BELLINGHAM — A Native American tribe said its anglers have caught about 20,000 fish following the collapse of a commercial net pen rearing farmed Atlantic salmon in the San Juan Islands.
The Lummi Nation on Monday said its fishermen have brought in about 200,000 pounds of the non-native species since the tribe declared a state of emergency Thursday.
Cooke Aquaculture’s marine salmon farm in Deepwater Bay off Cypress Island failed over a week ago, releasing thousands of farmed Atlantic salmon into waters. The facility held about 305,000 fish.
Tribal and state officials have urged people to catch as many as possible.
State officials over the weekend formed a response team involving multiple agencies. The governor also put on hold any new permits for net pens until the incident is investigated.
The tribe and others are worried the invasive fish will out-compete native fish.