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OC 02-01-2005 02:44 PM

Thanks Makaw tribe

This mornings Seattle Times had an article on the sport pages about the Makaw Tribe out of Neah Bay Washington taking 19,500 Chinook Salmon over their 500 fish quota in one weeks time. This will be a disaster to not only the sport fishing season but to the other tribes located further inland. The Washington fish & game tried contacting the tribe by phone about the over kill but got no calls back. I swear to god that our Washington fish and game is the poorest example of conservation on the entire planet. The FBI should have been called in on this right away. The tribe must be punished and the state must come down hard on F&G for not catching this mess early on.

salt dog 02-01-2005 03:17 PM

That is simply off the scale as too hard to believe.

I keep trying to imagine, what were they thinking; arrogance is what keeps popping into mind. Does anybody really feel that they have a right to fish until the last one is caught and canned? or do they just not give a rip. Ecological terrorism, or just plaint stupidity. Again, the arrogance is unbelievable.

I am sure we will now see a long litany of spin doctors and apologists making excuses, making this into a racial thing sooner or later, until the environmental holocaust is overshadowed by racial finger pointing.

Thanks for the post OC. Rape of the environment is usually a more subtle act or ommission than this.

Brian Simonseth 02-01-2005 03:28 PM ibe%27s


Makah salmon catch causes concern

By Mark Yuasa

Seattle Times staff reporter

An enormous catch of chinook salmon during the Makah Tribe's winter troll fishery apparently exceeded, by about 19,500 fish, the estimate set by state Fish and Wildlife and is causing concern.

An e-mail yesterday from Pat Pattillo of the state Fish and Wildlife's salmon intergovernmental policy group to the sportfishing advisory board said, "We have been informed the treaty troll fishery in Strait of Juan de Fuca has taken 20,000 chinook (through Jan. 10)."

Under state Fish and Wildlife's salmon fishing season package, the Makah's winter catch was supposed to be around 500 chinook in Catch Areas 4B (Neah Bay), 5 (Sekiu) and 6 (Port Angeles).

"I'm not sure what the effect will be, but it doesn't look good and we had assumed that the catch was going to be 500 fish," said Phil Anderson, a state Fish and Wildlife salmon policy coordinator.

The fish managers will have to adjust the amount of chinook that can be caught by all other commercial, tribal and sports fishers in the 2005-06 fishing seasons so as to not make a severe dent in Washington's wild chinook stocks of concern.

"The implications of this large catch are quite serious," Pattillo said. "The specific impacts are uncertain at this time, but it is likely that this catch will affect ocean (and Puget Sound) fishing opportunities."

The forecasts available from the state on March 1 for Snake River fall wild chinook and Puget Sound weak wild chinook stocks such as mid-Hood Canal, Stillaguamish and Skagit wild chinook could be less than anticipated because of this unexpected catch.

This large catch has occurred in U.S. fisheries at the same time the U.S. is expressing objections to Canada in the Pacific Salmon Treaty forum over increased impacts on Columbia River and Puget Sound chinook stocks.

The Makah troll fishery, Pattillo says, is managed not under a quota but as a season, just like most Puget Sound sport fisheries.

Each year when state, federal, tribal, sport and commercial fishing constituents set salmon seasons, they come up with estimates on the number of fish that can be taken in all fisheries and are expected to stay within that ballpark figure.

"We will be contacting (the) Makah to discuss the issue and will request they close the fishery," Pattillo said.

The tribe could not be reached for comment.

State Fish and Wildlife will unveil Puget Sound, coastal Washington and Columbia River salmon abundance forecasts March 1 in Olympia. Final salmon fishing seasons for 2005-06 will be announced April 4-8 in Tacoma.

Mark Yuasa: 206-464-8780 or

OC 02-01-2005 03:32 PM

Some numbers for the sport fishermen.

Entire coast of Oregon and Washington sport catch for this coming year 39,500 fish. Sportsmen catch for Neah Bay and La Push area, 5,600 Chinook this coming year. Guess what!

Brian Simonseth 02-01-2005 04:02 PM

"The forecasts available from the state on March 1 for Snake River fall wild chinook and Puget Sound weak wild chinook stocks such as mid-Hood Canal, Stillaguamish and Skagit wild chinook could be less than anticipated because of this unexpected catch."

Working with both Watershed Groups (Stillaguamish and Skagit) this is BAD news!

flytyer 02-01-2005 04:05 PM

There is a reason the Makaw Tribe was forced to stay at the extreme nothwest tip of the state by the other tribes, which occured before the non-tirbal people came on the scene. The arrogance of the Makaw Tribe is something else, for instance, last year they imposed rediculous prices for morage of non-tribal boats in Neah Bay in order to force the non-tribal charter boats out of the area.

