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Old 07-26-2007, 07:39 AM   #1
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Default Tribes Will Fish Below Bonneville

The state of Washington recently approved a tribal dipnet fishery for the Yakima Nation, below Bonneville Dam on the Washington side of the river.

So, here they come....moving to exercise a position in the lower river. Step 1 has been taken, with a somewhat innocuous dipnet fishery.


Over the years there's been so much discussion about the dynamics of tribal commercial, non-tribal commercial, and sport anglers on the river, and how each fishery's presence relates to the containment/expansion of the other............

Before I go on a tirade, I think it's best to stop here I will say that I absolutely believe there is a step 2, 3, and more to come.

The Columbia is at another crossroad.

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Old 07-26-2007, 07:55 AM   #2
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Default Re: Tribes Will Fish Below Bonneville

I saw Native Americans fishing Willamette Falls last month, so what is your point again?
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Old 07-26-2007, 08:15 AM   #3
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Default Re: Tribes Will Fish Below Bonneville

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Originally Posted by freespool View Post
I saw Native Americans fishing Willamette Falls last month, so what is your point again?
Free,

I put the info up mainly so people will know what's happening.

I see a lot of potential ramifications if the tribes want to move to exert increased rights below the dam. Obviously you feel it's no big deal, a trivial event that won't mean much towards the future---we'll vehemently disagree on that one, although it won't become a display on this thread-
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Old 07-26-2007, 08:27 AM   #4
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Default Re: Tribes Will Fish Below Bonneville

Cosmo, what does it mean to us? We have nets fishing below the damn now? Is it a turf thing? Allocation change?
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Old 07-26-2007, 08:43 AM   #5
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Default Re: Tribes Will Fish Below Bonneville

Finnclip it means that Tribal nets could be in the river below Bonneville in the future, they have always had the right to net the whole river, and as FS said they do some dip netting below Bonneville already, the allocation will stay the same they will just start taking some of it from the lower river, Will it effect our sports fishery much if they start gillnetting below the dam sure, can we do anything about it nope, just another reason to get the non-tribal gillnets off the river asap.
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Old 07-26-2007, 10:56 AM   #6
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Default Re: Tribes Will Fish Below Bonneville

Finclipped,
It means there will be a tribal fishery below Bonneville for the first time in my recollection....as far as where it goes, that's subject to plenty of interpretation.

Consider this though....tribal fisheries often leave more impacts UNUSED then the total sport and non-tribal commercial Columbia River impacts combined. Just a thought, as that's a lot of harvest potential.

Drano...tribes are incredibly political. On a legal sense, you may be correct about ability to stop it, but politically unpopular moves can be subject to a different court--that of public opinion.
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Old 07-26-2007, 11:00 AM   #7
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Default Re: Tribes Will Fish Below Bonneville

I dont mean to sound callous, but haven't people been fighting over land or countries since the beginning of time? I white people took the land that was someone elses, but Rome used to rule most of Europe too. I guess I just can't believe we let Native Americans fish like they do. Seeing nets in the river on 84 makes me sick to may stomach. People have been taking things from others by force forever. I'm no where near racist and because of that I feel pretty stongly about the fact that everyone should be on the same playing field in life and in this case fishing. Sorry, about the rant, but this has bothered me for a long time.
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Old 07-26-2007, 11:06 AM   #8
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Default Re: Tribes Will Fish Below Bonneville

Separate but equal is never equal. This is a huge issue that will never be solved on Ifish. If the government stops the Natives it's just one more slap in the face. However, gill netting can't be the answer.
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Old 07-26-2007, 11:14 AM   #9
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Default Re: Tribes Will Fish Below Bonneville

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Originally Posted by JDarr View Post
I dont mean to sound callous, but haven't people been fighting over land or countries since the beginning of time? I white people took the land that was someone elses, but Rome used to rule most of Europe too. I guess I just can't believe we let Native Americans fish like they do. Seeing nets in the river on 84 makes me sick to may stomach. People have been taking things from others by force forever. I'm no where near racist and because of that I feel pretty stongly about the fact that everyone should be on the same playing field in life and in this case fishing. Sorry, about the rant, but this has bothered me for a long time.
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Old 07-26-2007, 11:23 AM   #10
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Default Re: Tribes Will Fish Below Bonneville

