"‘Disastrous’ Coho Returns Threaten Western Washington Tribes"

"Blame it on the mass of water known as "the Blob”—four-plus degrees Fahrenheit, warmer-than-normal, nutrient-poor ocean waters hugging the Pacific coast—or on El Niño, habitat destruction or toxic runoff. Whatever the cause of dwindling coho salmon runs, the effect on western Washington tribal fishing nations can be summed up in one word: disastrous.

It's so serious that there likely will be no coho fisheries in 2016, as returns are expected to plummet even further than those of last year because of poor ocean survival, wrote Lorraine Loomis, chair of the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission (NWIFC) in her March "Being Frank" column in the North Kitsap Herald.

Some treaty tribes lean more on certain salmon species than others—but all rely on the coho. For the Stillaguamish Tribe, bound by treaty to fish only in their home river, last year's poor coho runs and this year’s low coho forecasts pose what could be an insurmountable threat to their culture and way of life."

Terri Hansen reports for Indian Country Today Media Network March 28, 2016.

Source: Indian Country Today, 03/29/2016