of the Fleet in Neah Bay was held March 10th at the Makah Marina. The
event marks the beginning of the halibut and blackcod fishing season. The religious ceremony is
for a blessing, protection and success in the coming year.
We would like to thank everyone that helped to make this event a success. Colby Brady, Makah
Ground Biologist, gave a welcome and opening speech. Thank you to Reverend James Kallappa
and Jean of the Assembly of God Church, Reverend Winston Wilson of the Lutheran Church,
Reverend Andrew Winck and Makah Tribal Councilman Timothy Greene for your kind words of
wisdom and blessings. Thank you to Lila Parton, Makah Elder, for cooking and baking for the
brunch and Zacarias Espinoza, MFM Sampler, for delivery, set up, and overall help with the
Rev. James Kallappa, Rev. Andrew Winck and Colby Brady at the blessing of the fleet.
2011 Kids Fishing Day
The “2011 Kids Fishing Day” event was hosted by the Makah National Fish Hatchery (MNFH)
and Makah Fisheries Management (MFM). The event occurred June 11th at the Makah National
Fish Hatchery in Neah Bay and had 494 people in attendance. The MNFH and the USFWS
Western Washington Resource Office provided catchable size, certified disease-free rainbow
trout from the Nisqually Trout Farm for the young anglers. Fishing gear for the event and fish
art activities were provided. Cheryl Sones worked with other Departments, businesses,
fishermen and their families and friends to provide food and prizes. A tasty lunch of hot dogs,
salmon burgers, chips and drinks was served to the young fishermen and their families. Prizes
given away were: ten assorted size bikes and helmets; 140 fishing poles and tackle boxes filled
with bait, hooks and bobbers; basketballs; and footballs. The winners of the bikes were: Brianna
McGimpsey, Isabella Jimmicum, Vonte Aguirre, Iva McKinney’s son, Anthony Johnson,
Harmony Johnson, Kenrick Doherty and two children from the NB USCG Station.
Congratulations to all. Many thanks to the volunteers who lead the kids in their day of fishing
Cheryl Sones - main fund Caroline Peterschmidt Fish on!
raiser at registration with fishing pole prizes
Special thank you to our sponsors! Burley Construction Co., Native American Contractor,
Michael and Vickie J. Burley, Cape Flattery Fishermen’s Co-operative, Makah Housing
Authority, Washburn’s General Merchandise, Trident Sea Foods Corporation, Makah Senior
Program, Makah Fisheries Management, Makah Mini Mart, Marine Spill Response, Makah
Forestry, High Tide Seafoods, Inc., Crysan Sea Enterprise, WA’ATCH INC., Dale Clark and
Charlene Krise, Dana Sarff, Sue Wolf and Jeffrey Hottowe and Makah Tribal Council for
supplying the porta potties.
Daniel Greene and son Zacarias Espinoza cleaning fish
Thank you volunteers and workers from:
Neah Bay Coast Guard Station: Bryan Kile, Phil Goetze, Mickey Naves, Aimee Blier, Beau
Fisch, Colin Phillips. West End Sportsmen’s Club in Forks: Tom Wells and Clint Beyer.
Quinault National Fish Hatchery: Debbie and Randy Leavitt. FWS Western Washington
Office: Dan Spencer, Tree Steele, Keith Sweeney. Neah Bay Dental Clinic: Dr. and Mrs.
Marshall. Neah Bay Community Health Clinic: Ellie Youngman, Natural Resource
Enforcement: Rory Kallappa. Makah National Fish Hatchery: Marsha and Mitchell McGee,
Vern Tolliver, Jarrett Page, John Cooke, Jim LaChester, Caroline Peterschmidt and TERO
worker Kevin Groat. Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission: Debbie Ross-Preston. Makah
Fisheries Management: Cheryl Sones, Seraphina Peters, Zacarias Espinoza and Jackie
Johnson. Administrative Service Department for helping with Kids Fishing Day Account:
Lois Peterson and Bobbi Jo Kallappa. We could have not done this without you! All Kids Day
photos are courtesy of Debbie-Ross Preston, Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission.
Senior Citizen-Elder-Handicap Fishing Day
The Senior Citizen-Elder-Handicap Fishing Day was held at the Makah National Fish Hatchery
on June 16th. There were 56 in attendance and everyone enjoyed reeling in nice trout which were
cleaned and iced by Zacarias Espinoza for convenient take home! Grilled hot dogs and wild
salmon burger lunches were served along with Sophie’s baked beans by Cheryl Sones and potato
salad by Lila Parton. Gift certificates were raffled off and the winners were: Elaine Richardson
and Theresa Parker both won each $50.00 MasterCard gift cards, Marilyn Steeves won the
$25.00 JC Penney gift card, Lila M. Parton and Manny Irving both won each a $25.00 Wal-Mart
gift card, Stan Corpuz Sr. won a $25.00 Ihop gift card and Lina Mae Markishtum won the $25.00
Jiffy Lube gift card! What a fun enjoyable day everyone had!
Thanks again to the staff of the Makah Fisheries Management and the Makah National Fish
Hatchery for hosting this fun event and assisting with the fishing and lunch.
Annual Washington Troll Salmon Lunch at Lark
Cheryl Sones coordinated with Amy Grondin, Commercial Fisheries Outreach and Sustainable
Seafood Consultant, in coordinating the participation of representatives from the Makah Tribe to
attend the 8th Annual Washington Troll Salmon Lunch. Mrs. Sones also assisted with contacting
seafood distributors affiliated with Makah Fish Buyers. The Lunch was held on May 28th in
Seattle at the restaurant Lark, Chef John Sundstrom’s award winning restaurant. The Makah
Tribe and the Washington Troller’s Association worked together to host this educational and
promotional lunch that features locally caught Chinook salmon.
The goal of the lunch is to remind Washington chefs and food writers that we have fresh quality
salmon only hours from their kitchens and plates. Purchasing Washington salmon offers chefs
and their guests a high quality locally caught salmon while supporting our fishing fleet and all
the businesses along the way as the salmon travels through distribution from boat to the plate.
The second goal is to increase the appreciation and demand for marbled Chinook salmon. The
Cape Flattery Fishermen’s Coop donated 41 pounds of marbled Chinook.
All 8th Annual Washington Troll Salmon Lunch photo images credits to Marcus Donner.
Roly Gagnon speaking on behalf of Makah Salmon Trollers
In attendance from Neah Bay were Dave and Kathy Brown from Cape Flattery Fishermen’s
Coop, Ryan Sanford from High Tide Seafoods, and Roland and Barbara Gagnon of F/V Garda
Marie. In total there were 56 people in attendance.
Makah Fisheries Management Training Events
Makah Fisheries Management and Washington Sea Grant sponsored 3 training seminars during
the month of February:
First Aid at Sea Training
February 2, 2011
This course covered CPR, safety, patient assessment, shock, trauma, burns,
fractures, chocking, hypothermia, drowning. Instructor: Art Cole. Total
Attendees: 4 MFM employees (Seraphina, Debbie, Ian, Victor, Billy) and 14
Marine Diesel Mechanic and At Sea Troubleshooting Training
February 14, 2011
This course covered electrical, cooling, exhaust systems, mechanical accessories
such as bilge pumps, engine ventilation systems, gen sets, stern drive units and
upper housing. The goal of the course was to provide commercial fishermen and
recreational boaters with general understanding of diesel mechanics so they could
troubleshoot and perform preventative maintenance and repairs. Instructor: Larry
Blais. Attendees: 1 MFM employee (Seraphina) and 7 Makah fishermen.
Sea Safety and Survival Training
February 15-16, 2011
This course was held at USCG Station Neah Bay. Topics included planning and
conducting emergency drills, fire fighting, man overboard procedures, abandon
ship protocol, making radio distress calls, using visual distress signals, donning
survival suits, launching survival crafts as well as USCG lifesaving response. This
course was designed to provide vessel owners and their crew with knowledge on
how to respond effectively to an onboard emergency. Instructors: Steve Harbell,
Eric Olsson, and Sarah Fisken. Attendees: 4 MFM employees (Seraphina, Debbie,
Ian, Victor) and 7 Makah fishermen.
The following workshop was sponsored by MFM and NWIFC:
Basic Data Analysis and Reporting Workshop
May 10-11, 2011
This workshop was designed to help employees understand basic data analysis in
order to evaluate other peoples work and apply to their own work. Most statistical
concepts were demonstrated in Microsoft Excel. We were taught how to describe
variability of data, random sampling, graphical displays of data, report writing,
populations, variance, standard deviation, standard error XY scatter plots, line
plots, frequency histograms, and the difference between assumptions and bias.
Instructor: Bob Conrad. Attendees: 9 MFM employees (Seraphina, Yongwen,
Ray, Doug, Joe Hinton, Debbie, Jackie, Mike, Billy); 5 MFE employees
(Stephanie, Jeremiah, Ben, John, Willie).
Jackie Johnson - Data Manager
The Makah Data Management Program is responsible for recording all fish ticket information.
The fish ticket information is analyzed and entered into a fishery specific spreadsheet, as well as,
the catch management database software for over 20 different Makah Tribal fisheries.
The goal of the program is to manage harvest data to provide biologists, managers, and Makah
fishermen with accurate fishery information for all fisheries within the Makah U&A, while
providing data required to meet management agreements between other treaty tribes, Washington
Department of Fish and Wildlife and the federal government.
The catch management database also provides the program with the capability to provide
financial record information to Makah Tribal fishing members.
In our efforts to provide further accuracy when data reporting, ticket information is uploaded to
our fish ticket database then synchronized to the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission
database to reconcile our ticket database information quicker and more accurate.
Zacarias Espinoza - Sampler Technician II
Sampling our catch gives us information on which stocks we are catching, on their age and
growth, and other population characteristics. This enables fishery managers to plan and shape
fisheries to maximize fishing opportunity, while still respecting the needs of the resource.
While we are sampling, we scan each fish for coded wire tags, and then measure it for length,
and record the data if the scanner gives a positive reading for a tag. When coded-wire tags are
found, we remove the snout of the fish and store it for later processing. Our sampling program is
unique among coastal tribal sampling programs in that our CWT reading and data entry is done
in-house by our senior sampler, Zac Espinoza. This saves us years of waiting for the data to be
read by other agencies and returned to us. Zac removes coded-wire tags from the collected
salmon snouts and then he records the tag codes, which identify the fish by age, stock and
hatchery of origin.
Our salmon staff summarizes the data in-house, and we also send the recorded tag-codes to the
state, which enters it into a coastwide database. Later it is used for informing fisheries
Because we have salmon fisheries underway in every month of the year, our sampling program is
also active year-round. The most active period of time for our sampling program is during the
summer and fall when the ocean troll fishery and the Strait gillnet fishery are open, but we also
monitor and sample our winter troll fishery from November through April.
We had an outstanding sampling rate, exceeding agency standards for salmon fisheries. The goal
among the co-managers is to sample 20% of all Chinook and Coho salmon caught. We more
than doubled that rate: in the ocean troll fishery his year we sampled about 40% of the Chinook
and 47% of the Coho caught. The high sampling rate gives our fishery management staff more
confidence in the quality of the data and the conclusions that we draw from it. In sockeye drift-
gillnet fishery, we sampled around 75% of the incidentally caught chinook and coho in the
sockeye drift-gillnet fishery.
State fisheries staff have remarked that the Makah Tribe has the best program for collecting
coded-wire tag data of all the tribes in Washington.
In addition to salmon, we also monitor the halibut fishery with special emphasis on monitoring
the first 48-hour opener of the fishery. Important pieces of data from the halibut landings that
are collected are lengths, otoliths and the catch per unit effort (CPUE.) Lengths are analyzed to
determine if there is trend through time in the average size of halibut caught. The otoliths are the
ear bone of the halibut; halibut can be aged using the otolith using a similar manner as aging
trees by counting rings. In the winter the light intensity, water temperature, and the food source
cause the otoliths to become translucent and develop a generally more compact ring. CPUE data
is the backbone of the Makah Tribe’s arguments to protect our allocations for the halibut fishery.
In the Makah Tribe’s usual and accustomed fishing area (U&A) the CPUE is much higher than
surrounding areas in the International Pacific Halibut Commission regulatory area. Since the
CPUE in the Makah U&A is higher than the neighboring areas we can effectively argue that our
halibut stocks are healthy and can sustain a higher harvest level.
Joseph R. Petersen - Groundfish Biologist
Colby Brady resigned from the Makah Tribe’s Groundfish Biologist position this summer after
four years working for MFM. Mr. Brady is now in Seattle working for NOAA Fisheries and
plans to pursue an advanced degree at the University of Washington. We wish him the best for
his new job and education goals.
Joseph Petersen was hired in October as the new Groundfish Biologist. Mr. Petersen is a young
biologist who brings experience from working with USGS and a well-rounded education in
Fisheries Science from the University of Washington.
Longline Blackcod Fishery
In 2011, the Intertribal Blackcod Fishery Management Plan has both a separately managed
fishery and a joint restricted fishery. The separately managed fishery was split into both an A and
C portion and the allocations are as follows:
1. Makah share of the “A-fishery” totals 89,782lbs
2. Makah share of the “C-fishery” totals 115,969lbs
3. Makah’s A and C fishery totals 205,751lbs
All allocations of black cod are referred to as dressed weight and a conversion factor of 1.6 can
be used to estimate round weight.
