FY 2020 Upper Skagit Indian Tribe’s ESA Recovery Planning

Salmonid Restoration Planning and Assessments

Restoration Planning And Coordination
Project ID20-USIT-01
Recovery DomainsPuget Sound
Start Date07/01/2022
End Date06/30/2023
Last Edited09/10/2021
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This project provides partial support for the Upper Skagit Indian Tribe’s (USIT) Natural Resources Department activities in the programmatic response to the ESA listing of all six independent Chinook stocks and four Steelhead stocks native to the Skagit Basin. The project is tied to local land and water management activities that directly impact listed species within the basin. In addition these funds support the broad scale policy coordination of fishery and hatchery management issues surrounding ESA recovery actions for Chinook and recovery planning for Steelhead. These funds support a portion of the tribal policy representatives to participate in local, regional, and state protection and restoration activities via the Lead Entity process. The fishery co-managers are currently working on the development of a Skagit specific recovery plan for Steelhead, this support also provide USIT staff to assist in the plan development. The project provides tribal infrastructure support for portions of 2 FTE biologists and 1 FTE natural resource policy coordinator.

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 spawning redds and 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:$58,096

Project Map



  • Worksite Identifier: 48598578
  • 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 .00
    •      . . B.0.b.1 Area Encompassed
    •      . . B.1 Restoration Planning And CoordinationY (Y/N)
      •      . . . . B.1.a Planning and Coordination funding
      •      . . . . B.1.b.1 Development of a Recovery PlanY (Y/N)
        •      . . . . . . B.1.b.1.a
          Name of the Recovery Plan
        •      . . . . . . B.1.b.1.b
          Description and Scope of the Recovery Plan
      •      . . . . B.1.b.2 Coordination on implementation of a Recovery PlanY (Y/N)
        •      . . . . . . B.1.b.2.a
          Name of the Recovery Plan Implemented
        •      . . . . . . B.1.b.2.b
          Description and scope of the Recovery Plan implemented