Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Lower Puyallup Regulations in limbo

I've received permission to share this email from Tappsdrifter -- excellent info!

Hi Guys,

Just curious, can you share the status of the negotiations between WDFW and the tribal fisheries managers?  There are rumors that the river will be closed from the mouth to the confluence of the Puyallup and White.  Hopefully this is not the case especially with all the anticipation of the pink run pending.




Thank you for your e-mail correspondence to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) Fish Program. We apologize for the delay in our response.
The following response has been provided to you from Pat Pattillo, the WDFW Statewide Salmon Policy Coordinator:
Recreational salmon fishing on the Puyallup River has been opened in mid-August to coincide with returning hatchery Chinook salmon and very large numbers of pink salmon in odd-numbered years.  In recent years the number of anglers fishing the Puyallup River has been extremely large and conflicts have occurred between recreational anglers and tribal members as they conduct treaty net fisheries.  Such conflicts range from verbal exchanges to physical interactions that, in some cases, have put the safety of tribal fishers and recreational anglers at risk. 
To reduce the occurrence of these conflicts the Puyallup Tribe and WDFW agreed to separate tribal and sport fishing activities in the area of the Puyallup River adjacent to the Puyallup Tribe’s reservation (specifically from the mouth upstream about 6 miles) on certain days opened to tribal netting.  This separation of fishing began in 2010 and continued the next two years with between 6 and 9 days closed in each season to sport fishing.  Sport fishing remained open on the Puyallup River upstream of the Tribe’s reservation area on days closed by agreement.
As planning for the 2013 salmon fishing seasons began in early March, the Puyallup Tribe notified WDFW of their intention to greatly expand the number of days closed to sport fishing.  In subsequent meetings throughout March and early April, the Puyallup Tribe conveyed their view that conflict had not subsided with the limited closures agreed to in the previous three years.  The Tribe’s position for 2013 is to close sport fishing on all days opened to tribal net fishing from mid-August through December, a total of 54 days.
The Tribes and WDFW must reach agreement on all salmon fisheries - freshwater and marine, commercial and recreational – to be consistent with conservation objectives, including fishing limits defined under the federal Endangered Species Act, and allocation of harvest between treaty Indian and non-Indian fishers.  Agreement has been reached for all fisheries except those occurring in the Puyallup River and the Skokomish River.  The Tribes and WDW are committed to reaching agreement on these outstanding issues prior to the commencement of fishing activities in August.  Agreement was not reached in time to provide a description of opened seasons and regulations for sport fisheries in the Puyallup River in WDFW’s annual publication “Sport Fishing Rules”, but WDFW will inform the public of the outcome of negotiations as soon as they are concluded. 
If you have further questions, please email again or call (360) 902-2700. Our Customer Service hours are 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.
We hope this information helps, and again, we apologize for the lateness of our response.
Fish Program