Hoopa Valley Tribe Plans Lawsuit to ‘Protect Salmon on the Brink of Extinction’

This is a press release from the Hoopa Valley Tribe:

The Hoopa Valley Tribe (Tribe) today announced that it will file a lawsuit within 60 days unless federal agencies reduce the numbers of Endangered Species Act (ESA) listed Klamath-Trinity origin Coho salmon being killed in the Pacific Ocean. Klamath River origin Coho salmon have been listed as a ‘threatened species’ under the ESA since 1997.  Without analysis or formal ESA re-consultation, regulations of the Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC) were changed this year to allow more Coho salmon to be injured or killed, although they are protected by the ESA. “We will not stand by while the federal agencies kill our salmon,” said Hoopa Tribal Chairman Ryan Jackson. “Some of those fish would have returned to the Klamath and Trinity Rivers. The Bureau of Reclamation cannot kill young Coho salmon in our rivers nor can the PFMC use regulations which kill the returning adult Coho salmon in the Pacific Ocean,” he said.

In April 2018, the Tribe warned U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross by letter that the PMFC was proposing to increase its allowances for killing and maiming Coho salmon which are incidentally encountered in ocean fisheries targeting Chinook salmon. Both species of salmon are present in the ocean’s Klamath Management Zone during the summer and the killing of Coho there is called an “incidental take.” However, Ross simply approved the PFMC’s proposal without bothering to request more thorough analysis of the impact to Coho, a violation of the ESA. That analysis is required because the new method for estimating Coho impacts and the related regulations were not considered in the applicable 1999 Biological Opinion assessing impacts in PFMC-managed ocean fisheries.

Adverse impacts to the ESA-listed Coho that result from excessive incidental take of Coho in ocean fishing directly impair and injure the Tribe and its sovereign, legal, economic, and cultural interests. Today’s notice that the federal agencies are violating the Endangered Species Act warns that a federal lawsuit will be filed after 60 days.

For further information, please contact Mike Orcutt, Hoopa Fisheries Director, at 530 625  4267 – Extension 1013.

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15 comments

  • Thats hilarious they set a weir up at tish tang last season and netted an kept all the coho almost for personal use, the indians i have witnessed keeping coho in nets on a regular especially at the mouth, get real indians stop netting for 10years an u will have fish, hypocrites.

    • Wow you’re serious huh? Even if the “natives” (Indians are from India in case you don’t know) killed all the Coho they wanted they still would hardly put a dent in the population as compared to the “incidental take.” Btw I’m sure the native’s practices are just fine, they don’t seem to have issues with low population of Coho without the other outfits killing them a

      • They are actually indigenous people. Humans like all things are native to where they are born.

        • Most but not all of not all of our local rivers have been polluted with nitrates, from pot gardens and the runoff. I remember years ago the rivers here in the spawning season were so thick with salmon you would look to the riffles in the water, only to realize it was all fish trying to get upstream. You could walk across the river on them. I don’t know if I will ever see that again. Just maybe our greedy government could set some funding aside to get good scientists involved here to rehab this broken natural system that should not of been disturbed! By the way, the picture of the open smoked salmon pit is AWESOME!!

      • I don’t know enough to make a sweeping statement but I know this- friends of mine have connections to buy lots of salmon from the natives who net at the Klamath mouth. It’s great fish! It’s pretty loose or so it seems to me. So it is definitely not all being kept by tribal members for “sustenance”. Indeed…trading some particularly desired drugs for the salmon is even easier than money. I imagine you need to know the right Indians (not the ones from India).

      • Anti troll league

        Stop correcting everyone as an exercise in insults. Most people are well aware that indigenous people are not Indians from India but, having asked the question of Indians and been told that Indian is the term they find most acceptable, it is what I’ll use til told differently by the holders of the designation. I always thought is was basically Indians reminding the European immigrants that their explorers were quite confused about where they were when they showed up. It makes me uncomfortable. But that could be just a bit of paranoia about it.

    • Their soil is exhausted.organic fertilizer is mostly roasted sewage.read Garbageland.a book.

  • Incidentally caught fish die. Keep the coho that are caught. Reduce the entire fishery as necessary to protect the coho, and salmon populations will all benefit.

  • Why should we cry for them. They trade coho salmon, sturgeon, and green sturgeon for cuttings every year! They take advantage whenever they can. Sue themselves!

  • Things sure have gone to hell the last 80 years

  • Wow, the site moderator here is worse than the soup nazi!

  • Half of oceans plankton is gone,rivers are messed up.our pollution.there is inland deposit , 2m. X70 km.food for element complete bloom.oil products severely restrict element feed for rivers.bad plankton soffocates salmon.have a little empathy.

  • Tax payer money used to sue the tax payer , now thats some funny sheet

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