Naval Station Everett’s Environmental Department has been participating in a fish survey with National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) that found an abundance of salmonid fish in the East Waterway, near the Navy piers.
The Navy planned and funded this project to improve existing knowledge about nearshore fish in the East Waterway. Results from the survey will help track salmon migration downstream as they come out of the Snohomish River.
The survey began in 2020, during the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. As the team gradually conducted sampling from February 2020 through November 2021, they captured and released more than ten thousand individual fish that represent 21 identified species. These included Chinook, Chum, Coho, Sockeye, and Cutthroat Trout salmonids that were captured and released during spring months. They also found species that are prey to foraging salmon and marbled murrelets such as the Northern Anchovy, Pacific Herring, Pacific Sand Lance, Surf Smelt, among others.
The survey confirmed the presence of salmonid and forage fish species in the environment, especially near the Navy base shoreline along the side of the Snohomish River where the most fish were captured and released.
Results will inform Naval Station Everett’s Integrated Natural Resources Management Plan (INRMP) that lays out a five-year strategy for environmental management. Survey data will help the Navy be better informed when planning environmental permitting and when timing of work in the East Waterway.
The updated INRMP includes planning and projects that help guide military operations in the Navy’s geographic areas of responsibility in fulfillment of its stewardship obligations.