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Drought, Water Quality on Many Minds

Water – how much we have and how clean it should be – is on the minds of many these days as the drought rolls on in western Washington and state government remains stalled on updating decades-old water quality standards.

Tribal insistence on more restrictive salmon fisheries this year has turned out to be the right call as the hottest and driest summer we’ve ever seen …

Habitat Must Carry More Weight

A heavy burden is easier to carry if everyone who shares in the load does their part to help support the weight.

It’s the same with salmon conservation.

We all value salmon and we all must share the burden to protect and restore this rapidly disappearing resource. We must spread the weight of the burden of conservation across harvest, hatcheries and habitat because these are the …

The Legacy of Billy Frank Jr.

It has been a long year since Billy Frank Jr. walked on from this world on May 5, 2014. We deeply miss our longtime leader and good friend. We will continue to stay on the course he set for us as sovereign nations with treaty-reserved rights who co-manage the natural resources given to us by the Creator.

During this past year, Billy’s life as a champion …

Tomorrow’s Salmon

Effects of climate change and the ongoing loss of salmon habitat came home to roost at this year’s tribal and state salmon fishing season setting process. The result was some of the most restrictive salmon fisheries ever seen in some areas.

A record low snowpack, low stream flows and increasing water temperatures, combined with the results of ongoing habitat loss and declining marine survival, forced the …

Seals, Sea Lions Slowing Salmon Recovery

A population explosion of harbor seals and sea lions along the Washington coast and in Puget Sound is interfering with recovery of weak salmon and steelhead stocks, threatening tribal treaty rights and posing increasing threats to public safety throughout our region.

At the root of the problem is the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) of 1972, a well-intentioned law that was needed at the time, but …

Cooperation Keys Salmon Management, Recovery

As we begin our third decade of the annual state and tribal salmon co-managers’ salmon season setting process called North of Falcon, it’s a good time to look at how far we’ve come and talk about our hopes for the future.

There were some tough days in the decade following the 1974 ruling by Judge George Boldt in U.S. v Washington, which upheld tribal treaty-reserved …

Eating Fish Shouldn’t Be Risky

Gov. Jay Inslee wants to change the cancer risk rate used to set state water quality standards from one in one million to one in 100,000. That is unacceptable to the treaty Indian tribes in western Washington. We refuse to accept this tenfold increase in the risk of getting cancer from known cancer-causing toxins, and you should, too.

The cancer risk rate, along with the fish …

Attention, Action Needed For Salmon Recovery

Why have salmon been pouring back into the Columbia River in record numbers recently while returns to the Washington coast and Puget Sound continue to drop? One big reason is that for the past decade someone in a position of authority has been in charge of protecting and restoring Columbia River salmon.

That person has been U.S. District Court Judge James Redden. Three times during the …

Budget Cuts Threaten Fish and Wildlife, Co-management

Years of declining funding combined with a current $2 billion state budget deficit leaves the treaty Indian tribes in western Washington wondering if the Department of Fish and Wildlife will be able to meet its natural resources management responsibilities.

The shortfall led Gov. Jay Inslee to instruct state agencies to submit budget reduction options equal to 15 percent of the money they receive from the state’s …

Departing WDFW Director Will be Missed

When the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission was searching for a new director about six years ago, chair Miranda Wecker said they were looking for a director with a strong conservation ethic, sound fiscal-management and leadership skills and expertise in intergovernmental relations.

They got all of that and much, much more when they selected Phil Anderson to lead the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).…