Makah Nation

Makah tribal headquarters are located in Neah Bay, Washington. In the 1800s, the tribe numbered between 2,000 and 4,000, spread between five permanent villages on the Washington Coast. The Makah have a strong whaling tradition and close ties to the ocean.

Makah Area of Concern:

The Makah are focused in WRIAs 19 and 20, where loss of forest cover and excess sedimentation is a major issue. The Washington Department of Ecology lists approximately 80 miles of streams within this area as "impaired waters". A major goal for salmon recovery is increased monitoring of stream flow and water quality. Greater communication and cooperation is another goal for the tribe, especially since some land within the watershed is being considered for transfer to private ownership. Large woody debris is lacking in the Ozette watershed due to years of removal, and the surrounding timber is not mature enough to provide adequate material.

Natural Resource Management:

  • In 2011, Makah biologists collared six cougars for a population study, hoping to gather information about predation in order to better understand the interactions between cougars and black-tailed deer. Previously, researchers also tracked black bears on tribal lands, completing a three-year study to gather baseline information about bear populations before producing a black bear management plan.
  • 2011 also marked the second year of an elk study covering 124,000 acres. Makah researchers implanted bull elk with radio transmitters to track survival rates. They also put radio collars on a group of calves.
  • The tribe maintains a weed management plan, and works to eradicate invasive species such as Scotch broom, knotweed, and yellow flag iris, particularly in ecologically rich areas.
  • Whaling has always been a huge part of Makah culture. In 2005 the tribe hired a marine mammal biologist to document gray whales migrating through tribal waters. Understanding the movement of nearby whale populations and their genetic makeup will help contribute to an international effort towards better understanding of whale biology.

Map of Tribal Lands

Makah Nation
PO Box 115
Neah Bay, Wa

Phone: (360) 645-2201

Chairperson: Michael J. Lawrence
Fisheries Contact: Russ Svec


source: NWIFC