The tribes from the upper river in the Boldt and post-Boldt era legal actions have always claimed fishing rights below Bonneville down to and including the Cowlitz river, and not just in the Columbia. The Yakima tribe has been very assertive with that claim but have not generally exercised it under the allocation agreements.
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Old 07-26-2007, 11:42 AM   #11
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Default Re: Tribes Will Fish Below Bonneville

To me, it's not that the tribes have the right to fish. Our country has chosen to grant them those rights. I don't agree with the method they use to fish.
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Old 07-26-2007, 12:12 PM   #12
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Default Re: Tribes Will Fish Below Bonneville

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Originally Posted by Fossil View Post
To me, it's not that the tribes have the right to fish. Our country has chosen to grant them those rights. I don't agree with the method they use to fish.

Not quite true Fossil, the American government traded for the Native Americans right to fish.




INDIAN AFFAIRS: LAWS AND TREATIES Vol. IV, Laws (Compiled to March 4, 1927)
Compiled and edited by Charles J. Kappler. Washington : Government Printing Office, 1929.
from digital.library.okstate.edu


Indian Treaties as Sovereign Contracts
By ROBERT J. MILLER
PROFESSOR
The United States government, from its very inception, continued the English and colonial strategy of dealing with the Indian tribal nations on a government-to-government basis through treaty-making. The federal government entered more than 400 treaties with various Indian tribes from 1778 to 1871. In these treaties, the United States negotiated cessions of land, recognized other areas of land called “reservations” which the tribes reserved to themselves, and respected the self-governing powers of tribes. Even though Congress ended treaty-making with tribes in 1871, the preexisting treaties are still in effect and contain promises which bind the United States today. In fact, under our Constitution, treaties are “the supreme Law of the Land.” In addition, the United States continues to deal with the tribal nations on a political basis up to the modern day. The Indian nations negotiated treaties from a position of strength until the early 1800s. The newly formed United States faced internal problems and external conflicts with European countries and could not afford war with Indian tribes. Hence, early treaty-making between the United States and tribes was often favorable to the tribes. After the War of 1812, though, and the relaxing of the European threat against the United States, the weakening position of tribes led to more one-sided treaty negotiations in favor of the United States. Many people misunderstand the nature of treaties and the reservations that were formed by treaties and the promises that were given therein. Native governments and peoples were not given rights or land by the United States but instead, through political and contract-like negotiations, tribes arranged a trade of rights with the United States. The United States Supreme Court has referred to Indian treaties as contracts between sovereign nations, and in one case, the Court referred to “the contracting Indians.” Furthermore, in 1905, the Court stated that treaties were not a grant of rights to Indians but were instead a reservation by the tribes of rights that they already owned. Thus, through treaty-making, tribes gave up certain rights to land and assets in exchange for payments, promises, and protection from the United States. These treaties, then, were not gifts from the United States to Indians but were a trade of certain rights from tribes to the United States to preserve other rights the tribes already possessed and wanted to retain.

http://www.flashpointmag.com/indtreat.htm
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Old 07-26-2007, 12:22 PM   #13
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Default Re: Tribes Will Fish Below Bonneville

The Indians are not the problem. The commercial netters are. The tribes put quite a few fish in the river.
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Old 07-26-2007, 12:25 PM   #14
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Default Re: Tribes Will Fish Below Bonneville

Here's the deal

The present treaty provides that the indians get to split the run between Treaty indians and non treaty commercial and sportsfisherman.


There is no official agreement about where the Treaty indians can fish but there is none written agreement (Tradition if you will ) that the tribes will stay up river IF the Commecial non treaty fisherman stay below Bonneville.

If (Hypothetically ) For some strange reason Commercial non treaty Gillnetters were banned then the Indian would come down stream.