In the competitive B fishery 247,356 lbs were allocated for harvest between the three treaty
tribes; this is 33% of the total harvest of the black cod fishery. The actual harvest after the
competitive fishery between the treaty tribes was 266,972 lbs - there was an overage of
19,616lbs. The overage of the competitive fishery was then deducted from the separately
managed fishery in the same proportion that fish were caught in the unrestricted fishery. The
Makah Tribe’s A and C fishery was then adjusted down by 15,973lbs.
Target Harvest - Harvest = Overage
247,356 - 266,972 = -19,616
Overage * % catch per tribe = Penalty to A +C Fishery
-19,616 * .81 = -15,973
A + C fishery Allocation
Original TAC - Penalty = A+C TAC
205,751 - 15,973 = 189,778
The A+C fishery was managed to have two specific quotas, one for longline and one for trawl.
The quotas were 99,994 lbs and 89,782 lbs respectively; quota for the bottom trawl rolls into the
long line fishery in order to fully harvest the tribe’s total allowable catch (TAC).
Black Cod Year in Review
The first opening for black cod was on June 19th and the closing date for the season was
November 30th. The 2011 black cod season was a profitable fishery for both the fishermen and
the community. The Makah Tribe harvested 230,586 lbs in the separately managed fishery and
217,399 lbs in the joint restricted fishery; the total harvest for black cod for the year by the
Makah Tribe was 447,985 lbs dressed.
Bottom Trawl Fishery
The bottom trawl fishery had a very successful year. The bycatch rates for blackcod remained
low during the season and within the limit of a sustainable harvest. The extra black cod quota
that was originally set aside for the bottom trawl fishery was rolled into the longline fishery on
Figure 1: The figure above shows the proportion of each species that was caught during the
entire 2011 bottom trawl fishery.
Pacific Petrale Canary
Cod Rd DR
621,763 265,567 85,588 21,480 2,406
Table 1: This table shows the amount of pounds harvested of the four dominant catch species and
also canary rockfish since it is a species of concern.
Mid-Water (Yellowtail Rockfish Directed)
The yellowtail rockfish fishery has gone through considerable changes over the last few years
and the fishery and the fishermen have greatly benefited. The bycatch rates for species of
concern have significantly reduced with the incorporation of the new robotic jig program. The jig
program is designed as a simple but effective test to see the species composition of fish schools
where a fisherman is planning to tow his trawl net. Every fisherman is required to use the robotic
jig machines for at least 15 minutes per four hours of trawling effort. After the test, if the species
composition is not adequate for the fishermen to produce a tow with minimal bycatch fishermen
will look for a new location. I have had reports that captains have moved locations to avoid high
populations of canary; this in turn will keep the fisheries open longer and protect non-target
Figure 2: This figure shows the catch composition for 2011 of the mid-water trawl fishery. The
main species that were harvested during the 2011 season were yellowtail rockfish, widow
rockfish and red stripe rockfish.
Harvested Allotment Percentage
Yellowtail 722,915 1,080,000 66.94
Canary (By-catch) 3,459 7,937 43.58
Widow (By-catch) 72,833 88,194 82.58
Table 2: This table shows the biomass of each key species harvested during the 2011 mid-water
trawl season and the percentage of the TAC that we have utilized.
Dungeness Crab Pot Fishery
This year we had promising landings of hard shelled legal size Dungeness crab. The crab fishery
re-opened on the 1st of December allowing the Makah to harvest the last of the crab quota. At
this point in time there have been 18 landings in the crab fishery totaling 223,654 lbs of
marketable Dungeness crab.
Halibut Longline Fishery
In 2011, the commercial portion of the TAC was 293,200 lbs. March 20th was the opening of the
unrestricted fishery and halibut was opened for 48 hours. In the first 48 hours, 60,402 lbs of
marketable halibut was landed by the Makah Tribe. The mop up fishery for the unrestricted
portion of the halibut TAC was opened on May 1st with a 19 hour window for unrestricted
fishing; the Makah tribal harvest was 64,982 lbs.
The restricted fishery was opened on March 12th with a 500 lb landing limit. Due to the way the
fishery is managed, the Makah were outcompeted by the Lummi, Swinomish, and Jamestown
tribes. The Makah landings for the restricted portion of this fishery were only 4,237 lbs. The
restricted fishery does not cater well to the Makah’s highly efficient but comparatively small
Total harvest for the Makah Tribe in 2011 was 129,621 lbs of halibut. This represents 39% of the
total TAC between the treaty tribes. A breakdown of the final catch percentages is shown in
Figure 3. The total catch of halibut for the 2011 season is represented by percent. The Makah
Tribe harvested a total of 39% of the total tribal catch. The Makah’s biggest competitor in the
halibut fishery is the Lummi; the Lummi Tribe harvested 33% of the total TAC.
The Makah mid-water whiting fishery is operating on a set-aside of 17.5% of the US harvest
level. This set-aside has ranged from 24,000 to 51,000 metric tons in the past several years. This
fishery is managed from May 15th through December 31st of every year. There are five Makah
fishing vessels that participate in the Makah whiting fishery. The allocation of whiting this year
was 51,000 metric tons.
This year, whiting were first caught in the first week of July but catch stayed low through July
16th. Catch increased from July 17th through August 20th averaging 1,900 metric tons per week.
In total the fleet captured 18,000 metric tons.
The current processors for whiting are Ocean Gold and Trident Seafoods. Bycatch in the whiting
fishery is low in comparison to the amount of whiting that are being hauled in by the fleet. The
predominant species of concern as bycatch in the whiting fishery are canary rockfish, widow
rockfish, yellowtail rockfish, and salmon. The whiting fishery lands a small amount of
incidentally caught salmon. To date the whiting fishery has obtained 19% of the canary rockfish
set-aside and 21% of the widow rockfish set-aside.
Victor Lebuis - Salmon Biologist
Hap Leon - Biometrician
Victor Lebuis was hired as the new Salmon Biologist for the Makah Tribe in March. Victor
brings to the position a well rounded education from Peninsula College with an emphasis of
Fisheries Science and Management. Victor is familiar to the Makah community from his former
role with MFM as an At-sea Groundfish Observer. The position had been vacant since 2010.
This year’s salmon fisheries was challenging to manage but was productive for Makah
fishermen. Over 80,000 salmon were landed in commercial fisheries as well as take-home and
subsistence catch. Table 1 summarizes this year’s salmon catch by species and fishery.
Summary of 2011 Makah Tribal Commercial Salmon Catch
Numbers of Fish
Fishery Chinook Sockeye Coho Pink Chum Stlhd Totals
(See Note 1, below) 29,439 12,765 42,204
Strait Troll (Nov-Dec, 2010) 205 12 217
Strait Troll (Jan-April, 2011) 3218 1 3219
Strait Troll (June-Sept, 2011) 530 52 582
Strait Drift Gillnet 226 15,246 771 17,280 1151 16 34,690
Strait Setnet 33 1048 234 0 1,226
Tsoo-Yess River 1 199 2 602 2,772
Waatch River 0 52 0 18 625
Totals 33,652 15,246 14,900 17,280 1,387 636 83,101
Note: One other coastal tribe also participated in the ocean troll fishery, so the catch for the fishery as a
whole was slightly higher than shown in this table.
Treaty Ocean Troll Fishery
This year the ocean troll fishery quotas were 41,000 chinook and 42,000 coho. These quotas
were developed in March and April, during the Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC) -
North of Falcon pre-season planning process. Although chinook abundance was generally
forecasted to be up this year, there were exceptions which we had to consider. Developing these
quotas required that we model the impacts of the fishery on several critically low salmon stocks.
The chinook “driver stock” was the Lower Columbia River Tule fall chinook, which the federal
government has listed as “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act. Coho abundance was
forecasted to be low this year among many of the stocks that support our fishery. The “driver
stock” for the coho troll fishery was the Upper Fraser River (Thompson River) coho, which are
covered under the Pacific Salmon Treaty with Canada.
The PFMC regulations for the 2011 treaty ocean troll fishery specifies a “Chinook Only
Fishery” with a chinook sub-quota of 19,750 to be taken in the May/June time period, and an
“All Species Fishery” with a chinook sub-quota of 21,250, along with 42,000 coho to be taken in
the July/September 15th time period.
Fishing started slow during the May/June time period. In the month of May trollers took only
1,115 chinook. The catch rate improved slightly in June as chinook availability increased and
fishermen put in more effort, but by the end of the month, the total catch for this time period had
only reached 9,800, less than half of the sub-quota. Makah trollers took 95 percent of the
May/June ocean troll catch, with the remainder taken by trollers from the Quinault Tribe.
The All-Species Fishery was open from July 1st through September 15th with a sub-quota of
21,250 chinook and a quota of 42,000 coho. In some years, we have had a problem with big
coho catches coming so fast that the coho quota was taken before we could take the chinook
quota and the fishery had to close. In addition, because coho salmon are small in July and the
first half of August, they yield a lesser value when compared to the larger coho later in the
season, therefore, we hoped to extend the coho fishery into September.
Taking these concerns into account, we developed a management strategy to prevent this
problem of early closure. We met with fishermen to develop a strategy to maximize the harvest
opportunity for both chinook and coho. This strategy included time and area closures as well as
Every fishing season we encounter different conditions and not all are expected. This year, we
saw high abundance of chinook and low abundance of coho salmon on the coast. It was difficult
to maximize catch under both quotas with chinook catches being greater than coho catches and a
chinook quota which was only about half the size of the coho quota. This problem was not only
in the Makah fishing area; non-tribal ocean troll and sport fisheries had the same problem. In
addition, weather conditions and other tribal fisheries of interest made it difficult to extend the
season. Thus, the harvest rate for coho was lower than anticipated and we did not reach the
quota for coho this year.
At the start of the “All Species Fishery” there was a large abundance of chinook and a low
abundance of coho. Figure 1 shows Makah’s weekly catch rate of chinook and coho and
illustrates the very high chinook and low coho catch rates in the first few weeks of July. Since
the rate of catch for chinook was so high so early in the season, Makah Fisheries Management
placed weekly limits on chinook catches in-order to preserve access to coho later in the season.
In-season management actions were as follows:
July 25th a limit of 100 chinook per vessel per week was imposed, to slow the harvest rate of
August 9th, limits were reduced from 100 chinook per vessel per week, to 75 chinook per vessel
per week to further slow the chinook harvest rate.
August 16th, limits for chinook were reduced to 75 chinook per vessel per week.
August 24th, limits for chinook were reduced to 23 chinook per vessel per week.
Throughout the “All Species Fishery” there were no catch limits on coho.
In spite of all the efforts to reduce the chinook catch rate we achieved our chinook quota with
many coho left on the table. On September 6th the 2011 treaty ocean troll fishery was closed due
to attainment of the chinook quota.
Although final abundance estimates are not yet in, it appears that this year’s low forecasts for
coho abundance were fairly accurate. Trollers had a very difficult time of finding coho, and the
catch of 12,765 coho amounted to barely one-fourth of the quota for the season. The chinook
catch was better, with 21,583 caught, and at the end of the season the harvest number for chinook
ocean troll fishery was within 1.5% of the targeted harvest number of the July-September sub
quota of 21,250. Once again, Makah trollers took the largest share of the treaty troll catch in the
summer, at 95 percent of the coho, and 94 percent of the chinook, with Quinault trollers taking
most the rest.
Treaty Ocean Troll Fishery, Summer 2011
Chinook and Coho Catches, by Week
Number of Fish
July 1- July 8- July July July 29 Aug 5 - Aug 12 Aug 19 Aug 26 Sept 2
7 14 15-21 22-28 - Aug 4 11 - 18 - 25 - Sept - Sept
Figure 1: 2011 Ocean troll chinook and coho catch by week.
Treaty Ocean Troll Fishery, Summer 2011
Chinook Catch and Quota
This figure shows the catch quota of chinook in red and the Makah catch of chinook in blue. The
difference in the Makah catch and the quota on September 8th is equal to the amount of troll
caught chinook salmon by the Quinault Tribe. The slope of the catch curve reduced after July
25th because of our management measures to extend the fishery and allow harvest of coho.
Treaty Ocean Troll Fishery, Summer 2011
Coho Catch and Quota
20,000 Coho Quota
This figure shows the Makah catch of coho in blue and the annual coho quota in red. The take
home message from this figure is that even with no restrictions we were unable to attain the coho
catch quota because of the unpredicted late arrival of coho and the attainment of the chinook
Strait of Juan de Fuca Summer Troll Fishery
The catch in the summer troll fishery in the strait was quite a bit smaller than it was in the ocean
troll fishery, but is still approximately double what the fishery was in 2010. From mid-June
through mid-September, in Areas 5 and 6C, Makah trollers took 530 chinook and 52 coho.
Strait of Juan de Fuca Gillnet Fishery
This year’s gillnet fishery was much smaller than the 2010 gillnet fishery, which was supported
by near-record abundance of Fraser River sockeye. Despite comparably low forecast numbers for
the sockeye gillnet fishery, in-season abundance adjustments by management allowed for an
extended opening of the fishery. The in-season adjustments provided extra fishing opportunities
for our gillnetters.
