Washington

State, tribes break off salmon talks again

The state Department of Fish and Wildlife met with tribal leaders Tuesday in Shelton, but talks over salmon fisheries reached an impasse, according to a state news release.
The state Department of Fish and Wildlife met with tribal leaders Tuesday in Shelton, but talks over salmon fisheries reached an impasse, according to a state news release. jmayor@thenewstribune.com

The state Department of Fish and Wildlife will not work with area Native American tribes to get the federal permit to hold salmon fisheries, the agency announced Tuesday.

The department met with tribal leaders Tuesday in Shelton but the talks reached an impasse, according to a state news release. Tribal officials are expected to seek federal permits as well.

The state has worked with the tribes to set the fishing quotas every year since the mid-1980s.

The permit is required for there to be fisheries in Puget Sound because fish stocks there are protected under the Endangered Species Act.

“There likely is not going to be any fisheries this summer,” said Ron Warren, who runs the department’s salmon program, “but we’ll be working to get people on the water as soon as we can.”

It could take eight months to a year for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to approve a permit from the state, Warren said.

“Our differences are in how we want to conduct our fisheries and share our conservation burden,” Warren said.

Talks on Thursday also broke down between the state and tribes.

Staff writer Jeffrey P. Mayor contributed to this report.

Kenny Ocker: 253-597-8627, @KennyOcker

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