Tribes, state come to agreement that will allow salmon fishing this year

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OLYMPIA – There’s going to be salmon fishing this year after all.

After weeks of negotiations, state and tribal fishery managers came to an agreement Thursday that will pave the way for the opening of salmon fishing.

“We plan to re-open those waters as soon as we have federal approval,” said John Long of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. “We anticipate getting the new permit within a few weeks.”

Fisheries will be reduced for both groups, thanks to low returns of coco, chinook and chum.

“Ultimately, we agreed on a package of fisheries that places a priority on conservation while allowing for limited fishing opportunities in Puget Sound,” WDFW director Jim Unsworth said in a press release.

The new sport fisheries can be found here.

“I applaud our state and tribal fisheries leaders for reaching an agreement that protects salmon and gives everyone the chance to benefit from our tremendous salmon resources,” Gov. Jay Inslee said.

The state and tribal leaders agreed that they’d immediately shift focus to long-term resource management.

“We can’t expect salmon to thrive while their habitat continues to be lost and damaged,” said Loraine Loomis, the chair of the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission.