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Topic Review (Newest First)
02-04-2005 12:20 AM
flytyer I see the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission has released its response today. The NWIFC said the Makah fishery was consistent with the pre-season plan developed by the tribal and state co-managers.

Isn't this wonderful! The tribe takes more than 18,000 more fish than that allocated to it in this fishery (at least that was the total as of January 10th, and they were still fishing as of yesterday, so I wonder how many more thousands were taken since January 10th) and it is consistent with the pre-season harvest plan!!!

What a bunch of crap. No amount of spin is going to negate the complete disregard by the Makah Tribe and its fisheries manager displayed for the 1,600 fish allocation the pre-season harvest plan said was OK. I wonder how long I could get away with ignoring my sports catch harvest limit on salmon or steelhead and then be able to say I was being consistent with the season harvest limits.

Then for the Makah Tribal Council and fisheries manager to further claim that this huge overharvest will not impact other user groups because it is simply an indication of the abundance of the fish!!! I wonder how the upstream treaty tribes are going to view this since the Makah harvest comes out of the 50% total harvest allocated to the treaty fishing tribes. It may prove to be an interesting spring and summer. I also wonder how long the NWIFC is going to be putting the spin on this about the Makahs being consistent with the pre-season harvest plan when the other tribes (which the NWIFC are supposedly also representing) start demanding their share of the fish. The North of Falcon meeting in March may prove to be very interesting indeed as a result of the Makah's actions in this.

Oh well, the Makah Tribal Council is consistent with its statements in the past that they have the right to take as much of the statewide 50% tribal harvest as possible since the fish travel through their waters first.

Perhaps it is time for NOAA-F to take over management and enforcement of harvest of the Makah's fishing as per Bolt's decision, which requires the managers (whether an individual tribe or the state) to demonstrate they can manage the resource properly. It certainly looks like the Makah are at best unwilling to properly manage their fishery if not unable to do so.

But wait, the state could provide the other tribes with harvest opportunity by simply giving them a portion of the sportsmen's and non-tribal commercial's 50% share. Of course this would mean the sportsmen and non-tribal commercials would have to have reduced harvest opportunity.

I did happen to catch a very short blurb on KING 5's 6 o'clock news on this though. The Makah are certainly not very happy with the response of sportsfishers at this point. And it is clear they are not happy with WDFW for providing the public with the harvest number of 20,000 and the allocated Makah number of 500, which the tribe claims was really 1,600, since the tribe is claiming the state has caused them harm from releasing these numbers.

Before someone accuses me of being racist or anti-Indian I've got to go on record as saying like Brian has already that there are tribes who are doing a good job of protecting and attempting to restore fish runs. What the Makah Tribe has done needs to be kept focused on the Makah and not allowed to be made into a tribal problem in general, which it is not. This is a problem of the Makah Tribe overharvesting and only a reflection on their actions, not the actions of the other tribes. I personally have no problem with the tribes having a right to 50% of the harvestable surplus of fish or with tribal co-management of the resource. I do have a problem when any tribe, non-tribal commercial, or sportsman harvests more than the portion of harvest allocated to that user group, and the Makah have certainly exceeded their harvest in this fishery.
02-03-2005 09:27 PM
topwater flytyer,

the tribe backed down last year in regard to their ridiculous demands for moorage for non-tribal charter boats. it was brought back up again this season, but the charters have accepted a huge (259% - $1.35 to $3.50) increase in passenger fees and a minor increase in moorage per foot.

i think this may change the 2005 neah bay clave. i'm still going to be hanging my hat out at neah bay this summer. i'll post on the saltwater salmon forum to see if the 2005 clave is still a possibility.

the first north of falcon meeting is march 1. it'll be interesting to see the consequences of this (if any) at the meeting.

02-03-2005 07:06 PM
flytyer OC and Moonlight,

Don't you just love the way the tribe is going to decide and then announce if it going to close this "controversial fishery"! What a bunch of crap. The state simply discusses it with the tribe and then lets the tribe decide what it is going to do. And then the tribe has the guts to say with a straight face it has done nothing wrong and that state has caused them harm because the tribe is getting phone calls from irate sportsmen!! What arrogance.

I have also noticed that our governor, who during her campaign told us she would do right by the resource and not let one user group take more than their proper share, has been totally silent on this. I've also noticed the state's AG has likewise been silent. Then there is the feds who ought to be involved because there are probably threatened or endangered chinook stocks in the Makah harvest.

I thought perhaps the state would have the backbone to take the Makah to court to enforce the harvest number they are entitled to. It sure looks like the state is going to do nothing but roll over and play dead once more when it comes to a tribe's blatent disregard for the harvest rules. The tribe admits to taking the fish and then says it was entitled to 1,600, not 500 so the state is wrong! What about the 18,000 they admitted to harvesting beyond the 1,600 quota. Oh, I get it, the tribe never agreed to limit its catch to 1,600 fish, so they can do whatever they wish. And of course, this will not impact any other user group. Hmmm.... And they will decide later today (or tomorrow, or ....) if they will stop fishing. Wonder how long the state would look the other way and let sportsfishers continue to harvest far more fish than allocated.

And then they wonder why sportsmen get angry at them. Of course, it will be the state's fault is sportsfisher boycott Neah Bay this summer because of the "harm done to the tribe" from making the harvest number known. I suppose we sportsfisher should be made to pay a license surchage in order to reimburse the Makah for lost revenue if sportsfishermen boycott Neah Bay this summer.

What the heck happened to Bolt's required co-management between the tribe and the state?
02-03-2005 10:28 AM
Front Page Local Paper...

