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“Weak run forces Nisqually Tribe to close coho fishery early”

“The Nisqually Tribe has closed its coho fishery nearly a month early to protect a weak run of adult fish returning to the river.”

“The Nisqually Tribe has closed its coho fishery nearly a month early to protect a weak run of adult fish returning to the river.

It marks the second consecutive year the fishery has closed early, raising questions about whats happening to the fish when they leave the river for saltwater.

Its alarming, said David Troutt, the tribes natural resources director. The habitat couldnt be any better in the river. It seems to be a matter of poor survival in Puget Sound.

The 50 or so tribal fishers landed about 3,200 coho, about 1,000 fewer than last year, before the emergency closure Oct. 28. Typically, the tribe would fish for coho until Thanksgiving, Troutt said.

The pre-season run size was predicted at 30,000, which would have been a record return, Troutt said. But it never materialized, suggesting something is happening to the fish in Puget Sound when they leave the river as young fish and return as adults.

Only about 75 coho had returned to the tribes Kalama Creek hatchery prior to the closure. The tribe needs about 800 adult spawners to produce enough fish for next years release,” quoting John Dodge in the Tacoma News Tribune.

Posted by Steve on November 10, 2011 at 6:02 am | Permalink

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