To save salmon, tribes must stop netting rivers

The article “Salmon habitat loss continues to grow” is filled with doom, gloom and most importantly blame, but no real sense of responsibility by the tribes.

Snohomish County and the rest of the state are blamed for “armored shorelines,” “impervious surfaces,” “declining forests,” “decreasing buffer zones” and “incorrect culverts.”

And the tribes want more regulations and government intervention to improve habitat and fish runs.

Nowhere did I read anything about nets in front of the rivers, or nets in the rivers stopping the salmon from returning to their spawning grounds.

A salmon can swim up a small waterfall, it can swim through rapids, it can swim past armored shorelines, it can swim past impervious surfaces, it can swim through declining forests and buffer zones.

Heck, I have even seen them swim through “round culverts” — imagine that.

But a salmon cannot swim through a gill net. A returning salmon that cannot get upstream, cannot spawn, regardless of what new regulations or interventions are in place.

And if there are no salmon available to spawn, there will be no returning salmon to continue the cycle. Nothing else matters. Pretty simple, isn’t it?

There is no point in replacing culverts, or spending money on corrections, if salmon cannot get past the nets.

Forty years ago there were healthy runs of salmon throughout Puget Sound.

Then, 40 years ago the tribes forced the “treaty” to allow them to net the rivers. And for 40 years, the salmon runs have continued to decline.

And year after year the only thing I hear is blame for loss of habitat and their rights to fish.

The common thread here is “netting the rivers.”

If the tribes were really interested in solving the loss of salmon runs, they would stop netting.

Plain and simple, anything else is a “blame game” and I am tired of it.


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