Tribal netting

James Mello

Inventor of the "closed eye conjecture"
let me try summarizing what has been posted over all of these pages. if i miss something, please addd it with your own addendum.

- native peoples came to the coasts of the PNW as a progney of the 6 women who walked across the ice from siberia (documentation via genome study has this nailed)
- native peoples occupied a narrow strip of land between the sea and the forest.
- their lives were focused on survival and as such developed a resource extraction mind set
- as is hard to imagine, their existence depended on catching and killing
- first contact with the 'outside', perhaps around the 1400's and subsequent introduced them to goods available via barter. yes, they also bartered among themselves in specific well known areas (celilo as an example)
- with contact, their lives changed dramatically (argue this any way you wish)
- many native americans were moved, physically, to dediticated 'reservations' so the white settlers could occupy the choice properties villages were built on.
- did the native americans 'understand' what was happenning? seems as though the s'klallam did, refused to move, assimilated, and were able to homestead.
- why didn't the other tribes do the same thing? don't know.
- extraction continued during this time with trade with the settlers occupying their lives
- until the settlers started fishing themselves and stopped relying on the native americans
- the few who acquired land shifted gears in order to survive in this new age
- there remained a feeling, however, of having been taken to the cleaners, without compensation, whatever that means in todays world
- enter boldt, a single human, making a single decision, never challenged
- did boldt mean that native americans were entitled to 50% of the harvest to maintain their traditional way of life? or did he mean they should become commercial fishermen in the true sense of commercial fishing?
- there is no arguement regarding subsistence, ceremonial, and recently added, barter
- traditional ways of fishing, traps, were employed because they were efficient, required little person power, freeing individuals for other survival tasks, and produced results
- the tribes seem more interested, today, in keeping members 'employed' not reducing the numbers of people necessary to carry out fishing
- the unregulated fishing, yes that is what it is and blessed by boldt, has and continues to degrade wild fish runs all over the PNW
- other factors important to address?? of course but we don't have 10-20-30-40-50 years to correct the problems non native americans have created
- removing ALL nets has zero to do with the 50%. it has a great deal to do with efficiency of fishing which the tribes will not support (remember it puts folks out of work)
- one man's opinion (boldt) has never been challenged and as long as the supply of fish seemed endless, what was the point
- the supply of fish is NOT endless, and the end is right around the corner, time to challenge boldt in a federal court of law
- the challenge?
1. All nets out
2. All traditional fishing (ceremonial, subsistence and barter-not sale of, exempt)
3. All commercial fishing regulated with strict quota enforcement by a single agency

add what you like but please don't assume that boldt cannot be challenged or modified. it set an important precident in a time of abundent fish. we are far beyond that time and the situation has turned grim and is getting more so.
We aren't assuming it *can't* be challenged, what we are assuming is that any of the previous cases being brought back will be laughed out of the court room. If you want to come up with a novel new idea on how to challenge it, please go ahead. It just can't be a rehash of something old.

James Mello

Inventor of the "closed eye conjecture"
thanks james, and your suggestion is?????????????????????????????????????????
Dunno, for the tribes, since I can't come up with anything novel, I plan on focusing efforts on things I can control..... I don't like tilting at windmills....
When are you going to get this. BOLDT IS NOT GOING DOWN. Furthermore, the tribes, because of their rights to the fish, have the only real lever to keep the state from driving the fisheries into the ground.
1. There was nothing in the treaties that said how the fish had to be used.
2. "in common" was interpreted how is usually is when a treaty is made between two states
3. The supply of fish doesn't change Boldt. If anything it tip in the favor of the tribes.
4. Before you mention taking Boldt back to court one more time--Do some actual research ie law review articles, maybe the book I suggested earlier (Pevar, 2004), enough of your half-assed conjecture.
5. Speaking of tilting not being grounded in fact, have you read your "summary"? it's primarily your opinion--not grounded in fact.


Active Member
thanks derek, i have read boldt multiple times. your suggesting that extinction plays into the tribes hands is an interesting point. the summary i posted is what i have gleaned via this thread as well as in depth reading of various sources, including those written exclusively from the indian perspective. if what i posted offends your sense of what is, do your own reading!

i never found rolling over and playing dead 'cause someone can't see any light at the end of the tunnel an operative strategy. i can't imagine this country moving forward on any issue, present or past, via such a dead dog strategy. but, if it works for you in your life space, continue on.....has never worked for me, just a different approach to lifes trevails.

and i am surprise, james, to find out this is MY problem and I am the one who needs to solve it. and here i thought that the extinction of fish was OUR problem. my mistake, for sure. perhaps we are suffering from the 'no we can't' syndrome and need a bit of the 'yes we can' mind set. but that might be hoping for way too much.

