Appeals court rules in favor of Suquamish fishing

Seattle (AP) – A federal appeals court in Seattle has ruled the
Suquamish Indian Tribe has the right to fish Saratoga Passage and
Skagit Bay east of Whidbey Island.

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday sided with the
Suquamish in a challenge brought by the Upper Skagit Tribe in
2005.

The Upper Skagit had sought a determination that the Suquamish
was fishing in areas outside of its “usual and accustomed” fishing
grounds, defined by federal judge George Boldt more than three
decades ago.

In 2007, U.S. District Judge Ricardo S. Martinez ruled in favor
of the Upper Skagit, saying it had demonstrated Boldt did not
intend to include Saratoga Passage or Skagit Bay in the Suquamish’s
traditional fishing grounds.

The appeals court disagreed and granted summary judgment to the
Suquamish.

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