Active Projects

Some of our projects are long-term and might live here for years. Others are accomplished in a matter of weeks or months. Not every project makes it onto this list!

Surf Smelt Recreational Harvest Study

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Project update June 2014 On June 16, 2014, the Washington State Fish and Wildlife Commission released new smelt fishing rules that limit harvest in order to protect valuable species. The new policy: Adds a new 60,000-pound annual quota for the Puget Sound commercial smelt fishery. Reduces the commercial fishery by one day each week, allowing commercial fishing from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday during seasonal openings in each area. Closes inactive commercial smelt fisheries, including dip bag and purse seine, which have not been in use for at least 10 … [Read more...]

Coastal cutthroat trout in the San Juan Islands

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Coastal or sea-run cutthroat trout are freshwater fish that also move into the marine waters to feed and are an important recreational fishery in many parts of the Salish Sea. Many people don't think of the San Juan Islands when they think of cutthroat trout, but they were historically caught in the area. Long-standing residents recall a time when these rare fish were much more abundant. While recent work documented cutthroat trout in some streams in the San Juan archipelago, little is known about the current status of coastal cutthroat trout in this area. Thanks to funding raised from … [Read more...]

Tracking changes in underwater fish and invertebrate populations

Photo by Ed Bierman

If you don't know what's happening, you can't learn from it. While most people can see change above the water (such as a forest clear cut), there aren't many people keeping an eye on the dramatic changes occurring below the surface of the ocean. And without details on what is happening, how can we know when you need to take action to correct negative trends? This month, SeaDoc kicks off a project using trained citizen scientists to help study changes in subtidal fish and invertebrate populations. This ambitious multi-year intelligence-gathering effort will use recreational SCUBA divers -- … [Read more...]

Lost Fishing Gear Recovery Project

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Lost fishing gear is commercial and recreational fishing gear -- nets, traps, pots, line -- that becomes lost or is discarded in the water. The gear ends up sitting on the sea floor, getting caught on rocky reefs, or floating in the water column. The majority of this lost gear does not decompose in seawater and can remain in the marine environment for years. Lost gear impacts the marine environment in several ways: it can continue to "catch" marine animals, which become entangled or trapped; it can damage the habitat upon which it becomes entangled or upon which it … [Read more...]