After a spectacular season for sockeye last year, Canadian management agencies had forecast a
good abundance of just less than 3.2 million sockeye this year, most of them from the summer
and late runs. That forecast didn’t do much to raise our expectations for a good catch, but before
the season started we couldn’t anticipate how good the catches would be. Once the season got
underway, test catches in the Strait, as well as in Canadian waters, showed no major deviations
from expected catch rates, but as the fishery progressed, in-season abundance estimates,
particularly on the summer and late runs, increased to almost 4.6 million sockeye, which led the
Pacific Salmon Commission’s Fraser Panel to increase the allowable catch. Our commercial
gillnet fishery opened on July 27th, and catches were at expected levels at the beginning of the
season. Average landings were about 135 sockeye per boat per day of fishing in the first week of
fishing. The catch rate increased somewhat in August, reflecting the increased estimate in
abundance, and remained over 180 sockeye per boat per day until declining in the third week of
August. The catch rate declined later in the season, as the later runs migrated more through
Johnstone Strait, on the east side of Vancouver Island, so they aren’t caught as much in the Strait
of Juan de Fuca. The later runs also tend to swim deeper, so they are less likely to be caught by
This year we had an abnormally large run of pink salmon. Pink salmon catch was so high that it
discouraged gillnet fishing for sockeye, particularly toward the end of the sockeye run. Gillnets
were almost immediately filled with pink salmon before they could catch sockeye. The extra
time spent clearing the nets of low valued pink salmon cost fishermen the opportunity to catch
high valued sockeye. Due to their low commercial value and the effort it takes to process pink
salmon caught in gillnets, there was relatively little directed effort by our fishermen towards
harvesting the pink salmon.
The final total of the Makah commercial gillnet fishery catch, was 16,381 sockeye, which was
higher than was estimated preseason. In addition, Makah fishermen caught another 1,135
sockeye in the test fishery, and for take-home, ceremonial, and subsistence.
Makah Gillnet Sockeye Catch
60,000 # Of Fish
1990 1992 1994 1996 1998 2000 2002 2004 2006 2008 2010
Makah gillent commercial, C&S, and test fishery landings of sockeye salmon.
The current post-season run size estimate for Fraser sockeye is approximately 4.6 million. Of
these, 3.9 million sockeye were allowed to spawn in the Fraser Rivers and its tributaries.
After the sockeye fishery closed in mid-September, there were other opportunities for gillnetters
fishing in the Strait. Chum catches by drift gillnetters in October were 1,141 chum salmon. In
addition, setnetters fishing in Pysht Bay, took another 234 chum, but also picked up 1,048 coho
in the chum-directed fishery.
On-Reservation River Fisheries
The chinook run to the Tsoo-Yess River was a disappointment. Returns were barely sufficient to
fulfill the hatchery’s need for spawner broodstock. The weak return led to the closure of the
c’u.yas/Tsoo-Yess River to gillnetting while chinook were migrating upriver. The fishery was
closed until October 15th. This management decision was difficult to make as there was an
abundance of coho in the c’u.yas/Tsoo-Yess River that could not be harvested until the hatchery
was able to take in the necessary number of chinook broodstock. Due to the management
strategies used by MFM, the hatchery was able to take in all of its broodstock, which will help in
building up future chinook returns. Once MFM was relatively sure that the hatchery would be
able to take the necessary number of broodstock, the c.u’yas/Tsoo-Yess River was open to
targeted coho set net fisheries. Due to the closure of the on-reservation river fisheries during the
chinook management period, set net fishermen took only 177 coho in the c.u’yas/Tsoo-Yess
River, and another 52 coho in the Waatch River.
Other Initiatives in Salmon Fishery Management
In addition to planning and managing the many salmon fisheries of the Makah Tribe, we have
been engaged in several other efforts with long-term implications for Makah’s salmon fisheries.
An ongoing effort is to improve our forecasts of coho and chinook abundance, and to closely
watch the forecasting efforts of other tribes and the Washington Department of Fish and
Wildlife. Because our entire ocean salmon fishery and many of the Strait fisheries, are based on
pre-season estimates of abundance, it is important that our abundance forecasts be as accurate as
possible, and that they reflect year-to-year variability in ocean and climate conditions that affect
salmon growth and survival.
We participated in the PFMC’s Tule Chinook Workgroup. The Columbia River Tule fall
chinook are listed under the Endangered Species Act, and the strict catch limits on this stock
have limited our ocean troll fishery in four of the past five years. The Tule Chinook Workgroup
has developed, and the PFMC adopted and will implement an abundance-based management
system for this stock. That system will include better methods of forecasting abundance, and
risk analysis to determine the best exploitation rate for different levels of abundance.
We have also coordinated with other tribes and non-tribal fishing groups to respond to the effort
by the National Marine Fisheries Service to reduce hatchery production on the Columbia River.
About a third of the chinook taken in our troll fishery are produced by Mitchell Act-funded
hatcheries. With the abundance of so many wild runs reduced by hydropower dams and other
habitat degradation, it is critical to our troll fishery that these hatcheries continue in full
The MFM salmon sampling program was very successful for 2011. Our senior sampler, Zac
Espinoza, and our summer sampler Duane Parton, were able to maintain a 38% sampling rate for
the summer troll and sockeye driftnet fisheries, almost double the industry required 20%
sampling rate. Our sampling program also expanded to include Pysht Bay for the 2011 chum
setnet fishery, where we collected valuable data for future studies and projects.
SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH AND GEODUCK
Yongwen Gao, PhD - Research Scientist
The year of 2011 started well on research activities of Makah Fisheries Management (MFM).
First, I played a leading role in organizing a session for the 141st American Fisheries Society
(AFS) annual meeting in Seattle. From September 4-8, 2011, over 4,000 fishery scientists,
biologists, and managers registered for the event, making the Seattle meeting a great success and
the largest in the AFS history. Prof. David Noakes and I chaired the symposium titled "Chemical
Signatures of Otoliths and Application in Fisheries". Twelve oral and three poster presenters
from China, Japan, Norway, and United States were participated in the otolith session, and
contributed manuscripts for publication in Environmental Biology of Fishes (EBFi) as a special
issue. I was invited as the Guest Editor for the EBFi publication. In the late September, I also
attended the 9th International Symposium on Applied Isotope Geochemistry (AIG-9) hosted by
the University of Barcelona in Spain. Over 150 scientists and geochemists from 50 more
countries met together, and exchanged ideas, research results, and academic comments which
cover almost all the field in isotope geochemistry. During the meeting, I made an oral
presentation titled "Isotopic Signatures of Otoliths and Application in Fisheries Management".
In 2011, Makah Tribal Council has proved the US Department of Agriculture funded project, the
Rural Business Enterprise Grant (RBEG) for geoduck aquaculture, as a 3-yr training program in
the Makah Reservation. We have planted 600 PVC tubes in the Neah Bay beaches for the first
year, as proposed in the USDA/RBEG project. We also conducted a daily monitoring in the
Geoduck beds, along with the environmental data collections including temperature, salinity, pH,
and dissolved oxygen in seawater. The main objective of the monitoring is to collect data for
studying the environmental conditions in Neah Bay beaches and the impact on the potential
geoduck aquaculture in the near future. The results of the monitoring program may assist the
MFM staff to conduct scientific research on ocean climate change and acidification, and help for
the decision making on the commercial geoduck aquaculture in the Neah Bay beaches.
USDA/RBEG Geoduck Aquaculture Project
Project title: Geoduck aquaculture and establishment of family-based small business in the
rural Neah Bay
Scope of work: The Makah Tribal Council (MTC) has designated Makah Fisheries Management
(MFM) to train fishermen and Makah community members to establish family-based small
business on geoduck farming in the rural Neah Bay areas. The intertidal geoduck aquaculture
generally starts from May to July each year. Assuming there are 30 acre aquatic lands in the
Neah Bay rural areas and the market will keep the current sale price, the commercial geoduck
farming will produce $45-50 million quality seafood in the next 5-6 year aquaculture cycle. This
is a great potential for income of the Makah people and will have a positive impact on economic
developments in both Neah Bay rural areas and western Clallam County. The family-based small
business on geoduck farming will create jobs, and may change the life style of Makah people
solely depending on traditional fisheries. So far MFM has successfully obtained supporting funds
from USDA-RBEG ($150,000) in the next three years, and the preparation and performance for
the first year geoduck aquaculture is underway.
Symposium in the 141st AFS Annual Meeting
Symposium title: Chemical signatures of otoliths and application in fisheries
Organizers: Dr. Yongwen Gao (Makah Fisheries Management, USA)
Dr. Jian Yang (Nanjing Agricultural University, China)
Dr. David Noakes (Oregon State University, USA)
Description: Stable isotope and trace elemental ratios (e.g., 18O/16O and 13C/12C; Sr/Ca, Mg/Ca,
Fe/Ca, and Zn/Ca) of otoliths have become powerful tools in fisheries research because otoliths
contain information about the life history of the fish and that information can be extracted from
chemical compositions. Since Devereux’s pioneer work in 1967, improved micro-sampling
methods have extended our horizons beyond the laboratory experiments. On-going efforts in
applying the chemical signatures of otoliths to more fish species and multi-species at the same
water column have led to growing interest in fisheries science and management, particularly in
natal source and early life history, stock structure, fish migration and behavior, and decadal-scale
climate regime shift studies. This session aims to bring together researchers and managers using
the isotopic and elemental tools in otoliths for fisheries issues and applications. We encourage
contributions that will focus on novel and practical studies on multi-species and multi-tracers in
biochemistry, although experimental submissions on otolith formation and geochemistry are
The 9th International Symposium on Applied Isotope Geochemistry
AIG-9 Abstract by Yongwen Gao
Stable oxygen and carbon isotope ratios of otoliths (18O/16O or 18O, and 13C/12C or 13C) have
become powerful tools in fisheries research and management, particularly in stock identification,
fish behavior and migration, and decadal-scale climate regime shift investigations. Since
Devereux’s pioneer work (Devereux, 1967), improved micro-sampling methods (e.g., Patterson
et al., 1993; Dettman and Lohmann, 1995; Gao, 1999) have extended our horizons beyond the
laboratory experiments. On-going efforts in applying the isotopic signatures of otoliths to more
fish species and multi-species at the same water column have led to growing interest in fisheries
management (Gao et al., 2010). In this paper, I report examples of using isotopic signatures of
otoliths as management tools in the species of groundfish along the U.S. Pacific coast.
Analysis of otoliths from Pacific halibut (Hippoglossus stenolepis), Pacific cod (Gadus
macrocephalus), and Pacific hake (Merluccius productus) showed significant 18O and 13C
differences between the Washington Coast and the northern Puget Sound samples. In particular,
the sample site difference was much larger than the sample year difference and dominated the
18O and 13C variations in otoliths. These isotopic signatures provide evidence that the northern
Puget Sound fish may belong to a different stock from the Washington Coast, which is consistent
with biological observations and commercial catch data.
Sagittal otoliths of the species of groundfish were collected from the Washington Coast and the
northern Puget Sound during the commercial fishing season. After field work otolith samples
were cleaned and immersed into the glycerin solution (50:50) for preservation. At the same time
and location, the measured fork length, collection date, boat name and the sampler, were also
recorded on files. To examine the possible age and sample year influence, the same protocol was
adopted to different years of otolith sampling.
Otolith samples were cleaned in an ultrasonic water bath for about 15 min, rinsed with ethanol,
and dried at room temperature. The samples were then sectioned and prepared for ageing and
microsampleing (Gao 1999). Analysis of otolith powder samples were performed in the Stable
Isotope Laboratory at the University of Michigan Ann Arbor. All the results were reported in
notation. Calibration of isotopic enrichment to VPDB (Vienna Peedee belemnite) standard is
based on daily analysis of NBS-19 powdered carbonate and the analytical precision is better than
0.08‰ for both 13C and 18O values.
I am grateful to many dedicated scientists, fisheries managers, and governmental agencies for
their help in otolith collection and analyses, particular Russell Svec, Robert Conrad, Rebecca
Bernard and Greg Bargmann for their interest and support during the project.
Publications and Presentations:
Gao, Y.W., and Noakes, D.L.G. 2011. Chemical signatures of otoliths and application in
fisheries. Environmental Biology of Fishes Special Issue, in review.
Gao, Y.W. (2011) Otoliths speak out: why the Pacific halibut in Puget Sound are different.
Environmental Biology of Fishes Special Issue, in review.
Shen, J.Z., and Gao, Y.W. (2011) Stable isotope analyses in otoliths of silver carp: a
pilot study in identification of natal sources and stock differences. Environmental Biology of
Fishes Special Issue, in review.
Gao, Y.W., Svec, R.A. and Wallace, F.R. (2011). Isotopic signatures of otoliths and the stock
structure of canary rockfish along the Washington and Oregon coast. Applied Geochemistry,
Gao, Y.W., Conrad, R., Bean, D., and Noakes, D.L.G. (2011) Statistical analysis on otolith data
of anadromous fishes. Environmental Biology of Fishes, in press.
Gao, Y.W., Lu, A.H., Wang, Q.Y., and Zhang, H.Q. 2011. Stable oxygen and carbon isotope
methods in identification of fish stocks. Bulletin of Mineralogy, Petrology and Geochemistry
Gao, Y.W. (2011) Isotopic signatures of otoliths and application in fisheries management. The
9th International Symposium on Applied Isotope Geochemistry, Book of Abstracts: 66.
Gao, Y.W. (2011) Isotopic signatures of otoliths as management tools in groundfish stocks. The
141st American Fisheries Society Annual Meeting, "New Frontiers in Fisheries Management
and Ecology: Leading the Way in a Changing World". Abstract and Program 15-8.
