OLYMPIA - As salmon fishing continues to heat up on the Puyallup River, state fishery managers are reminding anglers to keep their lines out of the water in the area reserved on certain days for tribal gillnetting.
Most anglers are observing the rules, but some anglers have received warnings in the past week for fishing the Puyallup downstream from the mouth of the White River on days that area is closed to sport fishing, said Pat Pattillo, salmon policy coordinator for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).
"Of the thousands of anglers flocking to the Puyallup River to catch salmon every week, the vast majority know the rules and follow them," Pattillo said. "That’s important, because the future of this popular fishery may very well depend on it."
Through late July, WDFW and the Puyallup Tribe of Indians were locked in negotiations over how ensure the safety of anglers and tribal gillnetters competing for fish on the narrow river during peak season.
The fishing regulations ultimately adopted by WDFW prohibited sport fishing on days the tribe had scheduled for gillnetting in August and September. During the remainder of this month, the following days are closed to sport fishing on the Puyallup River below the mouth of the White River: September 8, 9, 10, 15, 16, 17, 22, 23, 24, 25, 29 and 30.
"The safety of everybody on the river is paramount," Pattillo said. "This year’s fishing season was designed to make sure everybody has a safe and fair opportunity to catch salmon."
State fishery managers are still working with the tribe to complete the fishing schedule for October through December.