Puget Sound Steelhead Recovery Planning Pilot Projects in the Hood Canal/Eastern Strait of Juan de Fuca and Nisqually Basin

Jed Moore (Hood Canal/Straits) – Long Live the Kings, Greg Blair (Nisqually) – ICF International, and Tristan Peter-Contesse – Puget Sound Partnership

Read the presentation 486kb

The Salmon Recovery Funding Board (SRFB) allocated funding in 2011 to help address the need to develop a recovery plan for Puget Sound Steelhead. In 2012 a portion of these funds were made available to implement two pilot projects, the purpose of which was to develop products that could serve as watershed-scale components of a recovery plan and describe strategies that would advance development of steelhead recovery plan chapters in other Puget Sound watersheds. The two projects funded were steelhead recovery planning in Hood Canal watersheds and the Nisqually Basin. These projects share the common purpose of developing a framework to support and guide steelhead recovery planning in Puget Sound. They share the same objective to include in the process federal, tribal, state, regional, local, academic and NGO scientists and managers to the greatest extent possible. These projects will be completed by December 2013.

The Puget Sound steelhead recovery planning project for the Hood Canal and Strait of Juan de Fuca will expand the components of the Common Framework developed for Chinook salmon to accommodate steelhead, and apply this framework to the four Demographically Independent Populations present in Hood Canal that make up half of the Puget Sound Steelhead Olympic Peninsula Major Population Group. The products from this project will be a Miradi-based relational database that describes the status of Hood Canal steelhead and the condition of Hood Canal steelhead habitat, a ranked list of threats to steelhead, a ranked list of data gaps, and an integrated geographic database of steelhead habitat and biological data. An expansion of the Chinook Common Framework to accommodate steelhead will be a valuable tool for other Puget Sound watersheds, as the recovery planning effort expands in future years.

The steelhead recovery planning project in the Nisqually Basin will include the development of a comprehensive recovery plan that will include a habitat action plan that identifies habitat restoration and protection priorities, a fish management component, and an adaptive management framework to guide implementation. The products from this project will include the use of an analytical habitat model (EDT) to identify and rank factors currently limiting steelhead and to identify priorities for habitat restoration and protection. The project will include an analysis of expected outcomes from strategies described in the plan. The final product will be a Nisqually watershed recovery plan that addresses the goals of the Nisqually Basin community and provides information that would inform the elements of steelhead Common Framework to support the monitoring and adaptive management plan.