September 4-8, 2011, Seattle.
Geoduck Aquaculture and Monitoring:
Based on the geoduck planting season, the MFM aquaculture team has done their best to make
all preparations ready for the 1st-round seeds planting. The most challenging work, among other
things, is to cut the 6-in PVC pipe into 1-ft cylinders. Robin Butterfield and Seraphina Peters did
excellent job to complete the task, and made about 600 tubes for this year's planting.
In Neah Bay, the lowest tide occurs in the week of June 13-17, 2011. Based on weather
conditions, the MFM aquiculture team had taken two steps for geoduck aquaculture: (1)
installing the PVC tubes in one morning; and (2) planting the seeds in the next morning. The
plan works pretty well. For the 1st-year of the RBEG project, we have completed 600 tubes near
the western Makah Senior Center, and planted geoduck seeds there. After seeds planting a daily
monitoring program has been carried out since June. Mr. Robin Butterfield, the Aquaculture
Tech-III, measured environmental parameters based on the tide conditions. The daily task
includes collections on temperature, salinity, and pH and dissolved oxygen concentrations (DO)
from the Geoduck beds and surrounding areas, with two seawater samples taken weekly. All
background information and data were recorded in field notebook and then entered in an Excel
worksheet. During the daily monitoring program, the PVC tubes and nets for protecting the
Geoduck seeds from predators were also checked and replaced as needed (Figures 1 and 2).
Figure 1. The Geoduck beds located on western beach near Makah Seniors Center
Figure 2. On site monitoring data for the August, 2011
Kimberly Robertson - Watershed Scientist
Our goal in the Habitat Division is to protect, enhance, and restore freshwater aquatic resources
on the Makah reservation and within the Makah Usual and Accustomed Hunting and Fishing
Area (U&A). We strive to achieve this goal by conducting the following activities:
We participate in on-reservation planning, development and resource extraction projects that
affect freshwater resources by working with other Tribal departments (e.g., Planning and
Forestry) to ensure that maximum protection is achieved for freshwater aquatic resources as
possible for each project;
We participate with local stakeholders such as timber companies in the U&A in the spirit of
the Timber Fish and Wildlife Agreement (TFW) and as required by the Forest Practice Act.
We review Forest Practices and develop forest research to improve the Washington State
Forest Practice rules and their implementation.
We identify, prioritize, and implement habitat restoration projects that will improve aquatic
habitat, and thus supporting increased fish production both on the Reservation and in the
We work to develop a strategy to restore the Lake Ozette sockeye population level through
restoration, research, and participation in Lake Ozette planning groups.
We participate in the implementation phase of the Lake Ozette Sockeye Recovery Planning
process with the National Marine Fisheries Service to develop funding and carry out the
actions necessary to recover Lake Ozette Sockeye Salmon to a sustainable population.
We play a leading role in the Lake Ozette Sockeye Salmon Steering Committee (LOSSSC),
which is assisting the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in the
development of the Lake Ozette Sockeye Recovery Plan. We continue to be a vocal leader in
protecting the Tribes treaty rights.
We work for the protection of tribal rights to water and fish by participating in planning
efforts throughout the region that have an influence on how watersheds in the Makah U&A
are developed in the future.
In 2011 we had a changeover of staff. Jeremy Gilman resigned from the Makah Tribe’s
Watershed Scientist position after five-years of service to work for the United States Forest
Service. We wish Mr. Gilman the best of luck at his new career. After a delay of several
months, Kim Robertson was hired to replace Mr. Gilman. Ms. Robertson brings to MFM a
diverse background of watershed experiences from fisheries research to wetland and habitat
restoration and management projects. Her education focused on biology at Western Washington
University and integrated watershed management at the University of British Columbia.
Activities of the Habitat Division for 2011
During 2011 the new Watershed Scientist resumed the Makah seat in attendance at Puget Sound
Partnership (PSP), Technical and Lead Entity Group (LEG) meetings with North Olympic
Peninsula (NOPLE) and North Pacific Coast (NCPLE) immediately. During this year Mike
Dulik managed the temperature monitoring program and continually reviewed Forest Practice
Applications (FPA) for compliance. In lieu of a Watershed Scientist he also led a field crew for
restoration planting and maintained communications with key partners. In August he earned the
promotion of Habitat Technician III and has been representing the Makah Tribe at NWIFC, Fish
and Timber Wildlife (FTW) and DNR meetings. Seraphina Peters, the Habitat Technician II
attended a grant writing seminar in Neah Bay and has since been working on several grants for
on the ground restoration and monitoring equipment on behalf of the Habitat Division.
This year the Habitat Division implemented several aspects of restoration efforts to the Pysht
River project, Phase I. The restoration site is 22 acres in size and owned by the North Olympic
Land Trust (NOLT). Derelict structures and large debris were removed, native vegetation was
planted, and invasive species were removed. We are moving forward with Pysht Phase II. This
will involve more collaboration with NOLT, retaining Engineered Log Jam plans from a
consultant and requesting funds from Salmon Recovery Funding Board (SRFB) for future
All equipment has been ordered for the real-time based meteorological station that will be part of
NOAA’s National Weather Service (NWS) Cooperative Observer Program (NWSI 10-
1302). With coordination and assistance from the Sustainable Resource Division, the weather
station will be installed in January.
The Habitat Division is working on upgrading all data loggers and software used for the
Temperature Monitoring Program. Longitudinal temperature profiling will allow us to identify
key reaches within the watershed that are impaired from increased temperatures and could be
contributing factors to the decline of the Threatened Lake Ozette sockeye.
We continue to participate in the watershed planning processes for two watershed areas in the U
& A. One area is known as WRIA (Water Resource Inventory Area) 19 and one is WRIA 20.
WRIA 19 represents all the streams that drain to Juan de Fuca straight until Freshwater Bay near
Port Angeles and WRIA 20 is all that is south of the Reservation to beyond the Hoh River that
drains into the Pacific Ocean. Each area has a planning process that the Tribe actively supports
and participates in. The goal of these plans is to determine how much water is needed to ensure
that fish in the streams will have enough water to survive, while balancing future human growth
Mike Dulik removes Coal Creek turbidity monitoring station. Pieces of equipment will be used
for the weather station.
SALMON FIELD RESEARCH AND MONITORING
Larry Cooke – Fisheries Project Biologist
The salmon research and monitoring division conducts field research and data collection on local
salmon stocks for use in fisheries management, stock assessments, and evaluation of salmon
recovery programs. Many of our projects are on-going programs that have long-term data sets
that can be used to assess population trends over many years. This information is useful for
evaluating fishery management programs, restoration projects, and recovery plans. Our main
project areas are as follows: Lake Ozette sockeye monitoring; coho smolt out-migration
escapement monitoring; adult spawner surveys; and coded wire tag recovery and read
Lake Ozette Sockeye Monitoring
The Ozette River smolt trap was installed May 18 thru May 31, we collected data using screw
trap. Unfortunately the otters found out how to get in the trap, so we had to pull it out. The adult
weir went in on the same day May 18. Both of these were a little late due to high spring flows.
We normally try to get then in mid. April. The adult weir was taken out on August 15. The adult
video monitoring system was incorporated into the weir as an integrated system. Additionally,
adult sockeye salmon entering Lake Ozette were being monitored using a DVR that records each
fish as it passes through the viewing chamber of the video monitoring system. Approximately
15% of these data video tapes have been viewed and these data are still being processed and
checked for accuracy.
Coho Smolt Out-Migration Monitoring
Two smolt traps were operated in the Hoko River watershed through the spring smolt out-
migration period. The traps were located on the Little Hoko and Johnson Creek tributaries.
The Little Hoko smolt trap and panel weir was installed on May 17th. The Little Hoko smolt trap
was fished for 34 days. The smolt trap blew out one time due to high river flows and flood
conditions in the stream bed. The Little Hoko smolt trap was removed on June 21st. The Johnson
Creek trap was installed over two days, April 29th and April 30th. The Johnson Creek smolt trap
was removed on June 14th. This panel weir system only lost 3 days due to high flow conditions.
During the monitoring period, the traps were checked once each day to monitor salmon and
steelhead smolts migrating downstream.
Little Hoko Smolt Trap (5/17/11) Johnson Creek Smolt Trap (5/29/11)
Adult Spawner Surveys
The 2011 adult spawner surveys for the Hoko, Sekiu and Western Straits tributaries have been
completed for chinook. Scale samples and snouts from chinook carcasses were also recovered
and will be delivered to WDFW, for analysis. The surveys for coho and steelhead are still on-
going through the rest of the season. The information will be synthesized and used in monitoring
salmon recovery and in fisheries stock assessments and management. Also, supplemental salmon
spawner surveys are taking place in streams in the Strait of Juan de Fuca.
Adult spawner surveys are currently on-going at Lake Ozette and its tributaries for sockeye,
kokanee and coho, and for other salmonids that are being encountered. Surveys are done on foot,
by boat, and by wading along the beaches of Lake Ozette. Surveyors are recovering otoliths and
DNA samples from sockeye carcasses. The otoliths will be checked for thermal marks, which
will provide positive identification of hatchery origin and release group.
Spawner surveys utilize GIS/GPS technology to learn about the spatial distribution of redds in
the Hoko, Sekiu, Western Straits and Ozette system. During surveys all chinook, coho and
sockeye redds are marked in a GPS. The latitude and longitude coordinate of each point is then
incorporated into a digital mapping system. Our goal is to develop a system for analyzing the
distribution and time trends of redd locations.
Joe Hinton - Hatchery Manager
The hatchery operations stage is re-set each fall with the annual collection of the various brood
stocks necessary to continue the next years’ rearing and release programs. Each of our four
hatcheries is dependant upon a successful brood stocking season to provide the eggs, and fry or
smolts needed to further the Tribes salmon enhancement goals.
These goals include:
1. Providing harvestable steelhead, coho, and chinook for Tribal and sport fishers.
2. Providing Coded Wire Tagged chinook smolts for the U.S./Canada wild chinook
Indicator Stock study.
3. Increasing the range and the abundance of Hoko River chinook.
4. Increasing the range and abundance of the Lake Ozette sockeye.
5. Providing assistance with various Salmon Research and Monitoring projects.
This narrative details those activities by fish species.
The hatchery program typically raises two steelhead stocks, Hoko River and Tsoo-Yess River,
for release into the Makah U&A. The Hoko River stock is reared entirely at the Hoko Hatchery
while pre smolt Tsoo-Yess steelhead are transferred from the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s
(USFWS) Makah National Fish Hatchery (MNFH) to the Educket Creek Hatchery imprinting
Hoko River Hatchery
The Hoko steelhead brood stocking season extends from November through January. We
inventory and examine adult steelhead for ripeness on a weekly basis. We strip the eggs and
sperm from the ripe fish and fertilize them using a 4x4 spawning matrix to maximize the genetic
variability of our relatively small steelhead program. This process involves dividing the eggs
from each female into four equal portions and then fertilizing each portion with a different male.
This extra step helps to provide the greatest number of different genetic combinations available
from the relatively small number of adult spawners necessary to fulfill Tribes’ steelhead stocking
We spawned a total of 68 Hoko River steelhead (34 females and 34 males). The spawned
carcasses and surplus adult steelhead processed at the Hoko Hatchery during the 2011 brood
season totaled 423 fish. These were distributed to Tribal members via the Fisheries Management
distribution program or to Hoko families once the tribal needs were satiated.
We also conducted a fungus control experiment with the fertilized eggs from one of our surplus
steelhead. This experiment sought to reproduce a published experiment which demonstrated the
anti-fungal benefits of inserting woven copper pads into the salmonid egg incubators. If this
technique effectively prevented the growth of the saprolegnia fungus in incubating eggs, then the
need to treat with harsh chemicals such as formaldehyde could be reduced or eliminated.
Although the copper pads seemed to prevent fungus growth in our small scale experiment, a
literature review revealed that relatively low concentrations of copper ions can adversely affect a
fish’s homing ability. Because the copper ion concentrations provided with this technique will
vary depending upon water chemistry, we concluded that the potential risk of impeding homing
ability outweighed the benefits of reduced chemical treatments.
We were again able to tap an external funding source to pay for the adipose fin clipping of
91,600 Brood Year 2011 Hoko steelhead this year. We typically hire four to six Makah Tribal
members as seasonal employees to adipose fin clip the Hoko River sub-yearling steelhead. This
year was no exception and with the help of the Makah Employment and Contracting Rights Act
Office (MECRA) we hired five tribal members for three days of clipping in mid July. Despite
another year of low flows and high water temperatures at the Hoko Hatchery, we reared the
Brood Year 2010 steelhead without incident this summer. We expect to release the yearlings at
the usual locations as smolts in April 2012.
Educket Creek Hatchery
We operate the Educket Creek Hatchery as an imprinting station for the Waatch River release
portion of the Tsoo-Yess River hatchery stocks from the MNFH. The fish receive supplemental
feed while rearing in the pond created by impounding the clean-out flow as it exits the Educket
Reservoir into the former streambed. The natural characteristic of this pond affords the fish an
opportunity to learn to forage for natural feed organisms in a complex habitat (as opposed to the
relatively barren habitat of a concrete raceway). We believe that this rearing strategy will
improve survival by helping the fish better adapt to the natural environment. We typically rear
the smolts in this natural rearing environment for two to five weeks before releasing them
directly into Educket Creek to begin their journey to the Makah Bay estuary.
