As of 9 AM Sunday October 26, the Squaxin Island Tribe suspended all directed salmon fisheries to ensure that Totten Inlet meets its escapement goal. 2008 Escapement goal for Totten Inlet is 14,400 chum. On Wednesday October 29 Squaxin NR staff walked Kennedy Creek and only counted 1922 live and 55 dead chum.
These numbers are very low; normally we are seeing 4,000 to 8,000 chums in Kennedy Creek by this week. We are assuming that very low flows (lack of rain) are contributing to the low counts. We are optimistic that with current weather forecast for the up coming week that chum will start to move through the system.
Squaxin Island Tribe Fall Chum Fisheries are based on in-season escapement numbers for each of our inlets. For example, if this weeks Kennedy Creek stream counts were well on the way to the escapement goal, we would have had an opening this week.
At this time we will be holding off any scheduled Fall Chum fisheries until we get another count on Kennedy Creek next week. We will be going out to Kennedy to survey early next week.