Swinomish Indian Tribal Community

The Swinomish Indian Tribal Community is descended from Coast Salish people that lived in and around the Skagit and Samish Rivers. Their reservation, about 15 square miles, is located on Fidalgo Island, between Skagit Bay, Padilla Bay, and the Swinomish channel.

Swinomish Area of Concern:

The tribe is focused in the Skagit Watershed (WRIAs 3 and 4), where restoration of tidal and nearshore habitat is a priority. One issue in the watershed is forestland buffers. Washington Forest Practice rules require riparian buffers of around 140 feet, but landowners with less than 80 acres are exempt. Many of the streams in the lower Skagit basin are vulnerable if this practice continues. Significant reductions in tidal wetland, due to development in the Skagit delta, have eliminated around 88% of delta habitat for juvenile Chinook. Recovery is proceeding in Whidbey Basin pocket estuaries, and salmon production is expected to increase.

Natural Resource Management:

  • In spring of 2012, the tribe restored tidal flow to almost 60 acres of estuary at Similk Bay. This type of water body, known as a “pocket estuary”, provides crucial salmon habitat. Part of a road was removed, as well as several culverts, and the tribe also planted native vegetation and removed invasive species. Close to 80 percent of pocket estuaries in the Whidbey basin have been lost because of development.
  • The U.S. Department of the Interior announced funding in March for the Swinomish tribe to protect and manage the Kukutali Preserve, 118 acres of tidelands and forest on the Swinomish Reservation. The tribe, in partnership with Washington State Parks, will develop a 50-year management plan for the preserve, designed to protect Skagit Chinook salmon habitat.

Map of Tribal Lands

Swinomish Indian Tribal Community
11404 Moorage Way
LaConner, WA 98257

Phone: (360) 466-3163
Fax: (360) 466-5309

Chairperson: Brian Cladoosby
Fisheries Contact: Lorraine Loomis
Homepage: Swinomish Tribe

Source: NWIFC