|The Columbia River Compact is charged by congressional and statutory authority to adopt seasons and rules for Columbia River commercial fisheries. In recent years, the Compact has consisted of the Oregon and Washington agency directors, or their delegates, acting on behalf of the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission (OFWC) and the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission (WFWC). In addition, the Columbia River treaty tribes have authority to regulate treaty Indian fisheries.
When addressing commercial seasons for salmon, steelhead, and sturgeon, the Compact must consider the effect of the commercial fishery on escapement, treaty rights, and sport fisheries, as well as the impact on species listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Although the Compact has no authority to adopt sport fishing seasons or rules, it is an inherent responsibility of the Compact to address the allocation of limited resources among users. This responsibility has become increasingly demanding in recent years. The Compact can be expected to be more conservative than in the past when considering fisheries that will impact listed salmon and steelhead.