North Fork Nooksack River Maple Creek Reach Chinook Habitat Restoration By Eric Stover, Watershed Restoration Coordinator The Natural and Cultural Resource Department (NCR) completed the first phase of the two-phase North Fork (Xwqélém) Nooksack Maple Creek (P’eq’ósiy) Reach Restoration Project this past summer. The project is located about a mile east of the town of Maple Falls near the confluence of the North Fork Nooksack River and Maple Creek. A total of 22 engineered logjams (ELJs) were constructed over 0.3 miles of the river and floodplain. The project is part of the department’s broader efforts to increase natural production of chinook and other salmon for sustainable tribal harvest. North/Middle Fork Nooksack early chinook is a genetically unique, native population with low numbers of returning natural-origin fish. The Nooksack Tribe hasn’t had a directed commercial fishery on early chinook in the Nooksack River since about 1980. Currently, NCR staff are working with landowners and government agencies to restore habitat in this part of the North Fork Nooksack River. The right bank landowner is the Whatcom Land Trust (WLT), and the left bank and river channel is managed by Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR). The WLT has been working for…Read More
With flood recovery efforts estimated as high as $50 million and nearly 1,900 structures reported damaged, many families and businesses are displaced and recovering from the devastating flooding events across Whatcom County in November. Individuals impacted by the flood are calling for solutions to prevent the next disaster. The quick-fix solution at the tip of many tongues? Dredging the Nooksack River. Proponents of dredging suggest removal of sand, sediment, and gravel with the intention of deepening river channels and increasing water capacity during high flow events. Mountainous watersheds, like those that drain the volcanoes of the North Cascades, are naturally sediment-rich systems, especially as glaciers are receding and major flooding events are becoming more common. “The Nooksack River is the second largest contributor of sediment to the Puget Sound Basin,” said Mike Maudlin, Nooksack’s Forest and Fish Specialist/Restoration Geomorphologist. “It contributes nearly 1.5 million tons of sediment per year, which is over 20% of the total load to the basin.” Due to climate change, melting glaciers expose more ground to erosion, he explained, and warmer winter weather means more precipitation falling as rain rather than snow, further increasing flooding and erosion. It is estimated that this latest flood may have…Read More
Flooding is a natural process and important for salmon habitat formation. Historically, abundant salmon and diverse habitat provided natural resilience to flooding, but the legacy and ongoing impacts to salmon habitats have left them much more vulnerable to extreme events. Given the fragile status of our salmon populations, the Tribe’s Natural & Cultural Resources Department is concerned about the impacts of the recent, historic flood event. High river flows risk washing out salmon eggs and displacing rearing juveniles, unless they are able to access slow-moving water. Depending on how the flood waters recede, fish can also get stranded on the floodplain. Additionally, emergency response to protect people and property after major flooding can include rapid installation of riprap and bulldozer construction, which can often damage salmon habitat. If that wasn’t enough, flooding creates a toxic slurry of contamination, introducing chemicals, gasoline, oil, paint, manure lagoon storage, and more into the river. “After all the restoration work the Tribe has done, it feels like two steps forward, and ten steps back,” says Natural & Cultural Resource Director George Swanaset, Jr. days after the November flood. The flood appears to be one of the top flood events on record for the North…Read More
Nooksack Natural & Cultural Resources 418 Hunters List for 2021-2022 NameLeinani SwanasetJeremy RobertsKatrice RodriguezRoss Cline Sr.Jim BuraGeorge Swanaset Sr.Jeff PointVictoria JoeMike KentnerDonia EdwardsJeff Davis Jr.Clayton FryTrevor DelgadoJesse PaezLona JohnsonRavenia WilliamsFrank LeyvaJennifer BoomeRichard Julian JrSophia WalkerKatherine RomeroAlita CharlesLoren RobertsVinnie JohnsonMelanie DavisAlicia JohnnyNish RomeroErikka EdwardsGary KentnerRyawn ClineAnthony JulesKenai FryRuss RobertsSherie JohnnySativa RobertsonMarrilee CooperAdrianna MaloneEthan LeyvaRoman Swanaset-SimmondsMalia FryJustine Fry Jr.Molissa LeyvaJack ClineAntonio SwanasetJohn JohnsonSolona BoothRichard Edwards IIISindick BuraGarth McCauleyBetty SwanasetCody AndersonJoe JohnsonJustin JohnnyCheryl SwanasetDiego VillanuevaFrancisco Sanchez-BiskitsGeorge Swanaset Jr.Mary BrewerAmber Latrell
Are you interested in taking the Washington State Hunter Safety course for FREE? Officer Brandon Farstad will schedule a class September 2021. A portion of this course is taken from your home and a portion of this course is in person (4 hours). We need at least 10 Tribal members to sign up. Contact Tricia Cline in Natural & Cultural Resources at firstname.lastname@example.org. Registrations forms can be found below. Forms will also be available at Natural Resources and the Police Department. Please complete the form(s), and return in-person to either Natural Resources or the Police Department OR by mail: P.O. Box 157, Deming, WA 98244. Forms are due by August 31st.
Tribal Council recently approved a grant agreement for disaster relief funding for the 2013 Fraser River sockeye and the 2015 Puget Sound coho and pink salmon fisheries. Eligible Tribal members may apply for these new programs available through the grant agreement, which include (1) disaster relief payment; (2) crab gear reimbursement program; and (3) commercial dive training program. Disaster Relief Payment One-time payments will be made available to Nooksack Tribal members who possessed a commercial fishing license for the eligible fishers for 2013 Fraser River sockeye and/or the 2015 Puget Sound coho and pink salmon fisheries. Eligible fishers acquired Tribal commercial fishing decals by or before Oct. 1, in 2013 and on or before November 1, in 2015. The Natural and Cultural Resources Department reviewed internal records to develop tentative lists of qualifying Tribal members. If you appear on this list, you will be issued a check. Members are encouraged to contact NNCR within the next 30 days if they would like to learn whether or not they are on the lists. Issuance of Disaster Relief payments are subject to Tribal law, including N.C.L. 99.16.020, which requires the Tribe to offset the amount of a benefit payment by the amount…Read More
Per Hunting Regulations, Deer/Elk season comes to an end 2/29/20. Avoid late fees by returning all tags by 3/30/20 to the Natural Resources Department. No tag will be issued to any hunter for the 2020-2021 season unless tags, including special tags, are returned from the prior hunting season.