Category: Management and Conservation
Published: January 21, 2015
Author(s): Joint Columbia River Management Staff
This report describes winter, spring, and summer season fisheries in the mainstem Columbia River, including a review of 2014 winter/spring and summer fisheries, plus management guidelines and expectations for 2015 salmon and summer steelhead returns and fisheries. This is the second report of an annual series produced by the Joint Columbia River Management Staff of the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife (ODFW) and Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife (WDFW) prior to each major Columbia River Compact/Joint State hearing. A Compact hearing for the 2015 winter/spring and summer management season is scheduled for 10 AM, Wednesday January 28, 2015 at the Clark Regional Wastewater District office, 8000 52nd Court, Vancouver, Washington. Members of the US v Oregon Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) have reviewed this report.
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). The Columbia River treaty tribes have authority to regulate treaty Indian fisheries.
When addressing commercial seasons for Columbia River fisheries, the Compact must consider the effect of the commercial fishery on escapement, treaty rights, and the impact on species listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Working together under the Compact, the states have the responsibility to address the allocation of limited resources between recreational, commercial, and treaty Indian fishers. This responsibility has become increasingly demanding in recent years. The states maintain a conservative management approach when considering Columbia River fisheries that will affect species listed under the ESA.
At the January 28 hearing, the mainstem Columbia River recreational spring Chinook fishery and the Select Area commercial winter, spring, and summer fisheries will be considered. The general plan for the non-Indian spring Chinook mainstem commercial fisheries will also be outlined. Other general permanent fishery rules may also be considered. Modifications to seasons adopted at this hearing and other recreational and commercial seasons will be considered at future hearings as additional information on fish runs and ongoing fisheries become available.