Tribal netting

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by MasterAnglerTaylor, Jan 23, 2009.

  1. gt Active Member

    Posts: 2,616
    sequim, WA
    Ratings: +6 / 0
    of course you are correct, cabezon, in refering to the legal history. however, this is NOT 1975. we are ALL in a new century with some pretty stinky issues to deal with regarding our fisheries. now if you go back far enough to the pt'n'pt treaties, they clearly state that the indians will fish in common with everyone resident of this state. that simple wording is a killer in court, but it probably needs to be approached once again.

    as far as the boldt decision, nothing really needs to be done to challenge the 50% take portion. all that needs to be done is to ENFORCE the ESA protection of listed fishes. that simply means, a zero tolerance for the killing of listed fishes. that in turn means everyone, and the sports are already, selective fishing. that in turn means NO NETS!

    i do believe there are several very simple straight forward legal arguements that no one seems to care about making, CCA included.

    as far as indians 'taking care of a resource for 9000 years', well that is probably a real stretch. when you consider the facts of isolated coast bound villages living and dieing on the numbers of fish they could kill, coupled with cycles of no shows for those fish, it was totally about extraction for survival. the numbers of indians involved vs the zillions of salmon around really had the equation in favor of the fish. so i don't see indians caring for a resource, there were simply to few of them to make a dent in the salmon populations.

    but here we are today, declining runs and a host of variables contritubuing. and i would agree that the non-indian popluation has had the greatest impact on run reductions, no question about that. but just what immediate steps can be taken? and my arguement is selective fishing by all concerned is a wonderful first step in recovery.
  2. Trent Ugly member

    Posts: 734
    Here
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    This is a question of curiosity. If The state of Washington were to make commercial fishing illegal, hence ending the ability to catch fish and sell them in the state for profit, wouldn't that also effect the tribes? Their treaty only covers harvesting for themselves, if I am correct. It does not give them the right to sell the fish they catch. From my understanding (and I could be wrong), the tribes pretty much do most of their fishing for profit. They don't have the same customs that they did back in the day when they only netted enough fish to survive. It is when fish got commercialized is when the stocks started to deplete, if I understand it correctly.
  3. johnnyrockfish Member

    Posts: 320
    Kitsap County, WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Cabezon is right about using the carrot rather than the stick. If tribal guides made more money taking sports out fishing they'd start lobbying within their own tribe to have more fish for their customers. It all comes down to money and survival. Rules can only go so far. I'm booking a trip on the Quinault very soon.

    JR
  4. Buck "Ride'n Dirty."

    Posts: 1,473
    Seattle, Wa.
    Ratings: +7 / 0
    It's the nets man!
  5. cabezon Sculpin Enterprises

    Posts: 1,699
    Olympia, WA
    Ratings: +217 / 0
    No, I don't think that a state law would have much impact on the tribes' abilities to sell their catch. The tribes historically engaged in trade with other tribes; they just didn't seem to be effective enough to put a dent in the populations; of course, we have no data for fish populations at that time. You might find a lawyer that would make the argument that the state could ban the purchase of salmon caught in state waters, but I doubt it would fly. And the tribes, like good businesspeople, have avenues for selling their fish across the country and across the ocean.

    GT, the problem is that the sports ARE NOT selectively fishing. We kill wild kings in the salt, the Alaskans and BC fishers kill wild kings in the salt. These are mixed stocks; there is no reasonable way one can discriminate whether these fish are from healthy stocks or not until they are bonked. If I were a federal judge and this was my case, the Armageddon solution would be 1) close ALL salmon fishing in Washington and SE Alaska (even catch and release causes mortality), 2) force the state to pay whatever it took for WA DOT to rebuild EVERY culvert, bridge, and road that acts as barriers to fish passage in the watersheds of impacted stocks, 3) block further building permits in any part of the watershed, 4) stop all logging activities in the watershed, and 5) ban the release of any hatchery fish in these watersheds of any species. And, it is possible that a judge might do this before interfering with a treaty. Of course, if I made those extreme demands, one might expect someone would invoke the "God Committee" amendment in the ESA and overrule my decision. In other words, just let the stock go extinct (see the history of the snail darter and the Tellico dam). [In fact, there was an argument on another board to ignore the status of wild fish and just boost up the number of hatchery fish. The same arguments were made regarding Oregon coho; a conservative group was successful in arguing that hatchery coho = wild coho if the hatchery fish were derived from the same stocks. Who needs rivers under this nightmare?]

