In response to the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community’s threat to sue, the Army Corps of Engineers agreed last week to take a new look at the regionally developed Skagit Delta Tidegate Fish Initiative under the federal Endangered Species Act.

Because more coho salmon are returning to the Skagit River watershed to spawn than expected this year, the state Department of Fish and Wildlife last week announced a third extension of fishing on the Skagit and Cascade rivers.

The Skagit County Board of Commissioners passed a resolution Monday asking Seattle City Light to commit to a “regionally equitable salmon investment” in the Skagit River watershed as the utility seeks a new federal license for its three dams on the river.

MOUNT VERNON — Outside his Mount Vernon home Tuesday morning, longtime Skagit Audubon Society member Tim Manns saw a towhee, a bird common in the western United States.

The latest lawsuit over fish in the state claims hatchery-raised salmon and steelhead may impact already-diminished wild populations and the orca whales that eat them. 

MARBLEMOUNT — Though Pressentin Park is closed to the public because of ongoing habitat restoration and construction work, some highly anticipated visitors have been spotted in the area.

On the heels of an announcement that three Southern Resident orcas are pregnant comes word that a mother and grandmother orca of L pod is presumed dead.

The black-bodied, orange-billed tufted puffin can be difficult to find not only because it’s a seabird that spends most of its time bobbing on the water and obscured by waves, but also because its population has plummeted in Washington.

ANACORTES — Chris Sparks arrives on a gray September Saturday at what is known as the red cannery off 11th Street in Anacortes. He’s here to load up 3,000 pounds of live crab to deliver to Canada in the afternoon.

A public health warning was issued Friday for Campbell Lake after water samples taken from the lake Sept. 7 showed significant levels of microcysin, a toxin produced by blue-green algae.

While the commercial harvesting of oysters has been closed in Samish Bay since July 16 because of the presence of the illness-causing bacteria vibrio, the recreational harvesting of shellfish was also closed this week on area beaches.

The Swinomish Indian Tribal Community sent the Army Corps of Engineers on Thursday a 60-day notice of intent to sue over what it says is the corps’ failure to uphold the federal Endangered Species Act, according to a news release from the tribe.

In an area where the south fork of the Stillaguamish River moves from mountain terrain to valley before winding its way toward the saltwater near Camano Island, the Stillaguamish Tribe of Indians and U.S. Forest Service are working to reroute the river’s flow in order to improve habitat for fish.

More than two years after lawsuits were filed over Naval Air Station Whidbey Island’s growing EA-18G Growler fleet and increasing practice flights, the issue of whether the Navy adequately assessed the environmental and public health impacts of such growth remains tied up in court.

*Updated 7/29 to correct the current number of orcas.

Nearly a year after a black plume rose from the Shell Puget Sound Refinery at March Point and the nearby Swinomish Indian Tribal Community alerted residents to close windows and stay indoors to avoid a smell described as like burning rubber, the refinery has been fined $60,000.