Islanders noted for helping with salmon recovery.…

Posted March 14, 2009 at 1:53 pm by

You know, one of the rea­sons the local killer whales are on the endan­gered species list is a short­age of their main din­ner: salmon. Recov­er­ing the salmon’s pre­vi­ous num­bers is a key to restor­ing a healthy ecosys­tem… and sev­er­al islanders have been key to that recov­ery effort. Here’s more from Bar­bara Rosenkot­ter, who is the Lead Enti­ty Coor­di­na­tor for Salmon Recov­ery for our county:

San Juan Coun­ty Vol­un­teers Receive Salmon Recov­ery Cit­i­zens Awards
On March 10 at the State Capi­tol in Olympia, the Wash­ing­ton State Salmon Recov­ery Lead Enti­ty Pro­gram hon­ored out­stand­ing vol­un­teer cit­i­zens at the ten year anniver­sary cel­e­bra­tion of the Lead Enti­ty.  Eight cit­i­zens and groups from all over the state were select­ed for their ded­i­ca­tion and sig­nif­i­cant con­tri­bu­tion toward salmon recovery.

The San Juan Islands com­mu­ni­ty was well rep­re­sent­ed among the win­ners with awards being giv­en to Jim Slo­comb of San Juan Island and vol­un­teer beach sein­ers from through­out the San Juans.

The first local win­ners were a group of over 44 vol­un­teer “Beach Sein­ers”. The beach sein­ers were rec­og­nized for out­stand­ing and ongo­ing vol­un­teer efforts sup­port­ing crit­i­cal salmon recov­ery projects that assess the use of the San Juan Islands’ nearshore envi­ron­ments by young salmon.

Many of the sein­ers are WSU Beach Watch­ers work­ing with Fish­eries Oceanog­ra­ph­er Dr. Tina Wyl­lie-Echev­er­ria to gath­er data crit­i­cal to the under­stand­ing of salmonid resources and habi­tat use. To do this work, they trav­el via a 20’ research ves­sel and, dur­ing the March through Sep­tem­ber sam­pling sea­son vis­it five or more sites, in all kinds of weath­er, ten times per month. They set over 500 beach seines on nine islands, sam­pling thou­sands of fish includ­ing pink, chum, Coho and Chi­nook salmon as well as impor­tant prey species for fish, marine birds and marine mam­mals such as sand lance, her­ring, surf smelt and shin­er surf perch.

Anoth­er group of beach sein­ers are a part of com­mu­ni­ty cit­i­zen sci­ence teams orga­nized by Kwiaht on Lopez and Wal­dron Islands. This group helped with the project described above and also con­duct­ed a study of the prey used by juve­nile salmon guid­ed by Rus­sel Barsh. These vol­un­teers, work­ing in small groups with micro­scopes on evenings and week­ends, iden­ti­fied and count­ed more than 4,000 bits of fish, crus­taceans, insects and oth­er prey items and devel­oped dig­i­tal tax­o­nom­ic keys and pho­to atlases for ref­er­ence and train­ing future vol­un­teers. More than 35 Lopez and Wal­dron vol­un­teers par­tic­i­pat­ed in exten­sive spe­cial­ized train­ing, field and lab work, con­tribut­ing over 1200 vol­un­teer hours.

Both high­ly ded­i­cat­ed teams plan to mon­i­tor juve­nile salmon abun­dance and prey use over the next few years.

The beach sein­ing vol­un­teers are: Marolyn Mills, Chuck O’Clair, Har­ry Dick­en­son, Rick Ekstom, Martha Dick­en­son,  Mike Kaill, Zach Williams, Mike Grif­fin, Chuck Rust, Mar­tye Green, Robin Don­nely, Tom Don­nely, Phil Green, Mar­ta Branch and Orcas Island stu­dents, Lor­ri Swan­son, Chris Davis, Mike O’Connell, Jim Pat­ton, Andria Hagstrom, Quinn Freed­man, Kim Secun­da, Don­na Adams, Fred Adams, Lance Brit­tain, Isa Delahunt, John Droubay, Lau­rie Glenn, Ann Gwen, Hol­ly Love­joy, David Loyd, Julie Loyd, Daphne Mor­ris, Diane Robert­son, Steve Ruegge, Josie Scru­ton,  Dan Silkiss, Elsie Silkiss, John Swan-Sheer­an, Lor­ri Swan­son, Gretchen Wag­n­er, John Waugh, Susie Waugh, Cathy Wil­son, Susan Wilson.

These 44 ded­i­cat­ed cit­i­zen vol­un­teers demon­strate that it tru­ly does take a com­mu­ni­ty to sup­port salmon recov­ery efforts and have pro­vid­ed over 2400 hours of vol­un­teer time.

Anoth­er San Juan Coun­ty award win­ner was Jim Slo­comb. He was hon­ored for his efforts as a ded­i­cat­ed salmon recov­ery project vol­un­teer. He began donat­ing time in 2001 with the For­age Fish Habi­tat Assess­ment project and has con­tin­ued ever since.  Slo­comb has recent­ly vol­un­teered hun­dreds of hours in order to com­plete the very com­plex Geo­graph­ic Infor­ma­tion Sys­tems (GIS) mod­el­ing required for the Salmon Habi­tat Pro­tec­tion Blue­print project.

“Many in our com­mu­ni­ty are grate­ful for all the time that Slo­comb ded­i­cates to marine resource pro­tec­tion efforts.  He has served on the coun­ty’s Marine Resources Com­mit­tee (MRC) for ten years and con­tin­ues to pro­vide count­less hours of vol­un­teer ser­vice to help the MRC achieve their goals and pro­gram objec­tives” com­ment­ed Bar­bara Rosenkot­ter, Lead Enti­ty Pro­gram Coor­di­na­tor for San Juan County.

Jim often donates the use of his boat for sur­vey and mon­i­tor­ing work. For the past two years, Slo­comb has also vol­un­teered hun­dreds of hours sam­pling water qual­i­ty in San Juan County.

Dur­ing the cel­e­bra­tion event in Olympia, mem­bers of the pub­lic also had an oppor­tu­ni­ty to learn more about lead enti­ties, which are local, cit­i­zen-based orga­ni­za­tions that devel­op salmon habi­tat pro­tec­tion and restora­tion projects with the help of tech­ni­cal experts.   Lead enti­ty coor­di­na­tors and vol­un­teers from across the state were on hand to dis­cuss their work and projects.

Estab­lished by the state Leg­is­la­ture in 1998, the Lead Enti­ty pro­gram has grown to 27 lead enti­ties across the state and is con­sid­ered a nation­al mod­el for cre­at­ing effec­tive restora­tion projects at the local level.

“Salmon recov­ery and habi­tat restora­tion in our water­sheds would not be pos­si­ble with­out the part­ner­ships and com­mit­ment cre­at­ed through this crit­i­cal pro­gram,” WDFW Deputy Direc­tor Joe Stohr said.

For fur­ther infor­ma­tion, please con­tact Bar­bara Rosenkot­ter, San Juan Coun­ty Salmon Recov­ery Lead Enti­ty Coor­di­na­tor, 360–370-7593 or barbarar@sanjuanco.com

You can support the San Juan Update by doing business with our loyal advertisers, and by making a one-time contribution or a recurring donation.

No comments yet. Be the first!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

By submitting a comment you grant the San Juan Update a perpetual license to reproduce your words and name/web site in attribution. Inappropriate, irrelevant and contentious comments may not be published at an admin's discretion. Your email is used for verification purposes only, it will never be shared.

Receive new post updates: Entries (RSS)
Receive followup comments updates: RSS 2.0