Seining Project
Why Beach Watchers are Seining

When Puget Sound Chinook salmon were listed as a threatened species in 1999, a coalition of salmon management interests began development of The Shared Salmon Strategy for Puget Sound to protect and restore salmon runs across Puget Sound. This ground-breaking collaborative effort brought together many organizations, including The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, The Governor's Office, Puget Sound treaty tribes, state natural resource agencies, local governments, and key non-governmental organizations. Part of the plan focuses on salmon recovery efforts along the shorelines of Island County.

Harrington Lagoon

Harrington Lagoon

Photo © 2006 Kathy Floyd

As part of this larger effort, The Beach Watchers have partnered with NOAA Fisheries (Northwest Fisheries Science Center) in Seattle, Skagit River System Cooperative in LaConner, the Tulalip Tribes, and the Island County Marine Resources Committee in hands-on (or in this case, waders-on) studies of how juvenile salmon use three small, or pocket estuaries of Island County: Harrington Lagoon and Race Lagoon on Whidbey Island, and Elger Bay on Camano Island. To see the location of the estuaries, look at the Island County map.

The Beach Watchers' research focuses on species composition, fish density, size, when species are present, and diversity in these three pocket estuaries. To learn more about estuaries look at the Island County Estuary Project web pages.

What is seining?

setting the net

Beach Watchers set a seining net

Photo © 2006 Mike Eddy

Seining is a fishing technique that dates back to the ancient Phoenicians who used nets to catch fish on the shores of the Mediterranean. Today Beach Watchers use an 80 foot by 6 foot mesh knotless nylon net set in waters up to four feet deep in a round-haul fashion. One end of the net is fixed on the beach while the other end is taken into the water where it is waded upstream against the water current to form a half circle and then returned to shore.

To learn more about the seining project, see What the seining team does or What the seining team has learned

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