Fish Wars

Walleye




















Culverts source

UPDATE, JUNE 11, 2018

In a 4-4 deadlocked vote that was a victory for supporters of tribal treaty rights, the Supreme Court let stand the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals’ two-year-old opinion requiring Washington State to repair hundreds of culverts to improve salmon passage. The state argued that they might have to spend $1 billion making the repairs. The deadlock was possible because Justice Anthony Kennedy had recused himself in March. The per curium opinion, unsigned by any particular judge, cannot be used as precedent outside the states of the Ninth Circuit: Alaska, Arizona and California.

 

UPDATE, JANUARY 2018

The United States Supreme Court agreed on Friday, January 12 to hear the state of Washington’s appeal of the 9th Circuit Court’s 2016 ruling requiring the state to spend hundreds of millions of dollars fixing highway culverts that block salmon passage. The original ruling by a three-judge panel held that 19th century treaties with Puget Sound tribes required that tribes have access both to traditional fishing locations and to actual salmon. Washington’s request for the full Ninth Circuit to rehear the case was rejected last Spring, over a vigorous dissent by nine of the circuit’s 25 active judges.