The Educket Creek hatchery is programmed to annually release yearling Tsoo-Yess River
steelhead into the Waatch River to provide additional on reservation steelhead fishing
opportunities. The Tsoo-Yess River steelhead are reared for a year at the MNFH before they are
transferred as pre-smolts to the Educket Creek Hatchery in early April. They are then reared by
MFM hatchery personnel for an additional 3 weeks at the Educket Hatchery’s channel pond to
imprint them to the Waatch watershed. We released 25,071 imprinted smolts volitionally at the
Educket Creek Hatchery in mid-May as shown in Table 1.
The hatchery program goals are to raise two chinook stocks, Hoko River and Tsoo-Yess River,
for release into the Makah U&A. The Hoko River chinook are reared entirely at the Hoko Falls
Hatchery while the Tsoo-Yess chinook are transferred as fry from the MNFH to the Educket
Creek Hatchery. The MNFH was again unable to provide the annually programmed 100,000
Tsoo-Yess chinook fry for the Educket imprinting program.
The Hoko chinook production is programmed for four different release groups based upon the
annual in-river escapement. In descending order of importance, these groups are:
1. US/Canada indicator stock
2. Upper Hoko River
3. Little Hoko River,
4. Out of basin (e.g. Pysht and/or Sekiu River)
The Hoko fall chinook brood stocking season begins in September/October. As with all of the
other salmonids reared by MFM, we inventory and examine adult chinook for ripeness on a
weekly basis and spawn ripe individuals using a 4x4 spawning matrix. The chinook eggs are
incubated through hatching, reared through May, coded-wire tagged (CWT), and further reared
until release in June.
The 2010 Hoko River chinook brood stocking operation was moderately more successful than in
2009 despite stream survey results which indicated a moderately low escapement of 793 total
spawners for Run Year 2010. While we were able to gillnet capture only 29 adult chinook (13
female and 16 male), an additional 451 (46 female, 397 male, and 8 jacks) voluntarily ascended
the new Hoko Hatchery fish ladder. We ultimately spawned 56 females for an egg take of
269,655 green eggs. We realized a 92.4% green to eyed survival rate in the 2010 chinook which
ultimately provided 241,907 Hoko chinook for release as shown in Table 1.
Due to scheduling conflicts in the NWIFC CWT trailer program, we were assigned the NWIFC’s
manual tagging trailer for our U/S Canada chinook tagging operation this year. With the help of
the MECRA Office, we hired eleven tribal fish taggers to CWT and adipose fin clip 214,673
Brood Year 2010 chinook. Because our chinook tagging program occurs slightly later than the
chinook tagging at the MNFH, we benefit by having the experienced pool of taggers to draw
from for the mid-May operation; picture of the tagging crew shown below.
The majority of the 2011 Brood Year Hoko River chinook voluntarily ascended the Hoko
Hatchery fish ladder. The success of the new fish ladder allowed us to exceed our chinook
spawning goal of 500,000 green eggs for the first time since 2003. The 111 females we spawned
this year provided 542,800 green eggs and the relatively high 96% green to eyed egg survival
rate has us ending the year with greater than 522,000 eyed eggs on the verge of hatching. In
addition to the 229 chinook we utilized for brood stock at the Hoko Hatchery in 2011, we also
released 165 surplus chinook (50 females and 115 males) into a natural holding pool to spawn
naturally, see picture of holding pool below.
The preliminary 2011 chinook run size estimate for the Hoko River is 1,209. This estimate is
based upon a 2.5 fish per redd expansion of the 392 redds observed by Tribal and WDFW
surveyors as of November 10. The presence of coded-wire-tags reveals that 91% (209) of the
brood stock did not originate from naturally spawning parents. While this is not surprising given
their hatchery trap homing preference, the alarmingly high number of fin-clipped adult carcasses
recovered during the spawner survey efforts (56%) could be cause for concern. Rudimentary
analysis indicates that nearly 63% of this years’ escapement could be the direct result of the
Tribes’ chinook hatchery program. This relatively high proportion of hatchery origin chinook
indicates a greater than desired hatchery influence in the naturally spawning population. It also
suggests that the incubation gravels and/or the freshwater rearing habitat that is currently
available may be limiting the recovery of a naturally spawning chinook population in the Hoko
As with all of the salmonids spawned by MFM, we inventory and examine adult sockeye for
ripeness on a weekly basis and spawn ripe individuals using a 4x4 spawning matrix to maximize
the available genetic combinations of the brood stock. We incubate the sockeye eggs until
approximately one week prior to hatch in the isolation building at the MNFH. During this pre-
hatch incubation period, we also subject the eyed eggs to alternating heat/cold cycles to induce a
mark pattern in the fish’s otoliths (ear bones) which is similar to the annual growth rings found
in trees. The cycles are programmed to induce distinct patterns and to thereby monitor the
effectiveness of various release strategies we are evaluating in conjunction with the Lake Ozette
Sockeye rebuilding project. Following the eighteen day otolith marking process, we transfer the
eyed eggs to the Stony Creek, and/or Umbrella Creek Hatcheries where they are hatched and
reared in according with their release group designation.
We ultimately retained 234 (118 female and 116 male) adult sockeye as brood stock for the
Brood Year 2010-11 sockeye program and applied Petersen disk tags to 279 adult sockeye in
conjunction with the Umbrella Creek sockeye escapement estimation study as outlined in the
Lake Ozette Sockeye Hatchery and Genetic Monitoring Plan. These adults provided 340,300
unfertilized green eggs, with 88% survival through the eyed stage; we had 299,500 eggs for
otolith marking. We divided these eyed eggs into three groups and otolith marked them
according to their scheduled release as; Umbrella Creek fingerlings (Group 1), Stony Creek
fingerlings (Group 2), or Stony Creek fed fry (Group 3). To monitor the relative contribution
from each release technique, we will collect and analyze the otoliths from the adults when they
return in 2014. An example of a thermally induced otolith mark is shown in photo below.
As explained in the 2010 Annual Report, an important aspect of the Lake Ozette Sockeye
hatchery program is the fish health monitoring component. For the first time since 1992, the
IHN virus (often associated with sockeye stocks) was detected during routine adult spawn
sampling. We were confident that we could safely continue the sockeye rearing programs this
year if we rigidly adhered to the various disinfection protocols designed to circumvent both
routes of infection. These protocols included a standard disinfection bath using an iodine
solution during the initial fertilization process, followed by an additional iodine bath shortly
before transport of the eyed eggs back to their relative hatcheries. The routine protocols in place
at the MNFH quarantine sockeye incubation building were deemed successful in preventing
disease organisms from spreading to or from that facility.
Fish diseases can be transmitted via two mechanisms, vertical transmission or horizontal
transmission. Vertical transmission involves passing pathogens from adult to progeny via their
gametes (egg or sperm). Horizontal transmission takes place via pathogens present in the water
supply or through contact with infected fish. The current belief among most fish health
professional is that horizontal transmission is much more likely than vertical transmission to
produce IHN in hatchery programs. To verify that the disinfection protocols in place at the
MNFH quarantine facility where effective, we initiated a heightened monitoring regime once the
eggs were transferred to the Umbrella and Stony Creek Hatcheries.
Although the Umbrella and Stony Creek Hatcheries use similar techniques and equipment to
raise sockeye, their fundamental difference lies in their respective water supplies. The water
source for the Umbrella Creek hatchery is drawn from above an anadromous fish barrier,
whereas Stony Creeks’ water supply is drawn directly from the creek. When our heightened
monitoring detected elevated mortalities within a small number of the newly hatched fry from
mid-season eggtakes at Stony Creek, we feared that our procedures had allowed vertical
transmission to occur. The subsequent observation of disease eventually developing in all of the
groups at Stony, but not in the two groups that were only exposed to Umbrella Creeks’ water
supply, lead us to conclude that the disease most likely occurred due to exposure from the water
supply at Stony Creek. Ironically we euthanized the sockeye fry rearing at Stony Creek to
prevent amplification and discharge of the virus into the wild population, although the source of
the infection was likely the wild population. In any event, the virility of the virus was such that
it would likely have killed all of the fry despite any measures we may have attempted. To
salvage the rearing season, we only reared the Umbrella Creek component until the first week of
May. When rains produced favorable downstream migration conditions we elected to minimize
the risk of a repeat infection and released the 124,454 sockeye fry as shown in Table 1.
The 2011-12 Umbrella Creek sockeye brood stocking season extends from October through
January. This year we installed and have operated the Umbrella Creek resistance board weir
from October 2nd through the date of this report. We have thus far retained 163 (73 female and
90 male) adult sockeye as brood stock for the Brood Year 2011-12 sockeye programs and have
applied Petersen disk tags to an additional 66 adult sockeye in conjunction with the Umbrella
Creek sockeye escapement estimation study.
Fish predation has increased at the Umbrella Creek weir this year, or at least our four legged co-
managers have become more brazen. We have observed predation on several occasions in the
form of bobcats capturing sockeye in close proximity to the weir and river otter fish kills within
the trap and near the weir as shown as shown in the photo below.
This year we are again encountering IHN virus detections during routine adult spawn sampling.
This year however, the virus has been detected in 100% of the 60 adult spawners sampled to date
despite earlier spawn timing as compared to the 2010-11 season. This prevalence is notable in
that IHN detections and virulence typically increases as the spawning season progresses with
earlier timed fish not carrying detectable levels of virus. We have again adopted heightened
bio-security measures to prevent contamination of other hatcheries. We are awaiting
confirmation of the genotype of this years’ virus but expect it to be the strain most often
associated with sockeye.
Thanks to the ability to incubate the sockeye eggs at a clean facility, we hope to be able to
thoroughly disinfect the Umbrella Hatchery before the eyed eggs are returned. The routine
procedures in place at the MNFH quarantine sockeye incubation building are intended to prevent
disease organisms from spreading to or from that facility.
Prior to this years spawning season, we initiated a hatchery feasibility study to develop a means
to secure hatchery water supplies through a joint North Coastal Hatcheries consultation project.
We hope to secure funding through BIA cyclical maintenance grants to develop pathogen free
water supplies for the four North Coastal Tribes. Until we can provide a pathogen free water
supply for our Stony Creek Hatchery, we plan to temporarily reprogram operations at Stony
Creek to prevent a repeat of the catastrophic losses experienced by the 2010-11 sockeye program
as detailed earlier in this report.
Our goal is to annually release 40,000 yearling Tsoo-Yess River coho from the Educket Creek
Hatchery to provide coho fishing opportunities in the Waatch River. The MNFH rears their
Tsoo-Yess River coho for one year and then transfers the pre-smolts to the Educket Creek
Hatchery natural imprinting pond in early March. We rear these fish for 3-4 weeks at the
Educket Creek Hatchery’s natural rearing pond, to imprint them to the Waatch watershed, and
then release them as smolts in early April. This year we received and released 38,692 Tsoo-Yess
coho from the Educket Creek Hatchery as shown in Table 1.
Table 1 2011 Hatchery Releases
Makah Releases 2011
Steelhead Coho Chinook Sockeye
HOKO SEKIU VILLAGE SAIL EDUCKET EDUCKET HOKO UMBRELLA STONY
START Apr 27 Apr 26 Apr 29 Apr 19 May 13 Apr 6 Jun 19 May 3 Apr 21 TOTAL
FINISH May 2 Apr 27 Apr 29 Apr 25 May 13 Apr 10 Jun 20 May 3 Apr 21
TOTAL FISH 25,261 12,292 2,295 11,346 25,071 38,692 192,982 48,925 124,454 0
TOTAL LBS. 3,572 1,770 332 437 3,134 2,496 3,060 776 55 0
AVG SIZE 7.07 6.94 6.91 6.68 8.00 15.50 63.07 63.07 2265.00 0.00
AD, CWT IHN infected,
Comments Ad-clip Ad-clip Ad-clip Ad-clip Ad-clip Ad-clip Untag Otolith-1
SUSTAINABLE RESOURCES DIVISION
D a n a S a r f f - S u s t a i n a b l e R e s o u r c e C oor d i n a t o r II I
The goal of the Sustainable Resources Division is to “Protect Treaty Rights secured in the 1855
Treaty of Neah Bay and the aquatic resources on the reservation and within the usual and
accustomed hunting and fishing area (U&A)”. This Division, under a Performance Partnership
Grant provided by the EPA, has oversight of the following Programs:
EPA General Assistance Program
Air Quality Program
Water Quality and Non Point Source Pollution Programs
Over the past year the office of Sustainable Resource Management has continued working
towards achieving a number of objectives to protect our air, water, and fisheries resources on the
reservation and within the Makah U&A. This is done at the policy, program, and project level.
Much of what we do is directed to the protection of our environment, sustaining and enhancing
the important resources of our immediate ecosystem. As we strive to safeguard our sustainable
resources and the environment, we in turn are ultimately protecting the guaranteed rights of our
Many of the program objectives, tasks, and activities described in this report directly and
indirectly support the Makah way of life, paving the way for future generations and
strengthening today’s capacity to manage the resources we hold dear. One of the most important
objectives of this office is to maintain effective government to government relations and uphold
the trust responsibility’s within today legislative society.
