With the upriver coho
salmon run still surging and fishing interest still high,
tribal fishers will again spread their nets next week in
Columbia River reservoirs above Bonneville Dam.
River Compact on Thursday approved a 3 1/3-day tribal
commercial fishery from 6 a.m. Monday through 6 p.m. Thursday.
The Compact, which sets Columbia River mainstem commercial
fisheries, is made up of representatives of the Oregon and
Washington fish and wildlife department directors.
The fishery will be the Nez Perce, Umatilla, Warm Springs
and Yakima tribes' ninth fishery of the fall season. Fish
continue to be available for sale to the public "over the
bank" at numerous locations upstream of Bonneville.
Tribal coho harvest through this week totals an estimated
18,620 to date with more than 3,000 caught during the week of
Oct. 7. The coho catch expectation is approximately 2,700 for
The tribal request for next week's fishery notes that they
are well within Endangered Species Act limits on the harvest
of protected upriver steelhead and bright fall chinook salmon.
The treaty harvest is projected to total 42,572 "upriver
brights" through Oct. 23. Based on the in-season run size
forecast for URBs, that catch would equate to a 19 percent
harvest rate. Under a new management agreement between states
and tribes the harvest limit is 27 percent.
The tribes estimate they will have harvested 18,295 B-Index
steelhead or 18.4 percent of the run through Oct. 23. The
harvest limit is 20 percent.
The fall fisheries will have netted a total of 107,546
chinook in total this year, according to tribal estimates. The
total steelhead catch is expected to be 24,645.
The tribal request notes that the upriver chinook and
steelhead counts at Bonneville are dropping quickly, as are
fall chinook counts, so few additional impacts are likely to
occur next week.
The tribes will also continue to allow sales of platform
and hook and line caught fish for the time being, but may
discontinue sales if they decide to issue any late season
subsistence gillnet permits.