The North Kitsap Herald writes about the tagging and clipping efforts by the Suquamish Tribe as they prepare to release chinook from their Grover’s Creek hatchery:
Tagging the fish and clipping off their adipose fins, located between the tail and the dorsal fin, will allow both fishermen and other hatcheries to identify the fish. It will also help the NWIFC in its ongoing mission to more accurately follow the life cycle of salmon and collect data on it.
This is the third year the “auto trailer,” as it’s called, has stopped at the Suquamish hatchery, following a circuit from February to August in which it visits different tribes and their hatcheries.
Starting April 10, NWIFC fisheries biologist Jason Norton, along with trailer assistant Desrai Wells and various tribal helpers, worked their way through nearly 450,000 fish, 200,000 of which were tagged with one code, 200,000 tagged were with another code and had their adipose fin clipped. The remaining 45,000 fish at the hatchery just had their adipose fin clipped.
“When sports fishermen catch a fish, they have to throw it back if its adipose fin is missing,” Norton said. They are allowed to keep the state regulated amount of wild salmon though. “Congressman Norm Dicks really wanted all fish in the state of Washington to be adipose clipped unless they were part of a study.”
Here is an article from the Seattle Times about similar efforts by the Puyallup Tribe on Clarks Creek.