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Water Quality & Beach Seining Projects

Current Samish DNR Water Quality and Beach Seining Projects

Fidalgo Bay Water Quality Monitoring

Since 2005, Samish DNR has been collecting water quality samples in Fidalgo Bay and its associated inlet and outlet streams.

During 2010, Samish began working with the City of Anacortes to help identify hotspot locations where fecal coliform bacteria has been found in stormwater outfalls.

In 2015, a Stormwater working group was formed between the Samish Tribe and the City of Anacortes, and has been targeting these areas of concern by working collaboratively to expand monitoring efforts in these locations and correct identified point sources of pollution.

Lake Campbell Water Quality Monitoring

Samish DNR has been collecting water quality samples in Lake Campbell and its associated inflows and outflows since the spring of 2006. Skagit County recognizes the Lake Campbell watershed as a potential upland "Sensitive Area" as it relates to the Marine Recovery Area Yokeko, Dewey Beach, and Quiet Cove.

The purpose of sampling is to continue long-term baseline water quality monitoring in the lake and associated inlet and outlet streams.

Thomas Creek Water Quality Monitoring

In 2009, Samish DNR began water quality sampling for fecal coliform bacteria in a tributary (Thomas Creek) of Samish River, located in the Samish Bay Watershed.

The watershed encompasses 140 square miles of mostly lowland farms, fields, and timber country. It has several small, yet distinct, communities, but is largely rural. The Samish River is the main watercourse, rising in Whatcom County between Anderson Mountain and Lyman Hill, flowing south into Skagit County through a narrow valley surrounded by timbered hills, then west through an increasingly broad agricultural valley into Samish Bay. Major tributaries include Thunder, Friday, and Thomas Creeks.

Samish Bay is home to more than 2300 acres of commercial shellfish beds. Previous water quality data from Thomas Creek has shown repeated high fecal coliform counts. This creek along with other contributing tributaries have caused shellfish industries located in the bay to close temporarily due to high bacteria levels found in the bay and the Samish River.

Fidalgo Bay Beach Seining

Since March 2015, in collaboration with the Northwest Straits Foundation (NWSF), Samish DNR has been conducting beach seine surveys in Fidalgo Bay. These surveys help us learn more about the diversity and abundance of nearshore fish use throughout the bay.

The data collected is helping Samish DNR evaluate the success of our beach restorations in improving habitat for forage fish and juvenile salmon. Seine locations include three sites at Custom Plywood cleanup, Fidalgo Bay RV Park and NW March’s Point. These 9 sites represent natural, nourished, restored, and unrestored beaches.

Funding for the project is provided by a Puget Sound Partnership grant through the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to restore and protect Puget Sound.

Water Quality and Beach Seining Resource List

The resources and links listed below provide additional information and sources on Water Quality Monitoring and Beach Seine projects:

Samish Indian Nation Water Quality and Beach Seining Reports:

Fidalgo Bay Water Quality
Data Summary Report: 2005-2018
Fidalgo Bay Beach Seining
Data Summary Report: 2015-2019
Available for download here
Available for download here