A tribal official was quoted as being very upset with the State officiale for putting out this incorrect information!!! It seems that they were fishing on the guideline harvest number of 1,600 King Salmon for the winter fall season. The tribe claims that this is a very small fraction of the salmon that they harvest and will certainly not impact any other tribes commercial or sport fisheries.
They went on to complain that the State has created "Harm" in that they are receiving calls from irate sportfishers who are going to "Boycott" Neah Bay this summer for sport fishing.
And they did admit to the 20,00 fish harvest number which probably means ........
One thing about being in the Fish management bussiness down here in Washington you always get to know who your enemys are, and that appears to be just about everybody on any given day.
02-03-2005 08:50 AM
new yawk the authorities are going to "discuss" it with the tribe? and they can't even get them to return phone calls??? what the f--k? call your congressman, or whoever... this is really wrong. write letters... i live in new york, and i will devote time to this today. it's insulting to anyone who cares about the environment and follows laws.
02-03-2005 08:21 AM
OC Well the Tribe didn't even get a hand slap. Check out the article on the seattle times sport page by Mark Yuasa this morning.

It stated that the Makah tribe will announce today weather it will close a controversial Tribal fishery that has already exceeded the states catch expectations by more than 18,000 chinook.

State Fish & Wildlife and the Makah Tribe Fish Managers met yesterday to discuss the tribes winter troll fishery in the Strait of Juan de Fuca. But the decision on continuing the season is up the Makah's to make.

What the hell is this all this about!?!?!?
02-02-2005 06:38 PM
salt dog OC
You're right, of course; it's to early to make judgments, but on the face of the story, if basically true, makes it hard not to. Patience is seldom my best suit. Let's see what today's meeting spawns.
02-02-2005 04:26 PM
OC The story is in its early stages, at least it has gone AP. We must be sure that WDFD and NWIFC do not pull any BS on this. And if the story is not true there must be an investigation into how it came about. Hey you know I have a Makah tribe member siting in my office right now on non related issues. I asked him about it but he said he knows nothing of the story and does not fish in anyway.
02-02-2005 03:57 PM
flytyer OC,

And I still notice the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission and its chairman Billy Frank, Jr. is still silent on this. If it were a non-tribal commercial who did this, Billy Frand, Jr, and the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission would have been all over it and getting as much press and air time as possible. I'm not surprised the Makah claim it didn't happen, but I find it interesting the Makah are still meeting with the state today at 3 p.m.

Salt Dog,

I'm not surprised the Makah fisheries manager would say he needed more information before he would comment. He needs to find out how his tribal council and the tirbe's attorney want to do damage control. Personally, I think this fisheries manager needs to be held accountable as does the tribal council for their part in allowing/approving the fishery to continue.
02-02-2005 03:32 PM
salt dog King 5 just ran with the Associated Press story, but it had this comment:

Makah Fisheries Manager Russell Svec told The Associated Press on Tuesday he needed more information before commenting on the Times' report.

It will be interesting to see what there is to be said tomorrow. Only problem is that, between the spin the tribe will put on it, and the typical distortion from the news media, its going to be hard to know what to believe was said by whom.
02-02-2005 02:52 PM
OC The latest news is that the Makahs deny that what is reported never happened. They are meeting with the state at 3 pm today. I talked to the reporter Mark Yuasa and he said he would know more after the meeting. He would not give out where he got the information from but sounded very confident it was true. The Seattle times will continue to cover story and hopefully it will be on the front page not the sport section. Also King 5 news did a story on it at noon but because GW being on the air tonight will not cover this evening.
02-02-2005 02:17 PM
OC Hopefully there was a leak from someone from the WDFW. We need people in that department to come forward.
02-02-2005 02:03 PM
salt dog Sounds like the local newspaper rag is trying to be politically correct, when they should be shouting from the parapets, asking what is being done. So much for investigative reporting.

Has anyone placed a call or spoken with a government agency to see what, if any, action is being considered by the State?
I wonder what would happen if I called the poaching hotline.

I never did see in the article how this information came to light; anyone know?
02-02-2005 01:49 PM
flytyer OC,

And just think, the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission had that wonderful "tribal salmon meeting" a week of so ago to tell us sportsmen how wonderfully all the tribes are managing and protecting the resource. Doesn't it just make you want to puke that the PR machine is out giving the party line while the Makah is thumbing its nose at their harvest allotment and takes so many over the 500 fish they were to have as a maximum harvest in this fishery.

And I really hope the Makahs are taken to court over this, but I'm not going to hold my breath. Especially since I've heard nothing about it from the governor's office or AG.


The local newspaper sounds like it is worried about making the Makah Tribe angry. It would be very nice if the newspapers would put this stuff on the front page where it belongs.


Yes, there have been folks arrested for poaching (which is really what the Makah Tribal fishermen's action are) protected fish and for exceeding harvest limits. And with the federally listed Skagit and Stilliguamish chinook, there have been fines of up to $5,000 imposed, boats have been confiscated, fishing gear has been confiscated, and fishing rights revoked for 5 years. I don't think the Makah fishermen should be treated any differently because violating the law is violating the law, period.
02-02-2005 11:43 AM
Hiding on page three!!!!!

Our local paper had a "Quarter Story" about the Makah overfishing this morning. I say quarter story because it was very breif and had a very small headline considering the potential ramifications of the event.
If those fish averaged 6# and they actually took 20,000 then you can figure that the cost of potentialy shutting down the rest of the King Salmon seasons was for a little more than $250,000. Thats assuming a 40% markup is what the retail seller was tacking on to ex vessel price (it was probably more resulting in an even lower ex vessel price.)
I guess if we were one a very few fellows who were out there harvesting we would be viewing this in a different light!
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