Columbia River Salmon Fishery Policy

In January 2013, the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission (WFWC) adopted Policy C-3620. The policy was amended slightly in 2017. The stated purpose of the policy was to " promote orderly fisheries (particularly in waters in which the states of Washington and Oregon have concurrent jurisdiction), advance the conservation and recovery of wild salmon and steelhead, and maintain or enhance the economic well-being and stability of the fishing industry in the state." The policy recognized significant uncertainty in implementation, depended on continued economic and biological  evaluation, and relied on an adaptive management approach.

As required by Policy C-3620, staff conducted a five-year policy performance review beginning in 2018 with stakeholder input and issued a final report that noted various “expectations in the development of the policy were not met.” The Oregon and Washington Commissions held a joint meeting in November 2018 to discuss Columbia River issues and indicated interest in reaching policy and regulatory concurrency between the two states. The two commissions agreed to create the Joint-State Columbia River Fishery Policy Review Committee (PRC) consisting of three Washington and three Oregon commissioners to develop recommendations to the full commissions in each State. In January 2020, the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission suspended activity in the PRC process, and the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission continued to move forward with revising Washington's policy with a Washington Columbia River Policy Workgroup.

At its Sept. 11, 2020 meeting, the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission adopted Policy C-3630 for the management of Columbia River salmon fisheries, superseding the 2013 Columbia River Basin Salmon Management Policy.  

Workgroup and committee meeting materials

Materials for the 2019 PRC meetings and the 2020 meetings of the Columbia River Policy Workgroup are listed below. 

Reference Document 1. Policy C-3620: Columbia River Basin Salmon Management 
Reference Document 2. February 26, 2019 PRC Recommendation Transmission Document 
Reference Document 3. March 11, 2020 Meeting Working Draft of Policy Language