Habitat and The Endangered Species Act

The Point No Point Treaty Area is home to four federally protected salmon/trout species Hood Canal summer chum, Puget Sound chinook, Puget Sound steelhead and Coastal Puget Sound bull trout. All are listed as “threatened” under the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA).

The Treaty Council has participated in developing comprehensive recovery plans for Hood Canal summer chum and Puget Sound Chinook. Included in these plans are strategies and actions that address harvest management, habitat protection and restoration, and hatchery management.

Hood Canal summer chum originate entirely within streams of the Point No Point Treaty Area. The tribal and state co-managers (including the Treaty Council) developed a Hood Canal Summer Chum Conservation Initiative that addressed harvest, hatchery and habitat management of the summer chum and released it in April 2000.

Subsequently, a Hood Canal summer chum recovery plan was developed by the Hood Canal Coordinating Council, based in part on the Initiative, but also with additional input from the co-managers and from local land management jurisdictions and other interested parties. This recovery plan was approved in 2007 by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) as required under the ESA.

A larger effort involving all of Puget Sound was undertaken to develop the Puget Sound chinook recovery plan. The Treaty Council and its tribes participated in this planning process as well, specifically addressing the chinook populations within the Point No Point Treaty area. This recovery plan was approved by the NMFS in 2007.

A complete recovery plan for Puget Sound steelhead is in process. A harvest management plan has been drafted by the Puget Sound tribal and state co-managers and is under review with the NMFS.

The Treaty Council and its member tribes have helped manage the recovery of ESA-listed fish species, not only by participating in salmon recovery planning but by taking other actions as we;

    *Eliminating fisheries directed at summer chum and chinook, and adjusting fisheries directed at other salmon stocks whose run timing overlaps summer chum and chinook stocks, to avoid incidental harvests;

    *Participating in hatchery supplementation program planning to help recover or
restore the federally listed populations;

    *Revising existing programs for non-listed species to reduce potential impacts on listed fish;

    *Participating in land use management processes to protect habitat, such as critical area ordinance and shoreline master program updates;

    *Working with all interested groups – from federal entities to local grassroots efforts to develop salmon habitat restoration projects for listed and non-listed species. These efforts run from small culvert replacement projects that open up high-quality spawning habitat for returning salmon, to mapping projects that specify where marine habitat has been lost and how best to recover it.

 

Additional Links:
Puget Sound Partnership
WDFW Species Recovery and Management