The Tulalip Tribes Shellfish Program is primarily responsible
for the harvest management of the shellfish resources,
which include clams, crab,
shrimp and other
species. In addition to maintaining records of all
subsistance and commercial shellfish harvests, the shellfish
program conducts studies on population assessment, beach
reconnaissance surveys, and enhancement. The shellfish
program also reviews shoreline permits and other agencies'
shellfish management practices. The shellfish management
program works under the harvest management section and
works closely with other Tulalip departments.
regarding shellfish species (U.S. v. Washington Civil
No. 9213, Subproc. 89-3) were upheld in 1994. Judge Rafeedie
ruled that the tribes have treaty fishing rights to harvest
shellfish throughout their usual and accustomed fishing
areas, including private
tidelands. The Tulalip Tribes work cooperatively with
the State of Washington to co-manage the shellfish resource.
Management agreements and harvest plans are developed
to preserve, protect and perpetuate shellfish resources
while providing equal sharing of allowable harvest.
BIOLOGICAL ASSESSMENT & MONITORING
Tribes conduct several types of biological assessments
and monitoring. Clam population surveys are conducted
on Tulalip Tribal property, private tidelands and cooperatively
with the State of Washington. This information is used
in the conservation management of the resources. In September
1999, tribal divers were trained to do geoduck surveys
and have completed surveys in the North Sound region.
Crab and shrimp tests are also conducted to better manage
Shellfish Program is actively involved in documenting,
tracking and monitoring non-indigenous species. The
Tulalip Tribes have an active Spartina
removal program.In 1994, staff from the shellfish
program participated in a workshop to eradicate Spartina.
Spartina was identified in Tulalip Bay and an eradication
and control program initiated. Other non-indigenous
species of concern are Eurasian Watermilfoil, Purple
Loosestrife, European Green Crab, Zebra Mussel, Freshwater
Asian Clam, Mitten Crab, and Purple Varnish Clam.
The Shellfish Program is actively involved with the
Western Regional Panel of the ANS Task Force, the
Exotic Subcommittee of the Puget Sound/Georgia Basin
Task Force, and the Ballast Water Committee of the
Puget Sound Marine Committee.
SANITATION AND WATER QUALITY
agreement reached in 1994, the State of Washington, Western
Washington Treaty Tribes and the Federal Government agreed
to work cooperatively to ensure safe commercial harvests
of bivalve shellfish. The Tulalip Tribes Conduct marine
water sampling, in conjunction with the Washington Department
of Health (WDOH), for the purpose of classifying shellfish
growing areas. The Tulalip Tribes will work towards additional
steps (such as a certified shellfish lab, assisting with
shoreline surveys, and setting sampling stations) to become
a Shellfish Control Authority. The Shellfish staff participate
in joint quarterly meetings with WDOH, FDA and other tribes.
Staff also represent the Northwest Indian Fish Commission
at PACRIM and ISSC. In addition, the Shellfish Program
is participating in the Shellfish Advisory Committee (SAC)
meetings held between the State, shellfish growers, and
tribal representatives. The committee was formed to advise
WDOH on the concerns of the shellfish industry.