So what ! Let them.
The sport allocation would take the all of the Non Tribal share instead of the scraps we get now.

The treaty agreement is carved in stone, like it or not.

Too bad Ted doesn't wheel and deal with this agreement over the Casino.
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Old 07-26-2007, 01:11 PM   #15
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Default Re: Tribes Will Fish Below Bonneville

I hate to say this but we only have ourselves to blame. Their never would have been a Boldt decision or USA vs Oregon if the two states had not turned their backs on the tribes and sided with the lower river gillnetters. In the 50's and 60's the states allowed the lower river non-tribal gillnetters to over harvest fish then close the river down upriver from Bonneville to the Indians, giving them no seasons. Go back and look at catch number on the commercial side in the 50's and 60's its pretty clear what was going on even the federal courts could see it. I am anti-gillnet but can't get angry at the tribes for something that they did not create, gillnetting was not a part of their salmon heritage. The tribes have been testing alternative catch methods while both the CRC/CRM which are mandated to do so are not. I would be surprised if they were offered the same number of fish with as many as possible being hatchery origin direct from fish ladders instead of using gillnets that they would not except that offer. Less cost involved to them means more money in their pockets, the few that I buy eggs from thought that it is an interesting idea, that could work but has not been offered. There could be change on the river above Bonneville and it could be easier to do then pulling the lower river nets off, you just have to think outside the box sometimes and make the offer. With the present river management teams in place I doubt that will happen any time soon.

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Old 07-26-2007, 01:48 PM   #16
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Default Re: Tribes Will Fish Below Bonneville

If the tribes not gill netting is not an option I would rather see them net throughout the entire Columbia, including the lower river. Right now their fish are coming from the mid-columbia tributaries and upriver fish. You ever fished the Klickitat a couple days after their nets go in below the mouth? If you had you would know the impact they have. I think they should be spreading out their impact throughout the Columbia and hopefully it would lessen the impact in our region.

If their total impact stays the same then explain why it should not be spread throughout the system. Aren’t the upriver fish the most at risk?
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Old 07-26-2007, 03:16 PM   #17
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Default Re: Tribes Will Fish Below Bonneville

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Originally Posted by Fossil View Post
To me, it's not that the tribes have the right to fish. Our country has chosen to grant them those rights. I don't agree with the method they use to fish.
Better read the treaty again Fossil. They never gave up any rights to fish and you cannot grant a right to someone who already owns the right.
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Old 07-26-2007, 05:24 PM   #18
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Here's the deal

The present treaty provides that the indians get to split the run between Treaty indians and non treaty commercial and sportsfisherman. ........


.
Do you have the exact quote from the treaty?
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Old 07-26-2007, 05:59 PM   #19
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Default Re: Tribes Will Fish Below Bonneville

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Old 07-26-2007, 07:52 PM   #20
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If the tribes want to fish, take all of the set net fishing away! How did they do it? Put them on a scaffold and let them hand dip net, no elaborate settings of their gill nets. I live in the Gorge and every year I see them pulling in nets just down stream of the Wind River and if it wasn't chrome, pitched back in the river. If you ask me that is not respecting the land or its creatures that is plain disrespect!
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Old 07-26-2007, 08:06 PM   #21
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Default Re: Tribes Will Fish Below Bonneville

I'm afraid this could be the start of a very bad thing for us !!. they'll be at the mouth of the sandy and washougal before you know it,unless something is written by the states to stop them from coming down here.
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Old 07-26-2007, 08:31 PM   #22
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Default Re: Tribes Will Fish Below Bonneville

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I'm afraid this could be the start of a very bad thing for us !!. they'll be at the mouth of the sandy and washougal before you know it,unless something is written by the states to stop them from coming down here.
Bob
Bob, if the Native Americans want to fish below Bonneville, there's nothing you can do about it, no legislation can trump a treaty.
On the other hand, if the Native Americans wanted to below Bonneville, they would already be there.
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Old 07-26-2007, 08:32 PM   #23
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Default Re: Tribes Will Fish Below Bonneville

