Washington tribes to submit fish management plan after talks fail

Treaty tribes in western Washington have already agreed to limit their fisheries in 2016 due to record low returns of natural and hatchery coho. Photo from Northwest Treaty Tribes

The Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission will submit its own fish management plan to the federal government after talks with the state of Washington failed.

For the last 30 years, tribal and state officials have submitted a joint plan for the salmon fisheries in Puget Sound. But they were unable to reach agreement after another meeting on Tuesday.

“We knew setting salmon-fishing seasons would be challenging this year due to the poor forecast for coho,” Ron Warren, who is in charge of the fish program at the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, said in a press release. “Our staff worked really hard to put forward a set of proposed fisheries that met agreed-to conservation goals. Unfortunately, we were not able to reach an agreement.”

The tribes are entitled to half of the fish catch in the state under the United States v. Washington court case that affirmed their treaty rights.

Get the Story:
Fish talks break down again between state, tribes (The Seattle Times 4/20)
Impasse between fishery and tribal leaders puts salmon season in jeopardy (KOMO 4/19)
State and tribal fishery managers at an impasse on Puget Sound salmon fishing season (The Seattle Times 4/19)
Talks between state and tribes resume on setting Puget Sound salmon fishing seasons (The Seattle Times 4/19)

An Opinion:
Lorraine Loomis: Tough times call for hard decisions (The North County Outlook 4/20)

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