Salmon and steelhead fisheries in Puget Sound include all marine and freshwater fishing areas in Puget Sound and the Strait of Juan de Fuca out to Cape Flattery on the northwest coast of Washington. These fisheries provide for commercial, recreational, and tribal harvest. Washington State and the Puget Sound treaty tribes co-manage these fisheries subject to the terms of the Puget Sound Salmon Management Plan, under the continuing jurisdiction of the U.S. District Court for the District of Washington: United States v. Washington (1974, Boldt Decision).
These fisheries are not managed under the Magnuson-Stevens Act by NOAA Fisheries or the Pacific Fishery Management Council. However, NOAA Fisheries works with the state and tribal co-managers through the Endangered Species Act.
The Puget Sound Salmon Management Plan (1985), developed by the state and tribal co-managers, is the implementation framework for the allocation, conservation, and equitable sharing principles of United States v. Washington that governs management of salmon resources in Puget Sound between the Puget Sound treaty tribes and State of Washington. It defines the basis for deriving management objectives and allocation accounting, prescribes procedures for information exchange and dispute resolution, and includes provisions for annual review and modification.
Puget Sound Chinook salmon were listed under the Endangered Species Act in 1999. Since 2000, the Puget Sound co-managers have managed the fisheries through annual or multi-year agreements authorized by NOAA Fisheries. The Comprehensive Management Plan for Puget Sound Chinook: Harvest Management Component provides the current framework for managing fisheries in Puget Sound. A new management plan is under development to replace the plan that expired in 2014.
Similar to the other salmon and steelhead fisheries that occur in the United States v. Washington case area, the Puget Sound fisheries are planned during the North of Falcon process, which includes a series of public meetings involving federal, state, tribal, and industry representatives, as well as citizens.
Regulations: North of Falcon | State of Washington
- 2023 Skagit Basin steelhead fishery
- 2021 Biological Opinion on the Effects of the Puget Sound Salmon Fisheries and Additional Funding Actions
- 2010-2014 Comprehensive Management Plan for Puget Sound Chinook: Harvest Management Component
- 2017 Comprehensive Management Plan for Puget Sound Chinook: Harvest Management Component
- 2018 NEPA Process – Puget Sound harvest management: Notice of Intent to Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement analyzing the effects of a proposed 10-year framework Puget Sound Chinook Harvest Resource Management Plan