Submitted by Quinault Indian Nation
The Quinault Indian Nation (QIN) today announced Lake Quinault will open to fishing and the use of resident boats, including power boats, from August 1, 2020 through October 25, 2020. Only those boats qualifying as “resident boats,” however, are allowed on the lake. The Quinault Nation is the sole owner of Lake Quinault up to its Ordinary High-Water Mark.
The decision to reopen to resident boats only is part of QIN’s process to help facilitate social distancing in the face of the Coronavirus pandemic and to prevent the spread of invasive species in the lake, including zebra and quagga mussels, New Zealand Mudsnails and invasive noxious weeds like knotweed. Invasive species can be transported by boats, trailers and other boating accessories. The Nation currently does not have enough trained inspectors available to inspect and certify vessels classed as “non-resident.”
“We understand the desire to visit and access the full range of activities at Lake Quinault, but these challenging and unprecedented times require taking all necessary precautions to keep our citizens and visitors safe and healthy,” said Quinault Indian Nation President Fawn Sharp. “We appreciate everyone’s patience as we work to safeguard the health of our families and communities while keeping the lake clean and healthy now and for future generations to enjoy.”
Following are the Quinault Nation’s fishing and boating rules and regulations as part of this limited reopening:
- Fishermen are required to have a QIN Fishing Permit. Anyone recreating on the lake is encouraged to follow current guidelines on social distancing, face coverings, and sanitation for their own protection and community safety.
- Any boat qualifying as a resident boat under QIN rules may be used on the lake. Resident boats do not need to be stored at Lake Quinault, but If that boat has been used in another body of water since it was last certified for use in Lake Quinault, it must be re-certified as a resident boat before it can be used again in Lake Quinault.
- Once a Declaration is signed, owners/operators will be authorized to purchase a 2020 Resident Boat Decal for the boat and required to display the decal prominently on their boat.
- Fishing permits and Resident Boat Decals will be available for purchase at the Rain Forest Resort (516 S Shore Rd, Quinault, WA 98575), Lake Quinault Mercantile (52 S Shore Rd, Quinault, WA 98575) and Amanda Park Mercantile (6088 US-101, Amanda Park, WA 98526).
- Quinault Indian Nation’s full rules and regulations that apply to fishing and boating on Lake Quinault are available online at 2017 Fishing, Boating and Use Regulation.
Motorized boats are allowed as part of the opening for fishing, but operators should be familiar with the speed regulations for use on the lake. Lake boating is limited to sail and human-powered boats outside of fishing season.
“Boating” means the use of any permitted vessel propelled on water by paddle, oars, sails, motor or engine, including but not limited to canoes, kayaks, paddle or surf boards, and rafts. Use of items commonly associated with swimming such as inner tubes, inflatable mattresses, and the like are not considered to be “boats” and are allowed for use during swimming.
Lake Quinault is located within the boundaries of the Quinault Indian Reservation and is owned up to its Ordinary High Water Mark (OHWM) entirely by the Quinault Indian Nation. The Nation’s ownership has been affirmed in several courts. The Quinault Nation welcomes use and enjoyment of the lake by its members, neighbors and visitors consistent with the Tribe’s stewardship objectives to protect and restore natural habitats in the lake.