Sustainable Resources Division Accomplishments in 2011
Funding and Grants
Successful completion, reporting, and closeout of the 2006-2010 EPA PPG Grant totaling
$ 1.7 million dollars which supported Sustainable Resources Division’s programs from
2006-2010. This grant went over-budget by $ 12,000 or less than 1%.
Programming and budgeting of 2011 EPA PPG Grant for $ 361,000. This money is
currently funding Sustainable Resources Division programs and is on target as regards
Development, finalization, and award of the EPA PPG Grant in the amount of $ 388,000
for ongoing work in the Sustainable Resources Division’s Air and Water Quality
Programs during 2012. This funding has been budgeted for this next year.
Development, finalization, and award of EPA Puget Sound Partnership/NWIFC Grants in
the amount of $ 286,000 for ongoing work in habitat restoration and salmon recovery
within both the Sustainable Resources and Habitat Division during 2012.
Development, finalization, and award of a NOAA Olympic Coast National Marine
Sanctuary (OCNMS) Grant in the amount of $ 25,000 for Makah participation in
sanctuary planning and management.
Development, finalization, and award of an EPA DERA Grant in the amount of $
750,000 to provide replacement engines in up to twelve Makah Tribal fleet fishing
Programs and Projects
General Assistance Program (GAP)
Ongoing management of Sustainable Resources Division and programs.
Ongoing building of infrastructure and capacity within Sustainable Resources
Division programs through funding research, development and the creation of
potential employment opportunities.
Ongoing policy and planning level representation at the federal, state, regional
and local governmental levels, the NWIFC, other tribes, NGO’s and businesses.
Collaboration with the Nature Conservancy in scoping and planning for the
recovery of derelict fishing gear both in the rivers and in the marine environment.
Participation in Makah Land Use Committee and Integrated Resource
Management Planning (IMRP) for development of ecosystem and resources based
policy development and management.
Ongoing representation and participation/engagement at a variety of
governmental levels and organizations concerning a multitude of environmental
and sustainable resources issues concerning reservation and U&A lands.
Ongoing collaboration and support of the Habitat Division in habitat restoration
and salmon recovery efforts.
General support of Fisheries management goals and objectives.
Air Quality Program (CAA 105)
Recruitment, employment, and training of new Air Quality Specialist; Doug
Continuation of ambient (outdoor) air quality monitoring efforts at three Makah
air quality network sites, including locations at the Makah Marina
(meteorological, particulate matter PM 2.5), the Makah National Fish Hatchery
(mercury), and at Cheek Peak (particulate matter PM 2.5 and PM 10).
Under the Woodsheds for Elders Project, construction and distribution of seven
Under the an EPA DERA Grant, $ 750,000 in funding was awarded for the
Makah Sustainable Fishing Fleet Project to replace up to twelve Makah fishing
fleet vessel engines. Staging for implementation of this project has already begun.
Water Quality and Non-Point Source Program (CWA 106 and 319)
Continuation of water quality monitoring efforts at 22 sites within six watersheds
including Ozette, Wa’atch, Village, Sail, Sekiu, and Pilchuck. Monitoring
parameters include temperature, dissolved oxygen, salinity, conductivity,
turbidity, and potential Hydrogen (pH).
Makah Shellfish Monitoring Project
Well Water Screening/Testing Project
Wetland Restoration Project
Hatchery Fish Distribution Demonstration Project
General Assistance Program (GAP)
The GAP Program helps us build infrastructure and capacity to be able to have a voice at various
levels of government and to engage in many topics of concern to the Makah. Below is a
summary of general activities under GAP that we have been engaged in during 2011.
Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) and sustainable ocean energy conferences and meetings.
NOAA Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary Intergovernmental Policy Council
(IPC) and Strategic Advisory Council (SAC) meetings.
North Pacific Coast Marine Resources Committee (MRC) meetings and conferences.
Freshwater Habitat and Salmon Recovery
Puget Sound Partnership Leadership Council, Ecosystem Coordination Board and
Salmon Recovery Council meetings (Note: these meetings are funded by the Puget Sound
Monitoring and engagement in issues regarding Essential Fish Habitat (EFH), including
potential restrictions within the Makah U&A. This involves working with other tribes, the
NWIFC, fishing industry stakeholders and state and federal agencies to achieve EFH
conservation, enhancement and protection.
Strait Ecosystem Recovery Network (ERN), North Pacific Coast Marine Resources
Committee (also serves salmon recovery function) and Lake Ozette Sockeye Salmon
Recovery Steering Committee meetings.
WRIA 19 and 20 Water Resource Inventory Areas and North Pacific Coast Lead Entity
Program level management of the General Assistance Program, the Air Quality Program, the
Water Quality Program, and ongoing efforts to build infrastructure and capacity within the
Division, which during 2011, involved application for and management of the following grants
totaling approximately $ 1.7 million:
EPA Performance Partnership
EPA Clean Air Act 105
EPA Clean Water Act 106
EPA Clean Water Act 319 Base
EPA Puget Sound Partnership/NWIFC
EPA Diesel Emissions Recovery Act (DERA)
NOAA OCNMS IPC
Management of these grants included review of award documents, development of budgets,
budget monitoring, budget modifications, review of all procurements, contracts, purchases,
travel. The GAP Program and the Sustainable Resources Coordinator also serves to support and
supervise all Sustainable Resources Division staff, including the Air Quality Specialist, Water
Quality Specialist, Water Quality Technicians, and additional Emergency Temporary Hire staff
as required. Management can also include periodic management of NWIFC Summer Student
Interns, and Summer Student Youth.
Air Quality Program (Clean Air Act 105)
Doug Sternback - Air Quality Specialist
Overview: Why an Air Quality Program?
The Clean Air Act (CAA) is the comprehensive federal law that regulates air emissions from
stationary and mobile sources. Among other things, this law authorizes EPA to establish
National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) to protect public health and public welfare
and to regulate emissions of hazardous air pollutants. The Makah Tribe has received Treatment a
State (TAS) status. Under the Clean Air Act and pursuant to TAS the Makah Tribe, through
CAA 105 funding, has the authority to manage it’s own air resources, establish it’s own air
quality regulations, and implement programs and projects that it deems beneficial to the welfare,
health, and safety of the Makah community.
During the fall of 2010, the Sustainable Resources Division advertised for, recruited, and hired
new Air Quality Program staff. Air Quality Specialist Doug Sternback was hired in January of
2011. Staff orientation and training has been ongoing during 2011.
Training included hands on operation, maintenance, and QC of ambient air monitoring
equipment, comprehensive review of the existing program, 2011 work plan, and EPA/ Tribal
FARR air quality rules and regulations. The following trainings were also attended:
“Introduction to Tribal Air Quality” put on by ITEP at NAU
“Air Quality Computation” (Level 1) put on by ITEP at NAU
“Tribal Healthy Homes Indoor Air Quality” put on by National Tribal Healthy Homes
“EPA National Air Quality Conference” in San Diego, CA.
Webinar: “Using Instruments to Measure Indoor Air Quality”.
“Basic Data Analysis and Reporting” Neah Bay by Bob Conrad Quantitative Services
Manager for Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission.
Air Quality Monitoring and Data Collection
Indoor Air Quality Monitoring
Upon request, the Air Quality Program staff conducted indoor air quality testing and
assessments, developed reports, and provided those reports to the appropriate Tribal divisions,
departments, or to outside agencies for consideration in making decisions regarding remediation.
Outdoor or “Ambient” Air Quality Monitoring
Neah Bay (Marina) Air Monitoring Site
Ambient air monitoring conducted by the Tribe here in the Makah Nation focuses primarily on
particulate matter, ozone, air toxins such as lead and mercury, and meteorological parameters.
Monitoring during 2011 included the following:
Particulate Matter (PM 2.5) Monitoring: Using a nephelometer, PM 2.5 monitoring
began in 2006. Monitoring for overall concentrations of particulate matter has continued
since then into 2011. With data provided by this monitoring, we will soon be able to
share information about how healthy our air is. Using real time software programs
displaying the federally established Clean Air Index system, charts and graphs, we can
upload this data onto the internet through telemetry, display it in chart and graph form,
and share this information with the community, the Olympic Region Clean Air Agency,
the Washington State Department of Ecology, and the EPA.
Meteorological Monitoring: Started in 2007, meteorological monitoring has continued
through 2011. To date, these include wind direction/speed sensors and a temperature
sensor. Humidity and precipitation will be added. Just as with the data for particulate
matter monitoring, we will use real time software programs to upload this data onto the
internet using telemetry and display these various parameters in the form of charts and
graphs, sharing it with the community, the Olympic Region Clean Air Agency, the
Washington State Department of Ecology, and the EPA.
Web-Camera Monitoring: Yet to be installed, this will support all of the above types of
monitoring, including visibility, particulate matter air pollution, and weather.
Makah National Fish Hatchery Monitoring Site
Mercury levels in wild salmon and other fish and shellfish are of a primary concern to the Tribe.
It is important that we begin to collect data about the deposition of mercury through rainfall. As
of March of 2007, the Makah Air Quality Program, in conjunction with the Mercury Deposition
Network, the National Atmospheric Deposition Program, the Washington State Department of
Ecology, and the United States Geological Survey, located and is currently operating a wet
deposition mercury monitoring collector and rain gauge at the Makah National Fish Hatchery.
Data collection has now been ongoing for four years, nine months.
Cheeka Peak Air Monitoring Site
Visibility Monitoring: Since the summer of 2006, equipment has been in continuous
operation for monitoring of particulate matter in assessing both air quality and visibility
in our air-shed. As part of the Interagency Monitoring of Protected Visual Environments
program (IMPROVE), this monitoring is being done to determine the type and sources of
pollution that affect our air quality and visibility, with the primary area of concern
focusing on mobile marine sources of air pollution. The emphasis here is on marine
diesel emissions and pollution coming from vessels traveling along the coastline and in
the Strait of Juan de Fuca.
Multi-Pollutant Monitoring: After years under the management and operation of the
University of Washington as a strategic air monitoring and research site (Cheeka Peak
Observatory), the Cheeka Peak Air Monitoring Site is now under the joint management
of the Makah Tribe and the Olympic Region Clean Air Agency (ORCAA). Under a
Memorandum of Agreement (MOA), the site is operated by ORCAA with the assistance
of the Makah Air Quality Program. The Cheeka Peak site is a multi-pollutant monitoring
site, monitoring for ozone, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, sulfur oxides and
particulate matter. Monitoring has continued throughout 2011, providing “on the job”
training opportunities to Makah Air Quality staff while at the same time helping to
provide local operation, maintenance and repair support for the facility. The Makah Air
Quality Program has legal ownership of all data along with ORCAA.
Air Pollution Levels
The Makah Tribe has not adopted, under the Federal Air Rules for Reservations, any air quality
standards. Under the Washington State DOE WAQA for PM 2.5, the threshold for Good air
quality is 13.4 ug/m3 or below. Under the National EPA National Ambient Air Quality
Standards (NAAQS) and the associated AQI for PM 2.5, the threshold for Good air quality is 35
ug/m3 or below. During this reporting period, the highest 24 hr average air quality values have
been in the “Green” or “Good” for both the WAQA and the AQI.
Outreach and Education
Outreach and education includes submission of articles to the Makah Newsletter, postings on
Makahcap.net, development of an air quality web site, and making available a variety of
brochures and handouts to the community. Pollution mitigation projects also provide outreach,
education, and direct community involvement opportunities. During 2011, staff attended the
Makah Senior Health Fair, submitted several articles to the Makah Newsletter, and met with the
Sustainable Resources Coordinator and staff at the Olympic Region Clean Air Agency to
implement the completion of an air quality web site that will provide real time meteorological
and air quality information and data to the community.
Pollution Mitigation-Special Projects
Makah Woodsheds for Elder Project: This project provides modular woodsheds to
community members for firewood storage, seasoning, and drying. A total of seven
woodsheds were built and distributed during 2011.
Makah Clean Air, Healthy Homes Project: This is our woodstove change-out project,
which replaces old wood burning appliances with new EPA certified wood or pellet
stoves. No funding was identified and secured for this project during 2011.
Makah Sustainable Fishing Fleet Project: Replaces old marine diesel engines with new
clean burning Tier II technology to increase fuel efficiency, reduce diesel emissions and
green house gases (GHG’s). During 2011, EPA Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA)
funding was secured for the replacement of engines in up to twelve fleet fishing vessels.
Picture a. shows some of fishing fleet which could benefit from the Sustainable Fishing Fleet
Project and picture b. shows an elder’s woodshed built by MFM Sustainable Resources.
Water Quality and Non-Non Point Source Pollution Program
(Clean Water Act 106/319)
Ray Colby - Water Quality Specialist
Billy Noel - Water Quality Technician III
Overview: Why a Water Quality Program?
The Clean Water Act (CWA) establishes the basic structure for regulating discharges of
pollutants into the waters of the United States and regulating quality standards for surface waters.
The basis of the CWA was enacted in 1948 and was called the Federal Water Pollution Control
Act, but the Act was significantly reorganized and expanded in 1972. "Clean Water Act" became
the Act's common name with amendments in 1977. Under the CWA, EPA has implemented
pollution control programs such as setting wastewater standards for industry. The EPA has also
set water quality standards for all contaminants in surface waters. The CWA made it unlawful to
discharge any pollutant from a point source into navigable waters, unless a permit was obtained.
