Quinault tribe closes fisheries due to low salmon returns

The Quinault Indian Nation has shut down all of its fisheries in Grays Harbor and Queets River because of low returns of wild coho salmon.

Tribal president Fawn Sharp said in a statement Thursday that the closure will hurt fisherman and the community but it’s the right thing to do to protect salmon.

Officials say they analyzed data and concluded that the actual runs of wild coho salmon were far below expectations.

Tribal fisheries official Ed Johnstone pointed to El Nino and a large mass of warm ocean water off the coast, known as the blob, as reasons for the decline.

The tribe also declared an economic disaster for the fishery.