The Olympian: Reduced fishery boosts Nisqually coho

An emergency closure of the Nisqually River to coho fishing last month has saved enough spawning fish to meet the Nisqually Indian Tribe’s hatchery needs, tribal officials said Wednesday.

Tribal employees and volunteers gathered at the Kalama Creek Hatchery’s holding pond on a sunny morning to round up dozens of adult coho that made the journey back to South Sound to spawn.

Combined with the 275 spawned fish the past two weeks and a few dozen more next week, the tribe should come close to its 700-fish escapement goal, tribal salmon enhancement program manager Bill St. Jean said.

Tribal and recreational fishers closed the river to fishing Oct. 22 after it became clear the run was facing reduced numbers this year.