Washington tribes prepare for another bad year of salmon runs

The Suquamish Tribe and the Muckleshoot Tribe worked with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife to transfer 450,000 coho salmon to Elliott Bay, a practice that benefits tribal and non-tribal fishermen. Photo from Northwest Treaty Tribes / Facebook

Tribes in Washington are pressing the state and the federal government to bar salmon fishing for the upcoming season, The Everett Herald reports.

Salmon runs were low in 2015 and are expected to be low again this year, the paper said. That's why the state of Washington and the Pacific Fishery Management Council, a multi-jurisdictional body, are contemplating closures.

"We hope it doesn’t come to that. Our cultures, treaty rights and economies depend on salmon. But the resource must come first,” Lorraine Loomis, the chair of the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission, said in a press release. “We face an extraordinary conservation challenge this year. In many instances returns will likely be far below minimum levels needed to produce the next generation of salmon. Conservation must be our sole focus as we work to rebuild these stocks.”

A public hearing is scheduled on March 28 and a decision on the options is supposed to be made in April.

Get the Story:
Drastic year could lead to ban on coastal salmon fishing (The Everett Herald 3/15)
Stillaguamish Tribe: Way of life threatened by dwindling salmon runs (The Everett Herald 3/15)
Stillaguamish Tribe calls for coho protection (KING5 News 3/15)
Another year of small coho runs could hamper fisheries (The Everett Herald 3/11)

Related Stories
Army Corps fails to furnish housing for Northwest treaty tribes (3/15)
Steven Toby: Northwest tribes maintain responsibility for salmon (3/14)
Lorraine Loomis: Tribes in Washington face dwindling salmon runs (3/14)

Join the Conversation