Stillaguamish Tribe Research Activities

Tribal biologists conduct a variety of studies that provide valuable information for Chinook salmon recovery in the Stillaguamish watershed. Biologists combine estimates of escapement and production with estimates of smolt migration to the estuary, what habitat salmon occupy in the estuary, and what prey is available to them. This information will guide restoration efforts toward protecting essential and limiting Chinook salmon habitat.


This page includes information or links for:
Derelict Fishing Gear Removal,
Epibenthic Invertebrate Study in Port Susan,
Fecal Coliform Contamination Source Study,
Nearshore Habitat Mapping of Port Susan,
Sediment Study in the North Fork Stillaguamish River (Artificial Redd Study),
Smolt Trap Study, Stillaguamish Estuarine Use by Juvenile Chinook, A Pilot Study

Derelict Fishing Gear Removal, click here

Epibenthic Invertebrate Study in Port Susan, 2004

The purpose of this project is to determine quantity and type of benthic prey available for juvenile out migrating salmon. Six habitat types are sampled: sand flats, mud flats, eelgrass, blind channel, tidal channel, and gravel bottom. Thus far, prey items include shrimp, juvenile crabs, isopods, and amphipods.

Fecal Coliform Contamination Source Study, 2006
Port Susan and several streams continue to exceed Department of Ecology Total Maximum Daily Load for fecal coliform contamination. Biologists will test the DNA of fecals to determine whether contaminants are human, bovine, canine, equine, or other in origin. This information will help guide water quality improvement efforts.

 Nearshore Habitat Mapping of Port Susan, 2005 For final report click here.

Color ortho-photographs taken over Port Susan at a resolution of one pixel per foot are digitally joined with ground-truthed habitat data. Ten substrates and nine vegetation types are used in the classification system. The information on the completed map will be coupled with fish and prey resource sampling to help biologists identify those habitats most limiting to Stillaguamish Chinook salmon recovery.

Sediment Study in the North Fork Stillaguamish River (Artificial Redd Study), 2006 - 2010 click here

The Stillaguamish Tribe has created artificial Chinook salmon redds, which are salmon nests made of gravel, in the North Fork (NF) Stillaguamish River. The purpose of the study is to shed some light on the impact of fine sediment intrusion on incubating Chinook salmon eggs.

Smolt Trap Study -- For 2011 report click here.
The smolt trap captures out migrating salmonid smolts and other fish swimming downstream. The project commenced in February 2001 and fishes six hours a day, seven days a week, from February to June each year. The smolt trap provides information to measure production and egg-migrant (smolt) survival for Stillaguamish Chinook.

 Stillaguamish Estuarine Use by Juvenile Chinook A Pilot Study, For 2004 Report click here

By beach seining sandy beaches, rocky headlands, and muddy blind tidal channels of the Port Susan estuary, biologists learn specific habitats occupied by juvenile Chinook salmon. This project will help identify estuarine habitats most in need of restoration and protection. Preliminary data indicates blind tidal channels and pocket salt marsh habitat are used most extensively by Chinook. Biologists also collect information on other fish captured, which include forage fish used as prey by salmonids.

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