"Quinault Nation Calls Off Fall Coastal Coho Fishery For Conservation"

"Quinault Nation shuttered its fall coho fishery a month early this year after harvest numbers came in at just a fraction of what was expected. Now, fishery leaders have called on the state to do the same.

“It’s our way of life, and these days, it’s a source of income as well,” said Cleve Jackson, a policy representative for Quinault Fisheries. “Our people would fish no matter what: to eat, to feed their soul.”

But the state Department of Fish and Wildlife pushed back on these requests from the Quinault. In a Thursday letter, the state cited levels of returning natural spawning coho above the 10-year average to date in one tributary of the Chehalis River.

They acknowledged depleted natural returns of coho in other coastal systems and ultimately pointed to a lack of “technical tools available that would inform our shared decision making,” as state and tribal co-managers of the fisheries."

Isabella Breda reports for the Seattle Times November 18, 2023.

Source: Seattle Times, 11/20/2023