Puyallup Tribal News: Elders to fish first

Puyallup Tribal News:

A special fishing season for tribal elders takes place next month. From June 10 to June 13, the river will be open for elders to fish for ceremonial and subsistence use from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day.

Chris Phinney, harvest management biologist for the Puyallup Tribe’s Fisheries/Hatchery Department, explained the rules in place. This special fishing season is open only to Puyallup Tribal members aged 50 and older. There will be no helpers allowed and no exceptions to the rules, he said. “They have to be tribal elders to be on the river.”

Don’t let fishing be the scapegoat

Fishing opportunities in Northwest waters have just about disappeared. It’s a situation that has strained relations between Indians and non-Indians – the state, local governments, environmental organizations, businesses and even fishermen. It’s also a condition we can improve, if we follow the truth, and that truth goes right to habitat.

Fishermen have made the lion’s share of sacrifice so far, and cutting back on fisheries to the degree we have has not been easy on our people. Empty freezers and smoke houses hurt deeply, physically, economically and culturally.