Fifty-five adults and five juveniles were arrested in an encampment that had been established one mile north of Tacoma where Highway 99 crossed the Puyallup River. Police seized firearms and knives and fishing nets, but there were no injuries. Two days later, Tacoma Police Chief Lyle Smith ordered the encampment bulldozed.
The fish-in was in protest of the three-day-a-week fishing season imposed by the state on Native American fishers. Native Americans and their supporters asserted that under the treaties with the U.S. government signed in 1855, they could fish off-reservation without restriction.
A little more than a week later, the Nixon Administration's Justice Department filed suit against the State of Washington on behalf of five (later nine) tribes seeking to remove the state restrictions. The suit resulted in the Boldt Decision (U.S. v. Washington, 384 Fed. Supp.) in February 1974, which granted to the tribes 50 percent of the salmon and steelhead harvest.