I'll bet the other tribes are not going to be happy about this since it will cut into the fish available for harvest by them. The Bolt decision said the tribes can harvest 50% of the harvestable surplus of a salmon species in a particular river system. Since the Makaw have taken at least 19,000 more than the number alloted (in other words their share of the 50% harvest was 500 fish and they took 19,500) to them for harvest, the other tribes down the coast, in Puget Sound, in Hood Canal, along the Straight of Juan De Fuca, and the Columbia Basin in WA State are going to have their harvest number severely impacted with some tribes likely not getting a fishery at all.

I do wonder what the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission response to this gross defiance of allowable harvest numbers is going to be. Billy Frank, the commission chair, has been very vocal about sportsmen and non-tribal commercials being responsible for reduced numbers of fish. I won't hold my breath for he and the Nortwest Indian Fisheries Commission to condemn the Makaw Tribe. Instead, I predict he will spin it into non-tribal sportsmen are trying to keep the tribes from excercising their treaty fishing rights.


I agree wholeheartedly, the FBI or US Marshal's Service should have been contacted since the state has no enforcement authority due to the tribes treaty status. However, I do think the state ought to seriously look at taking this tribe to federal court for such a gross violation of harvest allotments under Bolt.

Moonlight 02-01-2005 05:56 PM

Like eating seeds during a famine.
For several months there has been an add for "Fresh Troll Caught King Salmon" in the local newspaper I called the number to inquire as to the source and the size freshness etc. I was told that they were from the Makah troll fishery and that they were from 4.5 to 6 pounds and they were selling for $3.65 retail. I asked if there were any fish over 12# as I was considering a fresh King for Christmas dinner the fellow who was selling told me he hadn't seen any bigger than 7#, the fish were being offered head on gutted and gilled.
What a waste harvesting King Salmon when there so small that they are worth so little just as a buisness proposition its foolish and it will as most of you have figured really get the rest of the "Parties" up in arms.

juro 02-01-2005 07:40 PM

What are the chances of getting the regulation changed to quota instead of time? Clearly time based regulations are a total joke!

This could be just the opportunity to press WA F&W into changing this inept policy, proven to be ineffective, into quota based.

flytyer 02-01-2005 07:47 PM


The Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission would have to agree to a quota system too (or impose it on the tribes :chuckle: ) because of the Bolt decision making the state and tribes co-managers of the resource. I agree there should be a quota and not number of days to fish.


It is nothing short of amazing to me that the Makah's have been out catching these immature kings. I would venture a guess that the number they have taken has something to do with the lack of blackmouth in the sound.

DEERHAAWK 02-01-2005 11:23 PM

Good evening,
State and Federal authorities should continue to be contacted untill commitment from them to proceed with investigations.
Sanctions should be imposed on the Makah, along with heafty fines, jailtime, and a reduction in future harvests to the amount of 10% of the F&W estamates over say the next 10 years. Any commerical venture that benifited from this enviromental nightmare (Resturant, etc) should be held acountable as well.

I mean, what would happen to us, if we started pulling hundreds of fish out of the water and selling them in the newspaper????

Fines of $5,000 to $25,000 and sentences of 6 months to 1 1/2 years per offense is not unreasonable, as they have been imposed and held up in similar cases of wildlife mismanagement.

WHERE IS THE JUSTICE!!!! Like I said, if it were me, they would be all over my sorry but....DH

OC 02-02-2005 08:59 AM

Will there be justice, I just don't know. All we know up untill yesterday and it still may be going on is that the Makaw Tribe has been fishing now for over 3 weeks. I beleive the numbers reported were for the date up till January 10th. Maybe 35 or 40 thousand fish have been taken by now.

The Makaw Tribe aside there has to be an investigation into our state fisheries department. If this fisheries is managed by both the tribe and the state then why was there not someone from both departments monitering the catch? An investigation must be federal not state run though the governor of Washington must be asking some mighty strong questions to the department. Maybe it's time for the fisheries director to step down and his cast of incredibly old school heads of individual departments to step down also. For years I have tried my hardest to give fisheries the suport they needed under the situation of co management and poor funding. But someone has to step up and take the blame on this one right away. Somehow some good has to come of this, maybe the state will now push for a federal court date against the tribes. I do not want to see the tribes loose their 50% but we must have changes in how things are managed.

I hope at tonights meeting of the WSC that we have a long public talk about this situation and that we bring every sport fishing group together and most importantly all environmental groups throughout the region together on this. We must get the non fishing public informed on what has been going on for a long time now. That will be the only way to stop this type of situation and get things where they need to be as intended by the law.

Moonlight 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!

flytyer 02-02-2005 01:49 PM


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.

salt dog 02-02-2005 02:03 PM

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. :hihi:

I never did see in the article how this information came to light; anyone know?

OC 02-02-2005 02:17 PM

Hopefully there was a leak from someone from the WDFW. We need people in that department to come forward.

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