Category: Management and Conservation
Published: July 14, 2015
Author(s): Washington Dept. of Fish and Wildlife; Oregon Dept. of Fish and Wildlife
This report describes fall fisheries in the mainstem Columbia River and includes a summary of 2014 management guidelines and fisheries, and expectations for 2015 fall fish runs and fisheries. This report is part of an annual series of reports produced by the Joint Columbia River Management Staff of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) and Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) prior to each major Columbia River Compact hearing. The first Columbia River Compact hearing of the 2015 fall management period is scheduled for 10:00 a.m. Wednesday July 29, 2015 at the Clark Regional Wastewater District (8000 52nd Court, Vancouver, Washington). Members of the U.S. 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, Table 1). 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 July 29 hearing, the Compact will consider non-Indian early fall mainstem commercial fisheries, fall Select Area fisheries, and potentially fall treaty Indian fisheries. Future hearings will be scheduled throughout the fall management period as additional information on fish runs and ongoing fisheries become available.