The Larry Rutter Award
Larry Rutter was a fixture in Pacific salmon conservation and management for more than three decades until his untimely death in 2014. He was a leading influence in how the Tribes, the United States, and Canada approached salmon management and research during the turn of the 21st century. The Commission established the award to help memorialize Larry’s lifetime of work including his legacy in the PSC, the Pacific Northwest Tribes, the Southern Fund Committee, and beyond.
Gary has worked tirelessly for decades to help ensure a sustainable and resilient salmon resource for the people of the U.S. and Canada. His distinguished career has been dedicated to improving West Coast salmon management, and ensuring sustainable fish and fisheries that include significant tribal interests.
He was active in the initial Pacific Salmon Treaty negotiations and has remained devoted to its successful implementation ever since. In recent years, Gary has been a leader in bringing attention to the negative impacts of climate change on Pacific Northwest salmon populations.
Throughout his career Dr. Morishima has made many contributions to resolving U.S./Canadian issues in salmon management, particularly through technical solutions. He was part of the original bilateral working group that drafted the coastwide management regime for Chinook and Southern Coho salmon. He also helped to develop the Coded Wire Tag program and associated computer models that utilize these data to support management decisions.
Gary’s technical leadership has earned him the confidence of both parties, and he has served as a reliable expert during repeated renegotiations of the Chinook and Coho chapters of the PST since 1985. Just as important, Gary has worked to transfer his knowledge to the next generation of technical committee members.
Bill is a long-time Southeast Alaska commercial gillnetter who made a conscious choice in 1987 to get engaged and involved in the management of the fisheries he participates in. He started locally and gradually expanded his associations and roles to encompass a larger area, broader fisheries, and more diverse stakeholders. In 2000, Bill joined the Pacific Salmon Commission family as a Northern Boundary Panel member. He quickly gained the respect of his fleet, other gear groups, agency staff, and Canadian colleagues for his straightforward style, tenacity, and having the sustainability of resources at heart. He was subsequently nominated by the Governor of Alaska to serve as the state’s alternate PSC Commissioner, appointed by the Secretary of State in 2013, and re-appointed in 2018.
Among his fellow Commissioners at the PSC, Bill is one of the few who are not employees of a management agency. He is an active salmon fisherman who takes time away from his day job to participate in the Treaty process. That he gives so much of his time, often away from his job and his family, is a testament to his interest and dedication. He is able to separate himself from issues affecting him personally, instead focussing on the larger issues affecting our shared salmon resource.
Bill has an impressive command of Treaty principles, provisions, and obligations and has drawn upon these skills with a remarkable memory to resolve many allocative disputes over limited salmon resources. In addition, he has demonstrated an impressive ability to build consensus among the various user groups he works with.
Bill also cares deeply about the resource and its ability to sustain fisheries across the Treaty landscape. He serves on the Northern Endowment Fund Committee and in this capacity often advocates for projects that aim to improve understanding of the salmon resources and its management. His insights as a fisherman are invaluable to this process.
Throughout her career, Sue has made significant contributions to the management and conservation of Pacific salmon. Since 1977, she has worked for Fisheries and Oceans Canada/DFO holding roles as a Research Biologist, Treaty Negotiator, Area Director for the South Coast, Regional Director of Oceans/Habitat/Salmonid Enhancement, Regional Director Fisheries Management, and Regional Director General (RDG) for the Pacific Region.
As RDG, Sue was responsible for the delivery of all DFO programs in the region and worked with the governments of BC, Yukon, and hundreds of First Nations as well as key industry stakeholders on countless files and issues.
Her unending work to know DFO’s constituents, issues, and partners has translated well to the international realm of the PSC where she’s served on Canada’s delegation since 2010. Most recently, Sue’s skills were brought back into the spotlight when she served as lead negotiator for Canada during the recent work to amend Annex IV.
Sue’s diplomacy and respect for her colleagues during that year and half of work fostered the important relationships between the two parties that Larry held so dear. But her efforts didn’t end with the negotiations. Since 2019, Sue has continued as Special Advisor to the current RDG on several fronts. She has taken on the complex task of communicating the new commitments and Treaty regime to DFO and Canadians more broadly. She has also lead the development of financial and human resources, including succession planning for Canada in and outside of the PSC family.
