Marine Stewardship and Shellfish Program

The Stillaguamish Tribe takes pride in its efforts to protect and monitor the health of Port Susan.  The Natural Resources Department participates in several regional programs as part of this effort.


Marine Water Quality Monitoring for Shellfish Growing Areas

The Tribe is a partner with the WA Dept of Health in monitoring whether shellfish are safe to eat in Port Susan.  Tribal staff collect water quality data and water samples monthly from 16 sites in Port Susan for fecal coliform analysis.   The Port Susan growing area was re-approved for commercial shellfish harvest in 2010, for the first time since 1987, but remains threatened with downgrades due to occasional spikes in contaminants.  The Warm Beach area remains prohibited from commercial shellfish harvest because of the waste water treatment plant.  Kayak Point Park is open to recreational shellfish harvest, unless closed due to seasonal toxins in the water.  

Click here to learn more about the WA Dept of Health Shellfish Program


Invertebrate Larval Studies 2016-17

In spring of 2016, Tribal staff began monitoring for clam, oyster, and mussel larvae settlement in Port Susan Bay.  Spat collectors are used for oysters, mesh bags filled with gravel are used to collect juvenile clams, and rope is used to collect mussel larvae.  The Tribe is interested in determining the what species try to settle in the bay, and investigating whether shoreline oyster enhancement and suspended shellfish gardening are feasible.


 Beach Environmental Assessment Communication and Health Program (BEACH)

As a partner in the BEACH Program, from Memorial Day to Labor Day each year, the Tribe collects weekly water quality data and water samples at Kayak Point County Park.  These samples are analyzed by the WA Dept of Ecology for the presence of bacteria harmful to human health. The mission of the BEACH Program is to reduce the risk of disease for people who play in saltwater.  

Learn more about the BEACH program at this link:


Sound Toxins

As a Sound Toxins partner,  the Tribe will collect and identify phytoplankton throughout the year at Kayak Point State Park.  Administered by the Northwest Fisheries Science Center, the Sound Toxins program aims to provide sufficient warning of harmful algal blooms and toxic algae events to enable early or selective harvesting of seafood, thereby minimizing risks to human health and reducing economic losses to Puget Sound fisheries. This is important because many areas in Port Susan are now open to recreational, subsistence, and commercial shellfish harvest.  Kayak Point is one of 24 sampling sites throughout the Puget Sound.  

Learn more about Sound Toxins  at this link:

 To view the list of current phytoplankton caught off of Kayak Point Park in Port Susan, click here

For a list of 2016 plankton observations, click here.  

 For a list of 2015 plankton observations, click here.

For a list of 2014 plankton observations, click here. 

For a list of 2013 plankton observations, click here. 


Port Susan Water Quality Monitoring Buoy

The hydrolab is located on a buoystationed in the middle of Port Susan.  It collects hourly information on salinity, temperature, dissolved oxygen, chlorophyll, conductivity, and pH. This information will be used in Stillaguamish Chinook salmon forecasting models and is available to the public and researchers.  However, we are no longer transmitting data hourly and thus is no longer available via the Northwest Association of Networked Ocean Observing Systems (NANOOS) Visualization System (NVS).   

The Stillaguamish Tribe recognizes the value of the hydrolab for marine water quality monitoring beyond its usefulness for Chinook forecasting and hopes to operate the remote hydrolab indefinitely as part of its Marine Stewardship Program.

To visit the NVS/NANOOS website to view other marine buoy data, click here



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