Reports from our Lummi neighbors up north that they are encountering large amounts of brown slime attributed to a plankton bloom than catching sockeye in nets. The plankton bloom seems to be impacting the harvest significantly. The Olympian .
Gill net fishermen catch their quarry in long, floating curtains of monofilament that don’t work if migrating fish can see them. If the brown stuff doesn’t clear out in the weeks ahead, other salmon fisheries also might be affected.
I’ve fished sockeye all my life,” said Merle Jefferson, 58, Lummi Nation’s director of natural resources. “This is the worst I’ve ever seen it. … We cannot catch the fish because the nets are all fouled up.”
Art Lane, a Lummi fisherman who sets his net out from a small skiff, said the brown coating made his net so heavy it was hard to pull it out of the water and get it back into the boat. “A lot of skiffs were darn near sinking because of the weight,” Lane said.
Year after year fisheries are being challenged with environmental changes in the Puget Sound. This is unfortunate for Lummi fishermen.
One positive that may come of this is a stronger return of Sockeye to the Frasier River. We will have to wait and see.