Dave Herrera, fisheries policy representative for the Skokomish Tribe, writes a very complete response to recent coverage of Hood Canal coho management:
Given the low returns it should not be a surprise that no coho redds were observed in Yarr Creek in 2008 or 2010. However, instead of taking into account the low returns, Mr. Bahls chooses to place the blame entirely on the Skokomish Tribe. The truth is the Tribe had a greatly reduced fishery because of the reduced returns. Even if no fishing occurred, Mr. Bahls likely would have seen few, if any, redds.
Contrary to Mr. Bahls’ implication, the Skokomish Tribe has recognized the importance of the work being done in the Tarboo watershed. Two years ago, the tribe expanded its no-fishing zone so that today no tribal fisheries are conducted within nearly 1.5 miles of the mouth of Tarboo Creek.
The Skokomish Tribe is dedicated to preserving, protecting and enhancing the salmon resource. We manage coho in Hood Canal to protect wild coho and provide harvest opportunities as promised in our treaty with the United States.