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Miranda Wecker, Chair
Bradley Smith, Ph.D., Vice Chair

 

Commission Policy Documents

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POLICY DECISION

POLICY  TITLE:  Mainstem Columbia River Summer Chinook Allocation for Non-Indian Fisheries Below Priest Rapids Dam, 2011-2013 POLICY NUMBER:  C-3618  
Supercedes:  Policy C-3618, 2009-10 Effective Date: February 4, 2011
    Termination Date:  December 31, 2013
See Also: C-3619 Approved by:  /s/ Miranda Wecker
Fish and Wildlife Commission Chair 

DOWNLOAD: Signed copy of Policy C-3618 (PDF)

Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to provide guidelines for management of upper Columbia River summer Chinook.

Definition and Intent

Upper Columbia River summer Chinook migrate through the lower Columbia River during June and July and are destined for areas above Priest Rapids Dam.  The intent of the policy is to manage upper Columbia summer Chinook in a way that promotes a healthy population and is consistent with management agreements developed under U.S. v Oregon or with other co-managers.

General Policy Statement

Manage the Upper Columbia summer Chinook population with conservation and fishery management objectives that are consistent with a healthy population.

Policy Guidelines

Conservation Principles

  • Manage the upper Columbia summer Chinook populations for sustainable natural production as well as the artificial production programs which are necessary to meet mitigation requirements and to provide conservation safeguards; consistent with the provisions of Commission Policy C-3619 (Hatchery and Fishery Reform).
  • Manage for population specific performance goals for Wenatchee, Methow and Okanogan natural populations, and for Eastbank, Turtle Rock, Wells, and Chief Joseph hatchery programs.
  • Manage for the natural and hatchery aggregate escapement goal as required by U.S. v Oregon Management Agreement.

Fisheries Management Principles

  • Meet treaty Indian/non-treaty harvest sharing objectives described in U.S. v Oregon Management Agreement.
  • Meet Colville tribal subsistence and ceremonial harvest needs, consistent with the 2007 “Agreement between the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife on jointly managed salmon and steelhead populations.”
  • Provide Wanapum Band fishing opportunity consistent with RCW 77.12.453 “Salmon fishing by Wanapum (Sokulk) Indians.”
  • Impacts in the Washington ocean fishery will be managed by the Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC) based on the Pacific Coast Salmon Plan.
  • The highest priority for state managed fisheries is recreational fishing opportunity above Priest Rapids Dam.
  • Consistent with conservation objectives, provide recreational fishing opportunity throughout the Columbia River and commercial fisheries below Bonneville Dam.

Fishery Management Objectives

  • Season objectives for recreational fisheries:
    • Fishery above Priest Rapids Dam. The full season is July 1 through October 15, and the base season objective is July through the Labor Day weekend.
    • Fishery below Priest Rapids Dam. The full season is from June 16 through July 31, and base season objective is late June through July 4. If July 4 is on Friday or Saturday, the fishery would continue through Sunday.
  • Season objectives for commercial fisheries:
    • Maximize ex-vessel value and harvest opportunity.
    • Determine date of first opening during discussions with constituents and Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife during annual North of Falcon meetings.

Harvest Allocation For Fisheries Below Priest Rapids Dam – Recreational and Commercial

  • No directed fisheries and no allocation when abundance is below U.S. v Oregon escapement goal.
  • Limited or base level recreational fisheries when 90% of non-treaty harvest is allocated to fisheries above Priest Rapids Dam.
  • Balanced opportunity to both sectors; measured using amount of non-treaty harvest available below Priest Rapids Dam, defined as 50/50 sport/commercial sharing.
  • When developing recreational and commercial options for fisheries below Priest Rapids Dam, the Department shall consider catch opportunity, stability and duration of fisheries.
  • Implement mark-selective fisheries as necessary to:
    • Contribute to natural conservation objectives, and
    • Meet fishery season objectives.
  • Specific structure of recreational and commercial fisheries will be set by the Columbia River Compact following stakeholder consultation in the North of Falcon process on an annual basis to meet adopted allocation policies and fisheries objectives after run size forecasts are available.
  • Provide for in-season management flexibility to utilize the non-treaty summer Chinook harvest to meet the objectives of both fisheries. When allowable harvest is either very large or very small, adjustments may need to be made to the allocation based on the capabilities of each fleet.
  • In shaping fisheries, consult with stakeholders to recognize economic benefits of recreational and commercial fisheries in the Columbia River.

Delegation of Authority

The Commission delegates the authority to the Director, through the Columbia River Compact and North of Falcon stakeholder consultation processes, to set seasons for recreational and commercial fisheries in the Columbia River, and to adopt permanent and emergency regulations to implement these fisheries. The Director shall work with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife to achieve implementation of this Commission action in a manner that results in concurrent regulations between the two states. The Director shall consult with the Commission Chair if it becomes necessary to deviate from the Commission's policy to achieve concurrent regulations with Oregon. The Director will provide an annual report to the Commission including a summary of the stock status and fisheries.