2010 North of Falcon Underway

Preseason planning of 2010 Washington State commercial and recreational salmon fisheries is underway.   The process known as North of Falcon is a series of meetings where representatives from Tribal, State,  NOAA Fisheries,  Fishing Industry and general public work together in developing the fisheries for the year.  Over the next two months Andy Whitener and Joseph Peters will be representing Squaxin Island Tribe at North of Falcon ensuring allocation and conservation needs of the Tribes local stocks are met.

For more information about North of Falcon go to Washington Fish and Wildlife web page ——->  North of Falcon Q&A.

Regional Chinook, coho and chum forecast have been developed for Washington State and as of February 12th, have been agreed to by  Tribal and Washington State Fish and Wildlife policy representatives.  Below are the agreed to 2010 Deep South Puget Sound salmon forecasts.


North of Falcon 25 years of Fisheries Co-Management

Will Henderson and his Grandfather William Henderson
Photo courtesy of NWIFC

Treaty Tribes, State Mark North of Falcon 25th Anniversary

From The Northwest Fisheries Commission website: (Being Frank)

We’re marking an important milestone in cooperative salmon co-management this year. It’s the 25th anniversary of the North of Falcon process for setting treaty tribal and non-Indian fishing seasons in western Washington.

We’ve sure come a long ways in that time.

The 1974 Boldt decision made it clear: Treaty Indian tribes in western Washington had reserved rights to half of the harvestable salmon returning to state waters and were equal partners  […]

’08 Squaxin Treaty Net Fishery in The Books, ’09 Fishery Planning Set to Begin

The Squaxin Net Fishery had its ups and downs in 2008.  Preseason forecast projected average Chinook returns, below average coho returns and a above average chum run.   Chinook returns to deep South Sound ended up being higher that projected with 10,777 adult Fall Chinook returning to Tumwater Falls Hatchery and Squaxin catch  of 10,400 Deschutes origin fish.  ’08 Forecast for Deschutes Fall Chinook was 13,400.  Squaxin Coho fishery resulted in a respectable 35,800 catch (excluding Carr Inlet), projected  Squaxin Net Pen forecast was 29K.   Chum catches, although seeing lower returns and closing the fishery to reach escapement for Totten, resulted in a 56K chum catch for 2008.  Escapement goals appear to be met in Eld, Totten, and Skookum Inlet watersheds.

2008 salmon market was favorable with peak prices for Chinook reaching $4 per pound, coho at $1.80 and chum $0.75.   Total number of licensed Squaxin Fishermen was 112.

With the ’08 season behind us brings the 2009 Preseason Fisheries planning.  Forecast begin to be shared by the end of January, with the North of Falcon process , salmon fishery negotiations between Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and Tribes,  in the following months.   At the end of April all of the 2009 Washington State Treaty and Non-Treaty fisheries will be  set.

Cooperation at Salmon Harvest Talks

A little break from negotiations leads to a healthy discussion between Tribal and Non-tribal representatives at the annual North of Falcon Process. From the Kitsap Sun:

Tribal and nontribal fishermen may have their differences in background and culture. But there’s no denying that they share a passion for telling fish stories.

“We all, as fishermen, get that bug in the springtime,” said Ray Fryberg, fisheries manager for the Tulalip Tribe in Northern Puget Sound. “When you get that seaweed smell from the beach, you know its time to clean up the boat and get ready to go.”

Late Tuesday afternoon, more than 50 people involved in negotiating this year’s salmon seasons in Washington state took a two-hour break from the technical discussions. For the first time in about 15 years, they sat together around a table and spoke of their love for salmon.