KUOW: Fisherman from Lummi Nation preserves tribal traditions
"Cliff Cultee is a commercial fisherman and a member of the Lummi Tribal Council. I caught up with him on the Lummi Reservation dock after he'd spent the day patching the fiberglass of his gill netter boat.

Cultee: "My grandfather and uncles, they all had their own purse seiners, like 58–foot boats. The routine was, after school, we'd get up, go to the web locker in Bellingham, we'd put the nets together with all the uncles and grandfather and crews, do all the nets all at once, everybody's nets, everybody help each other, and go out fishing. We didn't really have so many restrictions on our fishery. We just went fishing."

Cultee says the runs started declining in the 1980s. Many Lummi fishermen had to turn to something besides sockeye.

Cultee: "Because we just couldn't make it on salmon fishing alone anymore. Things started dwindling and we had to find other opportunities to make money and keep lights on, food on the table for our families."

Cultee says Dungeness crab has become the most important fishery for the Lummi nation. The tribal dock itself demonstrates the shift. Hundreds of crab pots are stacked all along the 200–foot–long dock. More recently, some Lummi have outfitted their fishing boats to catch something that probably doesn't spring to mind when you think of seafood."

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Fishing The Lummi Way (KUOW 8/30)