Tribes netting clues on salmon

Fishing season for coho salmon doesn’t begin until Nov. 1, but local biologists are already out setting nets.

Fish biologists from the Tulalip and Stillaguamish tribes are working with state fish biologists to capture, tag and release coho in the Stillaguamish River. They’re setting out beach seines and hoop nets primarily on private land so they can determine how the river’s coho population is changing.

The study began about two years ago, said Aaron Bosworth, a program manager with the state Department of Fish and Wildlife. It will continue over the next few years, he said.

Fishermen shouldn’t assume that they can begin fishing just because they see seines and nets on the river, Bosworth said.

“We know people are going to see those nets and have questions about it,” he said. “But fishing season isn’t open.”

After the fishing season for coho begins on Nov. 1 on the Stillaguamish, fishermen should be prepared to contact the state Department of Fish and Wildlife or tribal fish biologists if they land a tagged coho. For more information, call Bosworth at the state Department of Fish and Wildlife at 425-775-1311, ext. 101, or Jason Griffith, a fish biologist with the Stillaguamish Indian Tribe, at 360-631-0868.

Reporter Krista Kapralos: 425-339-3422 or kkapralos@heraldnet.com.

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