The 20 treaty tribes in western Washington and the State of Washington are co-managers of salmon and steelhead resources. Co-management was established by U.S. v. Washington, the 1974 federal court ruling that upheld tribal treaty-reserved harvest rights.
Conservation is the goal of co-management. Harvest is focused on healthy stocks of hatchery and naturally spawning salmon and steelhead. The goal of harvest management is to conserve weak stocks while providing limited harvest opportunities that do not jeopardize recovery efforts. Unfortunately, wild salmon and many steelhead populations are in ongoing decline because their habitat is being lost and damaged faster than it can be restored.