Sustaining North American Salmon: Perspectives Across Regions and Disciplines

Chapter 17: Challenges and Opportunities for the Future of Pacific Salmon Management

Jim Martin


This volume offers an excellent opportunity to contrast the implementation of cooperative management along the Pacific coast under the Pacific Salmon Treaty (PST) with management in the Great Lakes and along the Atlantic coast. It is most important to learn from what is working and what is not so we can improve cooperative management in the future.

I served as negotiating assistant for Director Jack Donaldson of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife during the Pacific Salmon Treaty negotiations in 1985. After 20 years of fruitless negotiation, we all experienced near euphoria as we finalized the treaty. There had been a “near-miss” in 1982, when Mike Hunter and Lee Alverson put together the founding principles of the treaty and hit a couple of speed bumps. These reversals were caused by politically influential fishing groups, such as the Southeast Alaska Salmon Trollers and the Puget Sound Purse Seiners, who vetoed the agreements in 1982. Without support of these groups, the U.S. government was unwilling to go forward.