EPA's National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit program controls
The Makah Tribe has received Treatment a State (TAS) status under the Clean Water Act. Under
the Clean Water Act and pursuant to TAS the Makah Tribe, through CAA 106 and CAA NPS
319 funding, has the authority to manage it’s own water resources, establish it’s own water
quality standards and regulations, and implement programs and projects that it deems beneficial
to the welfare, health, and safety of the Makah community.
Water Quality Monitoring and Data Collection
During 2011, we continued to implement our water quality monitoring plan. This monitoring
plan consists of 14 core stations and 8 rotating sites that are monitored in six watersheds,
including the Ozette, Wa’atch, Village, Sail, Sekiu, and Pilchuck. There is a monthly and
bimonthly plan we follow to sample these 22 sites, collecting a range of data. This data includes
parameter measurements including temperature, dissolved oxygen, salinity, conductivity,
turbidity, and potential Hydrogen (pH). These parameters are all indicators used in qualifying
and quantifying the chemical, physical, and biological health of a stream, river, or creek. All of
the data measurements collected require a double check for accuracy, as quality assurance and
quality control (QA/QC) methods are required by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
After completing our Water Quality Standards (WQS) in 2006, the monitoring plan was
implemented in order to establish a baseline for analysis of our surface waters and for reporting
this data to the NWIFC and to the EPA’s STORET Data Collection System. Currently, our data
is submitted to the EPA Water Quality Exchange Network (WQX) through the Tribal Database
Partnership Network Agreement. Tribes of the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission
(NWIFC) use this system to share this water quality data in order to assist them in the
determination of the state of their watersheds as regards habitat and salmon recovery. This
database network will only be accessible to tribes that have approved and signed their
partnership agreement with the NWIFC and are participating in Region 10 EPA CWA 106
funded water quality programs.
Water Quality Standards 401 Certification
The Makah water quality program continues to utilize and apply our tribal Water Quality
Standards for compliance and enforcement by issuing 401Water Quality Certification to the
projects within the Makah Reservation or our U&A to insure that our WQS are met and adhered
to. Certifications issued during this period were for the following:
USACE Breakwater Armoring Repairs: February 28, 2011.
Sail River Bridge Replacement: March 3, 2011.
Hobuck Culvert Replacement (Makah Planning Department): September 19, 2011.
USACE Subcontract Breakwater Repairs: pending early 2012
Outreach and Education
A website for Makah Water Quality and Non Point Source pollution was developed and has been
up and running for three years. This web-site focuses on creating water quality awareness in the
community. The ultimate goal is to help the community realize their close relationship with the
environment and to promote watershed stewardship within the community. The website can be
viewed at: http://www.makahwater.com what’s available; our shellfish sampling results, water
quality monitoring site pictures, Best Management Practices (BMP) in place, and links to videos
and various environmental agencies.
Makah Shellfish Monitoring Project
Shellfish samples are collected and sent to the Washington State Department of Health (DOH)
each month to test for levels of Domoic Acid (DA) and Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning (PSP) bio-
toxin. Our plan consists of collections of mussel, butter or varnish clams at each low tide from
Makah Bay, Neah Bay, and Sekiu Bay and to screen those samples for bio-toxin as well as assess
the reported trends or conditions of other tribal or non-tribal shellfish harvesting areas at that
time. Our reports on bio-toxin are posted throughout the community and on our water quality
web site. Currently there are no bio-toxin warnings or closures for our tribal shellfish harvesting.
Marine water samples are also taken on a two month schedule for the Washington Department of
Health (DOH) at twelve locations in Neah Bay and on the Straits from Kydaka point to Pillar
point. These samples are screened for fecal coliform pollution. Our performance and partnership
with the state in collecting these marine water samples is to satisfy an agreement with the DOH
for the shellfish samples they receive and publish. This sampling of marine water also insures
that the Makah have an approved commercial harvest classification with the state. Twice this
year the DOH has requested and received California blue mussels from Neah Bay. The purpose
of doing this was to replenish the states shellfish stock supplies in Grays Harbor where they
conduct the same biotoxin testing for shellfish harvesters in that region. The mussels from Neah
Bay have been consistently clear to very low of biotoxin during this year.
Well Water Screening/Testing Project
There were two rounds of confidential screening of well water. These were conducted for the
purpose of getting a concise report about the quality of well water being used by a minority of
home sites, and in assisting the Indian Health Service (IHS) in obtaining support data in order to
secure additional funding for the proposed water main extension to Tsoo Yess beach. Water
quality had a limited amount of funds available so this case study was only to include screening
the basic surface water parameters, including temperature, conductivity, salinity, dissolved
oxygen, pH, turbidity, fecal coliform, and arsenic. A cover letter and a well water packet to
explain our screening study was given to members of the community who had wells identified
for screening. Permission to test well water was granted by signatures from the homeowners.
Each test was conducted using a short standard operating procedure at the well head or at an
indoor faucet. Turnaround time for results from the sampling was twenty-four hours which is the
length of time it would take for the samples to be processed for fecal screening. Each household
received documentation of the results showing the conditions that range within normal limits for
safe drinking water. One example for safe and allowable drinking water is zero contamination of
fecal coliform. Overall these tests results were acceptable with the exception of an “expression”
of arsenic that was found at one location. Sampling was repeated at each site to insure procedure
and process were correctly handled and documentation was provided to the participants about
their well water condition. Surprisingly arsenic is naturally occurring in various forms within the
environment, but by using our WQS to set a minimal allowable level for contaminants and fresh
water we can insure that our public safety and treaty rights are protected.
Wetland Restoration Project
An important wetland refuge for salmon and trout was reconnected to Thirty Cent Creek, a
tributary of the Tsoo Yess River on Makah tribal fee lands. This project opened what was once a
complete loss of habitat to fish and was coordinated in cooperation with the Makah Forestry
Enterprise (MFE) Operation Manager. In the mid-sixties over 1/5 of a square mile (128 acres)
was used for log sorting and hauling timber nearly round the clock seven days a week. The
wetland and Thirty Cent Creek were nearly obliterated and what was left was a man made pond
that held water for forest fire prevention. The culverts to the pond and wetland were capped and
there was no function or flow between the wetland and Thirty Cent Creek. The restoration
process was implemented by our Water Quality Program Non Point Source Technician and
Fisheries volunteers with the final bulk of heavy restorative work completed by MFE
subcontractors. The work was accomplished by the end of September and from a legacy of
repeated devastation this wetland can now re-establish itself, and provide a greater degree of
habitat re-connecting itself to Thirty Cent Creek and the Tsoo Yess River.
Photograph of the Thirty Cent Creek restoration project.
Hatchery Fish Distribution Demonstration Project
This year the Makah Fisheries Program has been working with the Makah National Fish
Hatchery and the Makah Senior Center to undertake a hatchery fish distribution “pilot project”. It
is hoped that this project will help address the need to distribute Makah National Fish Hatchery
and Hoko Hatchery spawned salmon and steelhead to the community in a manner which
maximizes the benefit of the food resource. It is also hoped that this will reduce the waste of this
resource by random egg harvesting and indiscriminate dumping of salmon/steelhead remains in
areas where nutrients are not made available for recycling into our streams and rivers. Fisheries
has historically been given the responsibility of picking up hatchery fish and helping to distribute
it back into the community, however concern within the community over waste has caused us in
Fisheries to rethink the manner in which this has been done. The idea behind this project is that
through verbal agreement, our crews will deliver hatchery fish to local, Makah owned smoke
house/kippering business owners in exchange for processed non-perishable fish products, such as
canned, vacuum packed, or smoked fish that will then be provided to the Makah Seniors Center
for distribution to our elders, seniors, veterans, and disabled community members.
MARINE MAMMAL PROGRAM
Jonathan Scordino - Marine Mammal Biologist
Adrianne Akmajian - Marine Mammal Technician II
This past year the Marine Mammal Program expanded our capacity to research marine mammals
and to address management concerns. Adrianne Akmajian was hired as a technician for the
Marine Mammal Program. Ms. Akmajian brings a strong work ethic, experience with marine
mammal studies, a solid fundamental background in marine mammal science, knowledge of
computer programs, and writing skills for publishing her work. We have also hired two
contractors to help with the International Whaling Commission (IWC) and domestic processes
that govern whaling. Dr. John Bickham is a professor of genetic science at Purdue University
and has been hired to review genetic studies of gray whales. Dr. John Brandon is an expert on
population dynamics and has been hired to review the population models for gray whales and the
statistical structure of simulation modeling to examine the impact of the Makah hunt on PCFG
Request for a Waiver of the MMPA Moratorium on Whaling
The Tribe continues to push NOAA to make progress on writing the Environmental Impact
Statement and proposed regulations in order for the waiver request to proceed. New scientific
information on gray whales has again slowed this process. A 2010 genetic study found a small,
but statistically significant difference in mitochondrial DNA between Pacific Coast Feeding
Group (PCFG) whales and other whales of the Eastern North Pacific (ENP) gray whale
population. Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) comes exclusively from the mother and the
differences seen suggest that gray whale mothers are teaching their calves to feed in the PCFG
and the calves in turn are teaching their calves to feed in the PCFG. Photo-identification studies,
however, show strong annual immigration of new whales into the PCFG from other feeding
areas making it hard to understand how this genetic differentiation could occur.
In 2010, we teamed with researchers from NOAA’s Southwest Fisheries Science Center,
Cascadia Research Collective, Oregon State University, and the North Slope Bureau to conduct
our own genetic study on the uniqueness of PCFG whales. In the study we directly compared the
genetics of whales feeding in the PCFG to whales feeding on northern feeding grounds in the
Bering, Beaufort, or Chukchi seas. Unfortunately our study found similar results as the 2010
study, showing small, but statistically significant differences in mtDNA. Our study also found
no differences in nuclear DNA between groups suggesting that PCFG whales breed with other
whales of the ENP and not exclusively within the PCFG group.
Marc Slonim, with input from Brian Gruber, Dr. John Bickham and Jonathan Scordino,
composed a memo for NOAA outlining why the PCFG should not be defined as a stock. The
memo discussed NOAA guidelines for designating stocks and how it would be inappropriate to
designate the PCFG as a stock under those guidelines. The MMPA defines a stock as “a group
of marine mammals of the same species or smaller taxa in a common spatial arrangement that
interbreed when mature.” As stated in the paragraph above there are no biological findings
suggesting that PCFG whales interbreed when mature. This memo was presented to NOAA’s
Regional Office in October and did not get the reception we were hoping for. The Regional
Office stated that they would leave it to their scientists and the Pacific Scientific Review Group
to determine if the PCFG is a stock.
In November, NOAA’s SWFSC declared the PCFG a “prospective stock” in a draft Stock
Assessment Report (SAR) for gray whales and the Pacific Scientific Review Group gathered to
review the SARs. Mr. Gruber, Mr. Slonim, and Mr. Scordino worked together to make sure the
Scientific Review Group had Marc’s memo and other pertinent information on PCFG whales
available for review prior to the meeting. At the meeting Mr. Scordino made a short presentation
on why it was inappropriate to call the PCFG a prospective stock. The Scientific Review Group
did not make a firm decision on the gray whale SAR, however the majority of members appeared
in favor of removing the “prospective stock” language from the document.
International Whaling Commission
The International Whaling Commission (IWC) manages whale harvests internationally. Because
the US is a member nation of the IWC, we work through the IWC to get a quota for whaling; the
Makah Tribe has had a quota for whaling from the IWC (through the US) since 1997. Quotas
are assigned for 5-year time blocks and are determined by the need of whaling nations and
statistical modeling of the population to determine if the whaling nation’s need is sustainable.
Every five years thereafter, the Scientific Committee of the IWC does an implementation review
to determine if changes to hunting quotas are needed. Our quota for gray whales is the harvest of
20 whales with an annual maximum of five whales for the five year period of 2008-2012.
The five-year review for the Russian and US shared gray whale quota was scheduled to occur in
2009. However, scientists with NOAA realized the procedures they used to calculate gray whale
abundance had an error and the implementation review was delayed until 2010. The IWC
completed the implementation review in 2010 and concluded that gray whale hunts are
sustainable. However, new data was presented at the meeting from a combination of photo-
identification, satellite tags, and genetic studies that caused the Scientific Committee to consider
whales feeding along the Pacific Coast a “plausible” stock. The Scientific Committee decided to
have an emergency implementation review in 2011 to look at the potential impacts of whale
hunts if there truly is a unique stock on the Pacific Coast.
In March of 2011, an intercessional meeting of the IWC Scientific Meeting was conducted to
start this implementation review. The meeting focused on understanding the biology of whales
summering on the Pacific Coast of North America, who are recognized by the IWC as the Pacific
Coast Feeding Group (PCFG). The PCFG is hard to define because some whales are seen
repeatedly along the Pacific Coast whereas other individuals are only seen in one year.
Individuals of the latter group are thought to be stragglers of the main migration and not part of
the PCFG. However, each year the PCFG has new whales identified in the group. The rate of
recruitment makes it extremely unlikely that new whales seen are purely the calves of females
with high fidelity to the PCFG. Thus, part of the PCFG must be made up of “straggler” whales.
At the intercessional meeting, IWC Scientific Committee formally defined the PCFG as gray
whales that are seen in two or more years between 41°N and 52°N during the summer-fall time
period defined as 1 June to 30 November. Figure 1 shows a new series of population estimates
computed for PCFG whales. Using the new population estimates and formal definition of the
PCFG, simulations were set up to determine the impact of the Makah whale hunt on the PCFG.
