Volunteer Opportunity Beach Seining in Hood Canal

Juvenile Salmon/Fish Community Study in Hood Canal

Project Description for Volunteers

We will be sampling the nearshore fish communities of Hood Canal, Admiralty Inlet, and the Strait of Juan de Fuca using two sizes of beach seine (for channel margins and beaches) and fyke nets (for tidal sloughs and small creeks).  The primary goal of the project is to determine habitat usage by juvenile salmonids (specifically summer chum) so that the Washington State Salmon Recovery Funding Board can prioritize their habitat restoration projects in a manner that is most beneficial for salmon recovery.  The project runs from January through May.  We will generally be sampling Monday through Saturday on a weekly basis (though this may shift depending on weather and tides).  Volunteers need to be in good physical condition (adequate for hauling seine nets and equipment), comfortable working from small boats, and willing to work in adverse weather conditions.  The effort will provide experience in field techniques, fish identification, data collection and habitat assessment. We do not expect that you will participate for the whole study, or even for a whole week in a row – any days you can help are appreciated.  Nevertheless, preference will be given to those who have previously volunteered and/or can commit for longer periods of time. Sampling days are usually about 8 hours long (again depending on weather and tides), and may begin early in the morning if necessary to catch a tide, so being on time is important.  If you are scheduled to participate on a given day and cannot do so, please let us know as soon as possible so we can find a replacement.

During each of the sampling periods, we will be staying at our field house located in close proximity to where we will be working.  In a typical week, WFC staff will be traveling from the Seattle area to Hood Canal at the beginning of the week and back at the end of the week; please notify us if you can carpool.  If you are traveling to/from Hood Canal at other times, you will need to provide your own transportation or plan to carpool with other volunteers.

A list of things to bring is provided below.  Note that it is usually colder on the water than on shore, particularly on windy days, and the weather may change unexpectedly, so always be prepared for rain and/or a drop in temperature.  We will provide waders (let us know your size or if you will be using your own), neoprene gloves, life jackets, and waterproof bags to keep your gear dry in the boats.  It’s a good idea to bring your own rain coat if you have one you like, just in case.


Primary Contact: James Fletcher (james@wildfishconservancy.org) Cell: 206-718-4207

Secondary Contact: Adrian Tuohy (adrian@wildfishconservancy.org) Cell: 253-709-9364

For information on the WFC: www.wildfishconservancy.org

What to bring:

  • Epipen (if allergic to bee stings) or other medication.
  • Lunch and snacks.
  • Rain gear (for upper body; we will provide waders if you don’t have your own).
  • Warm clothes (fleece clothing is ideal as it is lighter than wool and dries quickly; cotton is discouraged as it will not keep you warm if wet).  Several layers will allow you to adjust to changes in temperature. Long underwear is a good idea in cool months.  Bring 2 pairs of warm socks for each day if possible.
  • Warm Hat (preferably one that will not blow off easily while underway).
  • Sunglasses and ski goggles if you have them: the goggles are great for keeping spray out of your eyes. We have some to loan if you don’t have any or your pair is too nice for field work.
  • Something to read- if you are on the fyke net crew, you may have some down time while waiting for the tide to ebb.
  • A change of clothes for after we are done is also a good idea in case you get wet.
  • A travel mug and/or thermos and water bottle.



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