KUOW: Lummi Nation secures emergency $3M fishermen grant
"Federal officials announced emergency aid to the Lummi Nation outside of Bellingham yesterday. The $3 million grant aims to help Lummi fishermen who have been put out of work by declining runs of sockeye salmon. The announcement comes a month after the region's best sockeye fishery in more than 90 years. KUOW's John Ryan explains.

Nearly 35 million sockeye salmon returned to Canada's Fraser River this summer, just north of the Washington border. Gillnetters and reef netters and purse seiners on both sides of the border pulled in huge hauls of wild sockeye.

The Lummi tribe has more fishermen than any other tribe in Washington. Henry Cagey is the tribal chair and a gillnetter.

Cagey: "One of the few gillnetters that are left."

I caught up with Cagey on his cell phone. He says this year was a good one for the Lummi — at least for those who still have their fishing boats. But he says the Lummi fishing fleet has shrunken dramatically as the Fraser River runs have dwindled over the past decade.

Cagey: "Even though it's a bonanza year, it's still the impact that happened to our people. We've had a lot of the fishermen lost their boats and lost their livelihood over the last seven years. We're down to probably less than half our fleet we had a few years ago.""

Get the Story:
Tribe Gets Emergency Aid Despite Booming Fishery (KUOW 10/26)

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