Jim has devoted his career to the conservation of Pacific Salmon. From his early years working at the Point No Point Treaty Council to his years working at the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission in the mid-90’s, Jim put his knowledge to work developing tools to understand how fisheries impact Coho and Chinook salmon in the Pacific Northwest.
After serving in those capacities and with the U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service, Jim went on to lead WDFW’s Fish Program that had a staff of over 700 people with responsibility for managing the state’s fisheries and over 80 hatcheries. It also provided key support for the co-management process known as North of Falcon, the Pacific Fisheries Management Council, the Pacific Salmon Commission, and the Department’s Science Division for fisheries resources. His leadership in this position advanced the sustainability and resiliency of the anadromous fisheries resources that are vital to the interests of Canada and the United States.
Most recently, Jim served a critical role in renegotiating aspects of the Pacific Salmon Treaty. Time and time again, his leadership helped bridged the science gap by bringing people together not only between the two Parties but within the U.S. Delegation.
Throughout his impressive career in fish and wildlife management, and as a naturalist and outdoorsman, Phil has made notable contributions to resolving U.S/Canadian issues and to ensuring a sustainable and resilient Pacific salmon resource for the people of Canada and the United States. Starting as a charter boat operator in 1970, through his accomplishment as an outstanding Lead Negotiator for the United States to renew chapters of the Pacific Salmon Treaty, he has been exemplary in his communication, negotiation, and leadership skills. It is this triumvirate, along with his deep understanding of technical and political issues, that has allowed Phil to treat others with dignity and respect while still bringing tough positions to the international negotiation table.
As challenges continue to mount in the management of Pacific Salmon, including threatened and endangered stocks, changing ocean conditions, and reductions in available harvest, Phil continues to remain focused on conservation issues. Given the diverse domestic landscape, legislative requirements, and the deeply technical nature of the negotiations, his contribution to resolving the myriad challenges in the negotiations were often the key to ensuring a new conservation and harvest sharing agreement under the Treaty. Through his leadership, skill, respect and unfailing energy, Phil Anderson worked with his team of Commissioners to balance the U.S. position on conservation issues and harvest sharing challenges.
Dr. Riddell’s career has spanned four decades, and reflects his dedication to science, policy, and public engagement on behalf of Pacific salmon. He developed many of Canada’s foundational salmon assessments and, with Larry Rutter, was a key advocate for the Salish Sea Marine Survival Project which secured $5 million in funding from the Southern Endowment Fund. Dr. Riddell also co-authored the current Chinook assessment model adopted by the Commission in 1999, thus leading to significant changes in the management of this valuable and iconic species.
In the PSC, Brian has been a principal figure since the Pacific Salmon Treaty’s inception, working on technical committees and assisting in international negotiations on behalf of Canada. He continues that role today, helping to guide technically complex discussions as the Parties renegotiate the Chinook management framework for another 10 year period. In domestic policy, Dr. Riddell was the scientific lead in the creation of Canada’s Policy for Conservation of Wild Pacific Salmon, for which he and his co-authors received the Government of Canada’s Public Service Distinction Award in 2005.
Through his work as the President and CEO of the Pacific Salmon Foundation, he has successfully raised millions of dollars in funding to support community-based salmon conservation projects in the region that empower citizens to undertake local habitat restoration and other actions that support salmon conservation. Most recently, he developed the Pacific Salmon Explorer – an online visualization tool that provides a deep understanding of the human and environmental pressures facing salmon populations and habitat.
Dr. Hall has been a leading figure in Pacific salmon conservation, management, and research for decades. His work to strengthen First Nation representation in fisheries management forums, including the PSC, is widely recognized and appreciated. He has combined his scientific skills with charisma and leadership to build First Nations’ capacity in fisheries, advocate for their interests, and reconcile different viewpoints through his work with the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council on Vancouver Island. Canada has utilized his many skills by appointing him to the PSC’s Southern Panel and the Southern Boundary Restoration and Enhancement Fund Committee (as a founding member), where he has assisted in difficult international negotiations and approved hundreds of projects to benefit U.S. and Canadian salmon conservation.