These models are very time-consuming and technically challenging to build and interpret and the
Tribe has contracted Dr. Brandon to help in this effort.
Gray whale abundance estimate
1998 2000 2002 2004 2006 2008
Figure 1. Plot of PCFG (41-52N) (circle) and OR-SVI (42-49N) (triangle) abundance estimates
from 1998-2008 with +/- 1 standard error bars.
In June, the simulation trials were presented to the IWC Scientific Committee annual meeting.
Unfortunately, due to a disagreement on the model used for the simulations and the proposed
changes to the simulation structures, we were unable to complete the implementation review in
2011 and will again be working on the implementation in 2012. Preliminary results leave us
optimistic that going into 2012 we will be able to complete the implementation review and show
that if PCFG whales are a separate stock the Makah Whaling Management Plan will still result in
a sustainable harvest of gray whales. Unfortunately we have a new challenge on the horizon that
we need to address.
In 2010, a Western North Pacific (WNP) gray whale was satellite tagged in its feeding area at
Sakhalin Island, Russia. WNP gray whales are thought to only number 120 whales and are listed
as critically endangered. It was formerly thought that WNP whales breed somewhere in southern
China and do not breed in Mexico where Eastern North Pacific (ENP) gray whales breed. The
satellite tagged WNP whale, however, traveled across the Gulf of Alaska and headed South
along the US West Coast as far as Oregon before the tag stopped transmitting. This raises a
possibility that whales feeding around Sakhalin Island are a far western component of the ENP
gray whale population. Whales feeding around Sakhalin Island are, however, genetically distinct
both on mtDNA and nuclear DNA from ENP gray whales and may continue to be protected as
The movements of the satellite tagged whale led to a comparison of photo-catalogues of whales
feeding around Sakhalin Island and photo-catalogues of ENP whales. Six whales photographed
off southern Vancouver Island matched to whales photographed off Sakhalin Island. All six of
these whales were photographed in the spring when a Makah whale hunt is most likely to
happen. We are currently unsure how the occurrence of WNP whales around the Makah U&A
during the hunt timing will impact the Tribe’s request for a waiver of the MMPA moratorium on
hunting whales or on our IWC quota for gray whales. NOAA is currently performing a risk
calculation on the Makah whale hunt taking a WNP gray whale.
Nearshore, small vessel surveys are conducted year round with more frequent surveys in the
summer and fall due to weather conditions. In total, we conducted 50 surveys this past year; 15
of these surveys were in the spring and 35 in the summer or fall. We survey along the coastline
from Sekiu Point to the east, to Cape Flattery in the west, and south to Sea Lion Rock. This year
we also conducted two offshore surveys to research humpback whales and other marine
mammals of the continental slope.
Gray whale research includes photo-identification, biopsies for genetic analysis, and food habits
research. Photographs of whales are sent to Cascadia Research Collective to compare to their
catalogue of PCFG whales in order to determine the fidelity of gray whales to the region, their
survival rates, and to compute abundance estimates. Biopsies of skin and blubber tissue are
performed using a crossbow and specialized bolt. The skin samples are analyzed to look at the
nuclear DNA and determine who mothered the sampled whale. In order to obtain the large
number of samples needed for this study, we contracted for the collection of samples off of
Vancouver Island and collaborated with other researchers in California and Southern Vancouver
Island who also collect biopsy samples. We collected biopsies from 19 gray whales and our
contractor was able to collect 24 biopsies, however not all samples turned-out to be from new
whales to the genetic study.
This photo shows a gray whale that is being sampled by a biopsy bolt fired from a crossbow.
The biopsy bolt is visible in the upper left portion of the picture.
This year we also conducted research on the food habits of gray whales within the Makah U&A
by collecting fecal samples and performing plankton tows near feeding whales. We found that
gray whales fed most frequently in areas with dense swarms of mysid shrimp. Gray whale
abundance in the Makah U&A was very low for the second year in a row, with few whales
observed in the Strait of Juan de Fuca. In past years gray whales were abundant within the Strait,
particularly between Koitlah Point and Bullman Beach. In the ocean, whales appeared to be in
similar numbers as seen in the past, and were primarily distributed from Wa’atch Point south
through Sand Point. Based on our prey sampling, it appears the low number of gray whales seen
in the Strait of Juan de Fuca is caused by low abundances of mysid shrimp.
Research on California and Steller sea lions includes counts, resights of marked individuals, food
habits and biotoxin analyses. We count sea lions at nearshore haulouts by species and for Steller
sea lions by demographic group (adult male, adult female, juvenile, and pup). We record
branded and tagged sea lions and photograph the animal for life history studies. We also collect
scat samples (poop samples) for food habit studies; so far this year we have collected over 300
scat samples from Steller sea lions and 100 samples from California sea lions. Through
identifying the fish bones found in the scat, the food habit data will be used to examine
competition between the sea lion species and the level of competition between sea lions and our
commercial fisheries. Ms. Akmajian has designed a research project to examine the
concentration of toxins from harmful algal blooms in the sea lion scat samples we collect. This
data will be compared to the species of fish the sea lions are eating to determine the mechanisms
of how harmful algal bloom poisons affect top predators like sea lions, whales, or humans and
how these toxins transmit through the food chain.
Marine Mammal Stranding Response
During 2011, we have responded to a total of 52 stranded marine mammals on the Makah Indian
Reservation and surrounding areas (Figure 2). This includes 38 animals found on the Reservation
or during boat surveys within the Makah U&A. Necropsies were performed on 15 animals and so
far tissues from 10 animals have been sent for laboratory disease testing and diagnosis. Cases of
zoonotic diseases, which can transfer to humans and pets, have been detected in at least two
animals this year. Leptospirosis, a severe bacterial infection that causes serious illness, was
confirmed in one Steller sea lion off the Reservation and suspected in at least two other cases this
year. Salmonella bacteria, which can also cause illness in humans and pets, were confirmed in
the tissues from one elephant seal stranded on Tsoo-Yess Beach. We have also assisted in the
recovery of four sea otter carcasses, two of which were confirmed to have died from an infection
by a protozoal parasite, Sarcocystis neurona. Please help report live and dead marine mammals
on the beaches of the Makah Indian Reservation. Call, text, or e-mail (360) 640-0569,
Figure 2. Stranded marine mammals during 2011 responded to by the Makah Marine Mammal
Stranding Network on the Makah Indian Reservation and surrounding areas.
The Marine Mammal Program is currently funded exclusively from grant money and end of year
funds from the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA). The only tribal hard dollars funding the program
receives is through the waiver of indirect costs on our Prescott grant. Our current funding
sources are: BIA’s Litigation Support Fund and end of year funds which supports administrative
work and work at the International Whaling Commission, the Species Recovery Grant for Tribes
which supports marine mammal research activities, and the John H. Prescott Marine Mammal
Health Grant which supports response and study of sick or dead marine mammals. We also
received a small grant to investigate river otter impacts on sockeye salmon in Ozette River.
These funding sources have been impacted by the downturn of the economy.
We have received word that the BIA will no longer be funding its Litigation Support program
due to their reduced budgets. Congress also slashed funding for the Species Recovery Grant for
Tribes in FY2011, although not completely. We were informed this year that we had the highest
rated proposal for a new grant from the Species Recovery Grant but were later informed that
NOAA lacked the resources to fund the grant. We are hopeful that the Species Recovery Grant
will receive full funding next year. In recognition of limited funding, we have put in extra effort
this year in applying for grants from multiple funding sources (Table 1).
Table 1: Grants the Marine Mammal Program has applied for in 2011 or received status updates
Grant Source Project Requested Funds Status
Species Recover Investigations of gray whale $210,178 Denied; Highest
Grant for Tribes stock structure and rated proposal
FY2011 - FY2013 relatedness analysis for received by NOAA
PCFG gray whales but no available
John H. Prescott Investigate marine mammal $59,840 Denied; this grant
Marine Mammal strandings on the Makah was highly
Health Grant Reservation and competitive.
FY2011 surrounding areas for 2011
North Coast Investigate species of $6,000 Funded, work
Marine Resource salmonid found in river otter completed in June
Committee scat from the Lake Ozette
NOAA Test if fishing chiboots will $22,443 Early word is that
Cooperative reduce rockfish bycatch as grant reviewers like
Research compared to circle hooks the proposal but we
Proposal during halibut longline will not likely know if
fisheries. This proposal we are funded till
also includes funding for an spring.
NOAA - Preserve Test if fishing chiboots will $12,000 Pre-proposal
America Internal reduce rockfish bycatch as accepted; full
Funding compared to circle hooks proposal due in
during halibut longline January
John H. Prescott Investigate marine mammal $45,408 We will not be
Marine Mammal strandings on the Makah informed on whether
Health Grant Reservation and we are funded till
FY2012 surrounding areas in 2012- mid-summer. The
2013. Prescott Grant
program may be
taking a budget cut.
Species Recovery This is a 3-year project with $297,380 We will not be
Grant for Tribes multiple components. The informed on whether
FY2012 - FY2014 primary focus is genetic we are funded till
research of gray whales in mid-summer. The
Alaska and along the west Species Recovery
coast. A secondary focus is Grant program may
examining the stable be taking a budget
isotopes in gray whale cut.
baleen to determine historic
and current feeding ecology.
North Coast Purchase video cameras to $5,953 We will receive word
Marine Resource facilitate marine mammal in January on
Committee research from Makah fishing whether we are
boats and to purchase funded.
cameras to monitor sea lion
Publications by the Marine Mammal Program in 2011
Kersh, G.J., Lambourn, D.M., Raverty, S.A., Fitzpatrick, K.A, Self, J.S., Akmajian, A.M.,
Jeffries, S.J., Huggins, J., Drew, C.P., Zaki, S.R., and R.F. Massung. 2011. Coxiella burnetii
Infection of Marine Mammals in the Pacific Northwest, 1997-2010. Journal of Wildlife
Disease. Accepted September 2011.
Posters Presented - PLEASE COME BY THE FISHERIES BUILDING AND SEE THESE POSTERS
Scordino, J., P. Gearin, M. Gosho, J. Harris, A. Klimek, and J. Calambokidis. 2011. Summer
and fall gray whale research in the northwest Washington. Poster presented at the 19th
Biennial Conference on the Biology of Marine Mammals, Tampa Bay, Florida, November 28
- December 2, 2011.
Akmajian, A., J. Calambokidis, J. L. Huggins, and D.M. Lambourn. 2011. Multi-species
comparison of trace metal contaminants from marine mammals stranded in Washington State
between 2002 and 2010. Poster presented at the 19th Biennial Conference on the Biology of
Marine Mammals, Tampa Bay, Florida, November 28 - December 2, 2011.
Lang, A.R., Taylor, B.L., Calambokidis, J.C., Pease, V.L., Klimek, A., Scordino, J., Robertson,
K.M., Litovka, D., Burkanov, V., Gearin, P., George, J.C. and Mate, B. 2011. Assessment
of stock structure on feeding grounds utilized by Eastern North Pacific gray whales. Paper
SC/M11/AWMP4 Presented to the International Whaling Commission Scientific Committee.
Scordino, J., J. Bickham, J. Brandon and A. Akmajian. 2011. What is the PCFG? A review of
available information. Paper SC/63/AWMP1 presented to the International Whaling
Commission Scientific Committee. 15 p.
Scordino, J., Gearin, P., Gosho, M., Harris, J., Klimek, A. and Calambokidis, J. 2011. Gray
whale research in the usual and accustomed fishing grounds of the Makah Tribe. Paper
SC/M11/AWMP5 presented to the International Whaling Commission Scientific Committee.
Scordino, J. and B. Mate. 2011. Bycatch and ship strikes of gray whales on US West Coast
1990-2010 and in British Columbia 1990-1995. Annex F of report of the 2011 AWMP
Workshop with a focus on eastern gray whales. Workshop held 2011 March 27th to April 1st
in La Jolla, CA USA.
All publications by the Marine Mammal Program are available to interested parties at MFM.
INTERNSHIPS AND SUMMER YOUTH EMPLOYMENT
Jonathan Scordino - Marine Mammal Biologist
Northwest Indian College – Environmental Science Internship
Our goal is “To excite Makah youth on opportunities in fisheries and environmental science and
to encourage them to pursue a college degree in a related field so that they are qualified to be
employed as future biologists and managers of the Makah Tribe.”
This year we had three interns, Jonathan Grimm, Larry Buzzell, and Keri Hahn. The interns
participated in a wide variety of activities to learn about fisheries and environmental science
research and management. We conducted many activities including air quality monitoring, tide
pool investigations, beach seining, and marine mammal research. Each student was also required
to write an independent research project. Scientific papers and proposals from interns of this and
past years are available at http://makah.com/interns.html.
Photo a is of Larry Buzzell conducting a beach invertebrate survey, photo b is of Larry and
Jonathan Grimm on top of Sea Lion Rock conducting sea lion counts, photo c is of Jonathan
assisting in sea otter surveys, and photo d is of Adrianne Akmajian training Keri Hahn on how
to conduct a necropsy of a dead seal.
Information on how to apply for next year’s internship program is available at
Summer Youth Employment Program
This year we had one SYEP worker, Thomas Lawrence, who was trained as an office support
specialist. Thomas performed front desk responsibilities at MFM under the guidance of