Magazine: In-season Management Leads to Coho Fisheries

The latest Northwest Treaty Tribes magazine features a roundup of how coho fisheries rolled out this year. In-season management informed by monitoring by treaty tribes, meant that both tribal and sport fishermen were able to get on the water this fall.

You can download a free copy here or sign up for a free print subscription here.

From the magazine:

Despite grim pre-season forecasts for coho throughout western Washington, tribal in-season management led to limited tribal and sport fisheries last fall. Last spring, tribal and state salmon co-managers predicted dire runs during the pre-season planning process. As a result, early in the process, tribes called for conservative fisheries, especially in mixed-stock areas that opened before true run sizes could be assessed.

“We don’t know how many we’ll see, we don’t know how healthy they’ll be and we don’t know how many eggs they’ll have,” said Lorraine Loomis, chair of the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission, during negotiations between the tribes and state. “Ocean fisheries depend on good predictions. If the predictions show low returns, we need to constrain fisheries until we really see how many salmon are coming back to each river.”

Terminal fisheries – closer to where salmon spawn in rivers – and other freshwater fisheries depend on real-world data like spawning surveys and hatchery counts.

This video provides a pretty basic background on how tribes manage fisheries:

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