As our last few events come to a close and we draw into our summer hiatus we reflect on our last chapter meeting with Brian Footen from FishViews in which we learned about the interesting and exciting work his company is progressing in the world of waterway mapping. We look forward to seeing how this technology progresses and aids in water conservation. Thanks again Brian!
From our Women's Initiative came the Womxn's Fly Fishing 101 class which offered a great introduction into the sport of fly fishing. This small intimate womxn's only class offered beginners a look into casting, rigging and stream conservation. Proceeds from this are coming back to NSWOTF to help fund future events and promote our conservation efforts. We can't wait for the next one!
During our summer season we will be releasing event information outside of our monthly newsletter so stay tuned. We have some great things in the works!
Local Conservation News
As many of you have already heard there are currently two proposed mining operations on the headwaters of our beloved Skagit River. It goes without saying that this is a potentially detrimental move to the fish, wildlife and humans that call this area and river home. Below is a quick synopiss of the situation from our friends at the Sierra Club and what we can do to help.
Skagit River, designated a Wild and Scenic River, is Under Attack
There are two mining operations being proposed on the Skagit River. One is in British Columbia on the headwaters of the Skagit and the other is in our "neighborhood," Marblemount. Despite protections to the headwaters of the Skagit River from the High Ross Treaty and the Skagit Environmental Endowment Commission, an area of unprotected land was clear-cut in the summer of 2018. Using these logging roads, Imperial Metals has requested a permit to explore for precious metals such as gold and copper in a donut shaped hole of unprotected land in British Columbia. This is threatening water quality and salmon in the Skagit watershed.
Sierra Club has signed onto a letter of concern objecting to this violation of the Treaty. Detailed information regarding this Canadian mining permit request.
The second problematic issue is in Marblemount. Kiewit Infrastructure Co. and Cunningham Crushing have proposed an industrial-level mining quarry to extract 3.8 million cubic yards of rock from an old quarry next to the Skagit River, right in the middle of a neighborhood in Marblemount!
If permitted, this industrial operation would affect human, animal and fish health along with creating tremendous traffic issues on Highway 20. The comment period is now closed but follow all the news on Facebook, or their website. Andrea Weiser has written a detailed article printed in Cascadia Weekly.
Donations are needed for a lawyer. Please consider helping Skagitneighbors.com reach their $10,000.00 goal. Donations will be accepted here.
From Our Committees
Women's Initiative Thank you to everyone who joined us at our Womxn's Fly Fishing 101 class it was certainly one we look forward to hosting again in the future.
For more updates on what we're up to, head over to the North Sound Women on the Fly Facebook page. You can also email us any time at email@example.com. We'll get you on the email list or answer any questions you have about getting involved.
-Kendra and Bridget
As our welcomed 2019 Spring catch and release steelhead season winds to a close, our North Sound TU steelhead spawner surveys on Day and Finney Creeks are really ramping up. We’ve been surveying since the end of January this year, seeing very little in the early months. We've logged a few more new redds here and there since the end of March. The steelhead fishing this year on the Skagit and Sauk could be categorized as spotty, with small pulses of fresh steelhead moving through periodically and then everything gets pretty quiet for a week or two. Our redd counts have somewhat followed suit and the numbers look a little behind what we’re used to seeing at this point in the season. Salmon fry are out in abundance, however. The stream flows for the most part have been abnormally low for an unusually long period of time, which may be affecting spawn timing or stream accessibility this year as well. We’ll continue to survey through mid June and would expect to see a bit more activity going into May, which tends to be the peak month for spawning in the creek sections we survey. The weather’s been mostly pleasant, conditions exceptional for surveying and streamside conversation endlessly entertaining as we stumble along on the bankside cobble looking for the latest redd. Thanks to Bridget Moran, Don Ensley and Nick Chambers for helping with the surveys this year. If you’re interested in participating in a survey or two in May or June let me know. I’ve been focusing on mid week, usually Wednesday or Thursday, but we may be able to coordinate a weekend survey as well. The next anticipated survey will be during the second week of May.
If you would like to get involved further with North Sound Trout Unlimited please get in contact with one of our board members and inquire about what positions will becoming available in the next term. It's a great way to get involved in your community and help protect the cold-water fisheries that we all love and enjoy.
If you would like to support North Sound TU and our conservation efforts, there are a few ways to donate.
Donate your time and assist us at an event or volunteer to chair a position on the board (inquire via Facebook message or email to firstname.lastname@example.org)
Send us a check:
North Sound Trout Unlimited
PO Box 3043
Bellingham, WA 98227
Link your Amazon Smile account to NSTU. Find out how here.
Sign up for our Fred Meyers rewards program - without any cost to you, this allows your regular purchases at Fred Meyers via your rewards card to refund 3-5% of all purchases back to the chapter.