2019 Joint Staff Report: Stock Status and Fisheries for Fall Chinook Salmon, Coho Salmon, Chum Salmon, Summer Steelhead, and White Sturgeon

Category: Fish/Shellfish Research and Management

Published: July 22, 2019

Pages: 75

Author(s): Joint Columbia River Management Staff

Introduction

This report describes fall fisheries in the mainstem Columbia River, and includes a summary of 2018 management guidelines and fisheries, and expectations for 2019 fall fish runs and fisheries. This report is part of an annual series 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). The first Columbia River Compact hearing of the 2019 fall management period is scheduled for 10:00 a.m. Tuesday July 30 via teleconference. Members of the U.S. v Oregon Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) have reviewed this report. 

Compact and Joint State Process 

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 delegates for the Oregon and Washington agency directors, 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 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. 

Seasons Considered 

At the July 30 hearing, the Compact will consider fall Select Area fisheries, and fall treaty platform and hook-and-line fisheries. A second hearing will occur August 12 to consider non-treaty and treaty mainstem commercial fisheries. Additional Compact and/or Joint State hearings will be scheduled throughout the fall management period as additional information on fish runs and ongoing fisheries become available.