    No easy answers.
  6. Ethan G. I do science.. on fish..

    Posts: 987
    Ellensburg, WA
    Ratings: +1 / 0
    I definitely agree with everything you said. It is a very complex situation concerning First Nation treaties, interstate commerce and fisheries, and international commerce and fisheries. Not to mention logging, urban sprawl, and new developments. The federal government, First Nation tribes, Washington, Oregon, and Alaska, as well as the Canadian government and BC will all have to work together for a solution. It's gonna take a hell of a lot of work to get anything done.

    Non-selective commercial harvest on all sides, Native, non-Native, Alaska, and BC, as well as poor hatchery and general poor fisheries management are the main reasons I see for the decline of this state's anadromous fisheries. A stop to gill-netting at any level would help. A stop to nets spanning 2/3 of a river's width would be ideal. As SpeySpaz mentioned earlier, we are one of the last states that still allows commercial gill-netting. There's a reason for that...:beathead:
    -Ethan
  7. Mike Etgen Not Quite A Luddite, But Can See One From Here

    Posts: 1,433
    Port Orchard, Washington, USA.
    Ratings: +0 / 0

    I was being ironic. Thanks for making my point.

    Good conversation here. Some even managed to get past the blame game and talk about real solutions.

    Ethan...please tell me - what IS the reason?
  8. Ethan G. I do science.. on fish..

    Posts: 987
    Ellensburg, WA
    Ratings: +1 / 0
    It's a non-selective harvest practice, they are environmentally destructive (see Ghost Nets), and they generally lead to the decline of fisheries. I was making the point that Washington is behind the times, almost every other state has banned them, but we are lagging.
    -Ethan
  9. Mike Etgen Not Quite A Luddite, But Can See One From Here

    Posts: 1,433
    Port Orchard, Washington, USA.
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Okay...got ya. I see your point. Thanks.
  10. gt Active Member

    Posts: 2,616
    sequim, WA
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    there are a number of factors throwing up road blocks in this discussion. the first of these is the fact that washington state and the federal government was unwilling to take on the indian lobby. this was demonstrated when the makah were fined a total of $20 ea for the illegal killing of a whale. the actual question that needed a legal hearing was whether or not federal regulations trump past treaties. that question remains.

    seems as though both CA and OR, this past year, were successful in closing down all harvest, including ALL commercial fishing, indian, non-indian. don't for a second think this can't be accomplished, it was demonstrated last year. what is lacking is balls on the part of our elected officials to take on some enormously powerful lobbies. these include the commercial fishing groups who have for more than a century defined the essence of seattle, the indians who still claim that they have not been paid in full for whatever, and the associated businesses who profit from the sales of all things related to supporting both of these groups.

    big time, hard choices for elected officials. and that is why i still believe that unless legal action is taken, nothing is going to change.
  11. ak_powder_monkey Proud to Be Alaskan

    Posts: 3,207
    Eagle River, Alaska
    Ratings: +111 / 0

    In rural Alaska you can barter subsistence caught salmon and subsistence hunted game is certain areas of the state. I've got no problem with bartering they should be able to barter whatever they catch, fine barter is trading for goods and services though not money. In river commercial fishing is BS no matter who does it.
  12. gt Active Member

    Posts: 2,616
    sequim, WA
    Ratings: +6 / 0
    thanks for that distinction AK, worth a ponder. perhaps that is what the intent of the original treaties was all about, subsistence, ceremonial and barter. once folks cross over to the commercial sale of fish, all of these folks, no matter their racial backgrounds, need to come under one simple set of common rules and regulations.
  13. Trent Ugly member