Kent Lufkin

Remember when you could remember everything?
. . . and here i thought that the extinction of fish was OUR problem
The end result will be OUR problem indeed.

The problem with all your points GT is that nowhere do you suggest what YOU or the sportfishing community in general are going to have to do in order to positively impact the end result. Every argument you've ever put forward, in this thread and many others before, is about what the tribes or the commercials HAVE to do so that YOUR fishing quality won't be adversely affected.

Based on previous exchanges, trying to get you to understand how selfish that zero-sum position is might be akin to pissing upwind as I'm sure your reply will demonstrate.


James Mello

Inventor of the "closed eye conjecture"
and i am surprise, james, to find out this is MY problem and I am the one who needs to solve it. and here i thought that the extinction of fish was OUR problem. my mistake, for sure. perhaps we are suffering from the 'no we can't' syndrome and need a bit of the 'yes we can' mind set. but that might be hoping for way too much.
For being an engineer, you're pretty poor at separating concerns. The extinction is our problem, but I choose instead to focus on issues I know that I can make strong headway on. LCR commercial gillnetting, removal of unnecessary dams, conservation efforts in flood plains, etc.... Boldt will have it's day in court, but not until we can either come up with a novel new legal angle, or we have our shit lined up and can only point to the tribes as the culpable part.

Finally, don't disparage the work others are doing. CCA, WSC, Wild Salmon, etc all are making headway on other issues and have a can do attitude. Boldt is what it is and that's why I choose to ignore it for now. But if other efforts can give us similar results on legal issues that we don't have to take to the supreme court to fight precedence, then I'm all for that *first*....

Will Atlas

I'm sure this is already been said but non-tribal fishers need to clean up our act before we have a leg to stand on legally. Zero sport harvest of wild steelhead in WA is the first step towards changing harvest regimes, I'm just affraid we're running out of time. It will be a tragic day when literally EVERY stock of wild steelhead in the state of Washington has collapsed. Collectively we just never seem to be able to learn from our mistakes, a tragedy of the steelhead commons to be sure


Active Member
Can you imagine over a million wild steelhead returning to Puget Sound? A little over 100 years ago there likely was. Now there are maybe 20,000.

Every stock already has collapsed (OP included). Even when deemed healthy 25 years ago they were at best 10% of historical. Boldt had absolutely NOTHING to do with this. It was steamships and canneries that did in ALL of the runs. Coupled with the crap of fish culture being substituted for habitat. That too goes back to the 1800's. Then of course large scale human development and resource extraction. Nothing new, you all know the story.

MY fishing quality was impacted long before any of us were born.

$38 million vs $424 million. We recreational fisheries generate more than 10X's the net economic contribution to WA...why is it WDFW is wrapped around their fingers??? If there were any semblance of conservation in the state government it should be $0 to $800,000,000. If every dime they bring in wasn't used for fish culture maybe the money could have been/is used for something to actually help the fish.



Well-Known Member
Thumbs up, Inland. We fish on the scraps and relic of a formerly abundant resource.

As for why WDFW does what it does, it's their legislative mandate, the law, which they don't seem to want to bother mentioning to the Legislature that the model is obsolete and unsustainable. It amazes me to see so much intellectual dishonesty in gov't. and agencies. So many ditto-heads in salmon recovery continue to talk about recovering wild salmon and steelhead to the level of naturally self-sustaing HARVESTABLE runs as though it actually could happen. Delusion is a popular drug.

I think there may be efforts are at least an acknowledgement now that the monies generated by recreational anglers needs to be returned to the resource in various forms which may include enforcement amount other things. We still need to keep hammering on our legislature and govenor though to change a system that has not been working.

In addition, recreational anglers and their interests are now part of the North of Falcon process which has not been the case in the past. I believe this should allow a better allocation of the resources particularily to us recreational fishers.


Active Member

Amazing how once something becomes the norm its nearly impossible to change it. You would think WDFW's track record "might" show their system isn't working. Unless that means to extract every last fish. Which its been doing a great job. Amazing how politics work. Everybody at WDFW knows the model is archaic. Don't fall out of line with the 'company' agenda or fear your job. And any other possibilities of future employment in the field you spent so much time and $$$ getting that degree/promotions. Seems like a fair and just system.

And you are right. If we are extremely lucky we might be able to keep H&R fishing for steelhead over the next 10-20 years. There is no way the runs will ever come back to commercially harvestable levels with humans still in the picture.

What about the illegal high seas drift net fisheries? Anybody have any guesses on how much impact they are playing with these WA state fish?


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