Since 2006, Triangle Associates has facilitated the effort to help Lake Ozette Sockeye Salmon rebound from threatened status under the Endangered Species Act. The collaborative effort to save this culturally and historically important salmon has brought together the Lake Ozette Sockeye Steering Committee, including stakeholders such as the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), Olympic National Park (ONP), Makah and Quilleute Tribes, lake landowners, and timber company representatives.
While it is clear that anthropogenic factors and threats to spawning habitat have played an important role in the decline of the stock, little was known about predation factors that threaten the species at many points throughout its dynamic life cycle—from Lake Ozette spawning beaches to its marine migration as far as Canada and Alaska. Lake Ozette’s distinctive location only 9 meters above sea level and less than 5 kilometers from the Pacific Ocean exposes sockeye salmon to an exceptionally diverse range of marine, terrestrial and avian predators throughout their life cycle.
On April 28-29, Triangle supported the Lake Ozette Sockeye Steering Committee, with coordination and funding support from NMFS and ONP, to convene 35 experts and participants to uncover the mysteries surrounding the predation of sockeye—what is preying on this fish, where, and to what extent. Over the course of the two-day workshop, experts and scientists shared cutting edge research and recent findings about factors leading to predation and predatory behavior of piscivorous, mammalian, and avian predators. Participants traveled from as far as Montana and Colorado to join the workshop held in the beautiful town of Sequim, WA.
The workshop culminated in a lively discussion about near term actions to identify the most effective mechanisms to recover the dwindling population of Lake Ozette Sockeye Salmon. These actions will be featured at the next quarterly meeting of the Lake Ozette Sockeye Steering Committee this summer.