Statement on US/Canada Pacific Salmon Treaty New Annex & Chapters Agreement (2019-29) from W. Ron Allen, PSC Alternate Commissioner:

Threatened Puget Sound chinook will benefit from a new 10-year management plan developed under the U.S./Canada Pacific Salmon Treaty, said W. Ron Allen, Chair/CEO of the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe, who serves on the bilateral Pacific Salmon Commission.

The 1985 treaty was created to prevent overfishing and enable both countries to receive the benefits of its salmon enhancement efforts.

Under the treaty, species management plans are renegotiated every 10 years to guide efforts to regulate salmon stocks that migrate between the two countries. Chinook, coho and chum management plans were developed in this year’s negotiation cycle.

“These were difficult and complicated negotiations and not everyone was happy with the outcome. One significant change is that Alaska and Canada agreed to additional reductions in their chinook harvests that intercept migrating chinook from Washington waters,” Allen said.

“This is one more positive step toward restoring Puget Sound chinook that have been listed under the federal Endangered Species Act since 1999,” Allen said. “Their decline is being driven by habitat loss and climate change, and the trend is showing little improvement.”

Another important benefit from this agreement is that more chinook returning to Washington waters should benefit endangered Southern Resident Killer Whales that depend on the fish as a primary food source.

Treaty tribal and non-treaty sport and commercial fishermen will continue to see tightly controlled seasons and reduced harvests until runs show improvement, he said.

You can read the Pacific Salmon Commission press release on the agreement here.