Image by Nitesh Jain
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We're on a mission to restore Case Inlet’s Chinook salmon population to benefit its natural and economic ecosystems, including orcas, tribes, fishermen, local communities and businesses.
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THE OPPORTUNITY

THE GREAT SALMON HIGHWAY

Chinook salmon returning to the south Puget Sound today create livelihood for all communities along its course from the Straight of Juan de Fuca to Olympia.

Tribes and communities along the entire Great Salmon Highway will benefit from Chinook salmon released at Coulter Creek.

The endangered Southern Resident Killer Whales will benefit as Coulter Creek Chinook travel the waters of Puget Sound back to North Bay.

Both small and large pods of Orcas are present in Case Inlet throughout the summer months in search of Chinook salmon.

 

WHAT WE'VE LEARNED SO FAR

  • It is critical that we develop a strong partnership with the Squaxin Tribe in order to succeed.
     

  • Coulter Creek Hatchery

    • The Coulter Creek Hatchery was built as a Chum rearing facility in 1980.
       

    • By 1990 the Chum program was deemed successful, and the hatchery began raising and releasing Chinook stock.
       

    • From 1990 until 2001 they raised 2 million Chinook salmon each year and released 1 million Chinook at the hatchery.
       

    • In 2001 the DFW made the decision to stop releasing Chinook salmon at the hatchery because of concerns that returning Chinook salmon were damaging the spawning beds of the Chum salmon.
       

    • No effort was made to implement a barrier to prevent the hatchery Chinook from entering the creek.
       

    • Today the hatchery continues to operate and raises 2 million Chinook salmon each spring but 100% of these fish are trucked to the Tumwater hatchery where they are acclimated, released and ultimately return.
       

  • The DFW has indicated that they are interested in looking at options to help restore Chinook salmon in Case Inlet.
     

  • Local community members are very interested in the Task Force work.

Image by Darren Halstead
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COMPLETING THE GREAT SALMON HIGHWAY

Rearing and releasing Chinook Salmon from the Coulter Creek hatchery restores a vital part of the Great Salmon Highway and utilizes the productive waters of Case Inlet to support migrating salmon on their journey to and from the sea.

 
Image by Andrew S
ABOUT US

ORIGINS

Since 2021
  • The Case Inlet Fisheries Task Force was formalized by a joint resolution from the Port of Grapeview and the Port of Allyn.

  • Commissioner Whitson represents the Port of Grapeview on the Task Force

  • Commissioner Jackson represents the Port of Allyn

  • Brad Pomroy is the Task Force Facilitator

MEMBERS

Get in touch about membership openings.
  • Art Whitson - Port of Grapeview Commissioner, District 1

  • Ted Jackson - Port of Allyn Commissioner, District 2

  • Brad Pomroy - Group Facilitator

  • Bob Pastore – Communications

  • Mark LaRiviere - Biologist Advisor

  • Jim Hanson – Advisor

  • Thom Worlund – Education Advisor 

  • Jeff Thompson - Advisor

OBJECTIVES

  • Work with the Dept. of Fish and Wildlife and to resume the release of Chinook salmon from the Coulter Creek Hatchery beginning in 2022
     

  • Develop a partnership with the Squaxin Tribe to help them achieve their objectives including the completion of the Tumwater facility
     

  • Gain support from the DFW to create an investment strategy to maintain and potentially expand the Coulter Creek facility
     

  • Engage community members to participate in our work and to build a volunteer base to support the Coulter Creek hatchery.

DESIRED OUTCOMES

  • Provide a critical food source for the Southern Resident Killer Whales throughout their entire range
     

  • Increase fishing opportunities for Tribal and sports fisherman along the entire great salmon highway from the Straights of Juan de Fuca to the deep south sound
     

  • Create jobs and have a positive economic impacts for the communities all along the great salmon highway, including the rural communities surrounding Case Inlet
     

  • Increased launch/parking revenue for the small Ports of Allyn and Grapeview
     

  • Support a sustainable fishery while relieving pressure on stocks of native fish
     

  • Continuing traditions of fishing families to allow them to share the gift with their children and grandchildren
     

  • Provide ecosystem services such as marine nutrient transfer
     

  • Opportunities for schools to educate their students on the importance of salmon to our ecosystem

Image by Andrew S