Puyallup Tribal News: Tribe responds to low chum run

From the Puyallup Tribal News:

The Puyallup Tribe of Indians closed its fishery during the first week of December and will not re-open it for the duration of the chum migration to protect a small return of chum salmon.

“In years like this one, when the salmon just aren’t there, the only way to make sure enough fish make it back to the creeks to spawn, is to stop fishing,” Harvest Management Biologist Chris Phinney said. “This is likely going to be the smallest return in about 10 years.”

“The Tribe’s chum fishery is vital to our economy and way of life,” said Natural Resources Policy Representative Fred Dillon. “It’s not an easy decision to close a fishery early and keep it closed, but the ongoing health of the run is more important.”

The only chum hatchery in the watershed, the Tribe’s Diru Creek facility, is seeing only a small fraction of the returns seen just five years ago. “We saw more than 20,000 fish back at the hatchery in 2004, this year we have seen only about 2,000,” said Blake Smith, the Tribe’s enhancement manager.

You can read the entire article here.