Greg Shimek, executive director of the Coastal Cutthroat Coalition

It is my pleasure to introduce the Coastal Cutthroat Coalition to the members of the Hood Canal Salmon Enhancement Group. This organization was founded a little over two years ago by a few dedicated conservationists who were passionate about better understanding the habits, the wellbeing and long-term survival of Coastal Cutthroat Trout throughout its range. This species is one of Washington’s few native wild trout that inhabit Hood Canal and its watersheds.

Originally started to help raise funds for underfunded research projects specific to Cutthroat Trout, we have evolved into an organization that does much more. We have a small staff and committed volunteers who assist the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife primarily with Cutthroat work but also help with Salmon when requested.

As a small organization it became apparent after the first year that we needed assistance to continue our growth. After some internal discussions and due to the similarities of our two organizations missions, it became obvious that there may be opportunities to work together saving native fish and their habitats. After initial meetings and a number of follow up discussions, it was decided that the best option was for the Coastal Cutthroat Coalition to become a part of the Hood Canal Salmon Enhancement Group. So, in 2017 with great appreciation on our part, the two organizations merged.

The Coastal Cutthroat Coalition operates as a standalone committee with our own staff that evaluates potential projects to be funded. We report directly to Mendy Harlow, Executive Director and the Board of Directors of the Hood Canal Salmon Enhancement Group.

For 2018 we are very excited about launching a large Coastal Cutthroat research project in Hood Canal together with the Hood Canal Salmon Enhancement Group, WDFW, Tacoma Power, the Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe, and the Long Live the Kings organization. This project will, for the first time develop a genetic base line for distinct populations of Coastal Cutthroat Trout that inhabit numerous watersheds that flow into Hood Canal.

It is indeed an honor to be part of the Hood Canal Salmon Enhancement Group with its incredibly talented and dedicated Staff and volunteers.

 

Thankfully Yours,

Greg Shimek, CCC Executive Director