    Posts: 734
    Here
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    A major reason why the state of Washington cannot ban netting for the tribes is because the treaty is a Federal agreement between the tribes and the Indians. Essentially this means that their isn't much the state can do about regulating them. There are (I think) five states that are in the same prediciment as us (washington). I know Arizona is one of them, but I can't remember the others. I'm taking a Northwest history class and our teacher is talking alot about the tribes and the treaties, I should pay more attention though. This whole topic on the treaties and the laws and regulations around them is very confusing, to say the least.
  14. colton rogers wishin' i was fishin'

    Posts: 874
    gig harbor, washington
    Ratings: +10 / 0
    i think they should have through all the hatchery fish back, just so they have some laws to abide to and maybe they could get thrown in jail one at a time and then the net fishing would be extinct. like a genocide to gill nets.
  15. Derek Day Rockyday

    Posts: 566
    Olympia
    Ratings: +142 / 0
    For those of you who would like to know more about treaty fishing rights I suggest The Rights of Indians and Tribes by Steven Pevar. It devotes an entire chapter to hunting and fishing rights.

    There are two ways that tribes could be stopped from fishing.

    1. Conservation Exception: Tribes could be restricted from fishing if it is a "conservation necessity". And must pass a strict 3 prong test. It must be reasonable and neccessary to perpetuate the species. It must be the least restrictive means of of achieving this goal. And other means, less injurous to the tribe's rights, must be utilized. Puyallup Tribe v. Dept. of Game

    2. The Federal Congress can explicitly abrogate the treaty. At which point the tribes can sue for just compensation for the loss of their treaty rights (and will win), acording to the 5th Amendment.

    Gt, the treaties won't be reinterpreted. Quit barking up that tree, its usless. We shouldn't waste our time on this issue if we want to see our anadromous runs rebound. Our efforts would be much more valuable placed elsewhere (land use/development practices). Tribal netting is by no means a low hanging fruit.
  16. James Mello Inventor of the "closed eye conjecture"

    Posts: 2,777
    Tacoma
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    The unfortunately reality is the Boldt decision was a primarily commercial oriented decision. There is no stipulation that the only method of exchange was barter. This is the huge diff between states and NA tribes and Washington State and Stevens treaty tribes.
  17. gt Active Member

    Posts: 2,616
    sequim, WA
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    so derek, you believe that in the one hundred or so years it will take to restore lost habitat that the anadramous fishes will still be around? that is the immediate problem, i am afraid. sure thing, habitat restoration, removal of dams, improvements in culverts.......blah, blah, blah are all noted and worthy. unfortunately, the fish don't have that long before we won't have to worry about protecting them.

    renegotiate the treaties? thought never crossed my mind. ask for an interpretation '...in common with other citizens of washington state...', might be worth some effort.

    as i have pointed out, california and oregon shut down all harvest this past season. i think washington can pretty easily state the case for protection of already listed ESA fishes as a total shut down. given that fish don't carry drivers licenses with their place of residence, and the fact that fish stock mix in pretty much known areas, closing down the fishery should not be rocket science.

    do i expect this to happen in washington state? no, someone will eventually kill that last wild anadramous fish and then this discussion will end along with indian fishing 'rights'. just remember that shortly after boldt, there were no fish left in hood canal, zero, extinct. so don't sit there and think this is a fantasy or that somehow the forest primeval will be returning on your watch on the planet, ain't goin'to happen folks, we are on the cusp right now.
  18. MasterAnglerTaylor Member

    Posts: 749
    Poulsbo/Pullman, WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Nice....another wff post gone off topic and to shit.
  19. cabezon Sculpin Enterprises

    Posts: 1,699
    Olympia, WA
    Ratings: +217 / 0
    Actually, you got the information you asked for (at least as is known publically) in the first reply. But, then we had an interesting exchange of views on the contributions of tribal netting to salmon population declines and the possibilities of changing that situation. We didn't all agree, but we are all better informed.

    Steve
  20. HauntedByWaters Active Member

    Posts: 2,720
    Bellingham
    Ratings: +68 / 0
    This topic is tired and has been done to death.

    However, it is hard to imagine a greater threat to salmon and steelhead than the gauntlet of nets on some of our lower rivers.

    The Nooksack will go through period where there are dozens of nets across the river from the mouth up, strategically put in all the right spots.

    I am amazed the fish are still surviving at any level with what I see.

    There is no arguing that all these nets have a huge impact.