Columbia River Compact

The Columbia River Compact is charged by congressional and statutory authority to adopt rules for fisheries within Oregon/Washington concurrent state waters of the Columbia River. In recent years, Compact authority has been delegated to the directors of Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, or their designees, acting on behalf of their respective fish and wildlife commissions. In addition, the Columbia River U.S. v. Oregon treaty tribes have authority to regulate treaty Indian fisheries.

When addressing seasons for salmon, steelhead, sturgeon, and smelt, the Compact must consider the effect on escapement, treaty rights, and other fisheries, as well as the impact on species listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Compact hearings are used for season setting, in-season management, and to authorize the purchase of commercially caught fish in treaty fisheries. The hearings are open to the public and allow for public testimony; interested individuals can sign up to receive notice of hearings here.

In addition, the states develop a pre-season plan that provides guidance for Compact hearings based upon meeting conservation objectives, fishery allocations, and public input for summer/fall commercial and recreational fisheries through North of Falcon; this process is used in rule-making to set the summer/fall recreational fisheries.