Talks to allow salmon fishing in Puget Sound fail

A chinook salmon.
A chinook salmon. Courtesy of State Department of Fish and Wildlife

A final attempt by the state and treaty tribes to reach an agreement on salmon fishing in Puget Sound failed Wednesday.

Without a deal, salmon fishing will not be allowed in the Sound as of Sunday. The current federal permit that allows the fisheries expires Saturday.

“Both sides had fishing packages that met conservation goals, but we could not agree on how to make it happen,” said Ron Warren, salmon policy lead for the state Department of Fish and Wildlife.

The state and tribes said they now will pursue their own federal permits. Warren said the department will meet Thursday (April 28) with NOAA Fisheries and hopes to learn how long that process would take.

“Unfortunately it means no fishing,” Warren said of the impasse. “We know that impacts the people who like fishing, but also the industry that supports them.”