FY 2018 Upper Skagit Indian Tribe’s ESA Recovery Planning

Salmonid Restoration Planning and Assessments

Restoration Planning And Coordination
Project ID18-USIT-01
Recovery DomainsPuget Sound
Start Date09/01/2019
End Date09/01/2020
Last Edited09/10/2021
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Tribal technical staff and Tribal Natural Resource Policy have been engaged in wide range of issues centered on Skagit Chinook Recovery implementation. This support has allowed the Upper Skagit Indian Tribe’s Natural Resources Department (NRD) to engage in multiple congruent projects and processes focused on the protection and enhancement of Skagit Watershed fishery resources. Tribal staff have been involved with both the ongoing project implementation of two large hydropower projects in the Skagit (FERC # 2150 and # 553) which encompass land acquisition, restoration planning, flow management and fishery supplementation projects. In addition, staff participated in many meetings and processes for drafting Study Requests to support the NEPA scoping and analysis for the current Skagit Hydropower re licensing efforts. This support also provided USIT the opportunity for engagement with the Lead Entity processes that is directed at approving land acquisitions and restoration planning in the Skagit Watershed at both the technical and policy level.

Project Benefit    

Tribal technical and policy engagement focuses on all the H’s (Habitat, Hydropower, Harvest, and Hatchery) in the Skagit River Basin as it relates to the listing of all 6 unique Skagit Chinook stocks and 4 unique Steelhead stocks under the Endanger Species Act. One of the primary functions of the Skagit Marblemount Hatchery is the production of two Chinook indicator stocks used to monitor Exploitation Rates as required by NOAA. Policy oversight is needed for all fisheries to ensure harvest actions do not limit the productivity of listed stocks by actively managing by-catch of ESA stocks. The Skagit has 2 major hydropower facilities (FERC # 2150 & # 553), which require monitoring stream flows for the protection of Chinook and Steelhead egg to fry survival, overseeing and participating in habitat protection mitigation, and enhancement measures specific to each FERC project is achieved by this support. This funding allows tribal participation and representation in the processes and actions funded by each of the hydropower facilities in the Skagit. Specific to the Skagit Chinook Recovery Plan, monitoring flow modifications from these facilities is essential to recovery efforts. Staff and policy interact and comment on local, state and federal land use permits and planning forums (Lead Entity) to ensure protection and restoration of critical habitat to increase habitat productivity for Chinook and Steelhead. The Tribe’s effort is based on technical involvement with local Lead Entity and federal permit review and consultation issues focusing on waters in WRIA 3 and 4. Chapter 6 in the Skagit Recovery Plan, “Factors limiting Chinook production” outlines the general mechanisms of decreased productivity (harvest, hatcheries, hydropower, and habitat), while chapter 7, 8, and 9 outline specific strategies to improve productivity with harvest management actions, protecting existing habitat, and habitat restoration strategies. The strategies undertaken by staff align with recovery actions identified in the Skagit Chinook Recovery chapters 7-9.
In addition to Chinook Recovery implementation, Tribal staff will engage with current and near term Steelhead Recovery Planning efforts for the Skagit. The Skagit is the largest basin in Puget Sound, has complex land and water use issues from the delta to the mountain peaks with multiple land management jurisdictions in the basin, two major hydropower facilities, 7 hatchery stocks, one accepted recovery plan for the six independent Chinook stocks, and a goal to develop a Skagit Steelhead recovery plan, the financial support requested by the Tribe for tribal representation is well justified for the protection of ESA stock productivity.


Metric Completed Originally

Funding Details

Report Total:$80,437

Project Map



  • Worksite Identifier: 45093339
  • Start Date:
  • End Date:
Area Description

No Area Description data was found for this worksite.

Location Information

  • Basin: Puget Sound
  • Subbasin:
  • Watershed:
  • Subwatershed:
  • State: Washington
  • Recovery Domain: Puget Sound
  • Latitude: 48.539311
  • Longitude: -122.184275


  • Puget Sound Steelhead DPS
  • Puget Sound Chinook Salmon ESU




  • B.0 Salmonid Restoration Planning and AssessmentsY (Y/N)
    •      . . B.0.a Planning And Assessment Funding 80,437.00
    •      . . B.0.b.1 Area Encompassed 2,083,928.0
    •      . . B.1 Restoration Planning And CoordinationY (Y/N)
      •      . . . . B.1.a Planning and Coordination funding 80,437.00
      •      . . . . B.1.b.2 Coordination on implementation of a Recovery PlanY (Y/N)
        •      . . . . . . B.1.b.2.a
          Name of the Recovery Plan Implemented
          Shared Strategy Development Committee and National Marine Fisheries Service. 2007. Puget Sound Salmon Recovery Plan for the Puget Sound Chinook Salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha). Comprised of two documents: 1) Shared Strategy Development Committee, 2005, Puget Sound Salmon Recovery Plan, Volumes I and II, adopted by the National Marine Fisheries Service on January 19, 2007; and 2) NMFS, 2006, Final Supplement to the Shared Strategy's Puget Sound Salmon Recovery Plan.
        •      . . . . . . B.1.b.2.b
          Description and scope of the Recovery Plan implemented
          This project funds planning and coordination efforts associated with implementing the Skagit River recovery plan. Through involvement with the lead entity group, Upper Skagit tribal staff will provide input on projects and strategies to ensure consistency with the recovery plan. The Upper Skagit Tribe’s involvement within recovery processes and forums ensures recovery polices, regulations, and actions enacted in association with implementing the recovery plan consider the tribe’s perspective.