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Makah Indian Tribe, Washington

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The Makah and the National Marine Fisheries Services are working together to help threatened sockeye salmon in Lake Ozette, using video and electronic transmitters. The fish are listed for protection under the federal Endangered Species Act. "We know a lot about the sockeye runs in Alaska and the Lake Washington run,'' said project biologist Kirt Hughes. "And we know the general life cycle of the Ozette run, but we don't know much about what the fish are doing while they spend six to eight months in the lake.'' Since 1998, fisheries managers have used video recorders to tape migrating fish at a weir on the Ozette River. The recorders are an improvement on human counters because they can do it full time and don't lose concentration. Current videos suggest more fish are coming back to the lake than previously thought. The electronic transmitters will show where fish go once they enter the lake. Fisheries workers say they've implanted transmitters in about 30 fish and hope to track 10 percent of next year's run. "This will allow us to see if the fish are grouping up in significant numbers at any time before and during spawning and if this seems to be a factor in attracting predators,'' Hughes said.