Was trying to figure out why this action taken now. I am not taking sides regarding "yes" or "no" for native american fishing below Bonneville. However, I'm wondering if this is a way for the fish packers to insure they stay in business if, in fact, non-tribal netting is eliminated.
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Old 07-26-2007, 08:51 PM   #24
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Default Re: Tribes Will Fish Below Bonneville

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Originally Posted by Metal Head View Post
If the tribes want to fish, take all of the set net fishing away! How did they do it? Put them on a scaffold and let them hand dip net, no elaborate settings of their gill nets. I live in the Gorge and every year I see them pulling in nets just down stream of the Wind River and if it wasn't chrome, pitched back in the river. If you ask me that is not respecting the land or its creatures that is plain disrespect!
Not a problem. Just give them Celilo Falls to net at and I'm sure they'll be happy to go back to how they used to fish.

And while you're at it, please go back to how YOUR ancestors fished. No shiny metal boats, no expensive fishing tackle, just a cane pole will suffice.



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Old 07-26-2007, 09:04 PM   #25
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Default Re: Tribes Will Fish Below Bonneville

I used to go around arguing that Native Americans need to fish the way they did years ago-log canoes, grass or hair nets and they shouldn't use modern stuff. In discussion with an anthropoligist, he explained to me that tribes had developed the ability to harvest 100% of the fish in most streams with the use of weirs, fish traps and other tools. Probably throught trial and error, Native Americans also discovered the need for escapement.

I also believe that without tribes and their polictical clout, our fish runs would be in much worse shape than they are.
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Old 07-26-2007, 09:44 PM   #26
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Default Re: Tribes Will Fish Below Bonneville

One can argue forever on one side or the other of tribal and non-tribal gill net fisheries. All legalities aside, gill nets are a horribly out-dated method of harvest and have no place in our rivers today. For the most part gill nets are not selective and once set harvest both weak and strong returning runs of fish. Not only that but they incidentally capture a tremendous amount of non-target species and injure thousands of other fish that ultimately end up dying before reaching their spawning grounds.

All understand the pressure that our rivers and the salmon within them are under today. From the highest headwater areas to the ocean we have straightened, dewatered, logged, farmed, developed, and leveed virtually every stream in the Columbia Basin. The Columbia River today would not even be recognizable to Lewis and Clark who traversed it just 200 years ago.

Tribal people sadly lost Celilo and many of their original fishing locations but in exchange they have gained electricity, a steady food supply, road systems, boats, modern medicine, vehicles, navigable waters, etc. They are no longer living along the river without conveniences, they enjoy all the benefits of progress like anyone else.

All commerical fisherman can see same as we can that these fish are under tremendous pressure and yet like everyone else they continue to take. There is a difference though, as a sport salmon angler I might harvest 10 chinook this fall with hook and line if I am lucky while spending many days trying to do so. A single gill net fisherman on the other hand might harvest thousands during the same time period, this is greedy, this is selfish, this is wrong, no matter how you slice it.

For now gill net fisheries will continue and so will farms, irrigation, dams, logging, mining, and over-harvest until there is nothing left, this is the way of man.

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Old 07-26-2007, 09:58 PM   #27
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Default Re: Tribes Will Fish Below Bonneville

Them darn Indians ..........oh shoot, I am one!
Riverman, strong words. And maybe 10 a year, and you fish the mighty CR? Why not just stick to the home waters of the mighty Umatilla? I seen many local fisherman, non-Tribal, catch many.
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Old 07-26-2007, 10:40 PM   #28
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Default Re: Tribes Will Fish Below Bonneville

Its hard enough for me to fish here on my home waters, let alone start some grief or opinion based grudge that will target a people who are just doing what they were showed by their older relatives.
I am not knocking anyone, I mean anybody has a right to express their thoughts, I just hope this dont turn ugly.
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Old 07-26-2007, 10:49 PM   #29
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The columbia river treaty tribes (Warm Springs, Yakama, Umatilla, and Nez Perce) have instilled self-regulation with regard to harvest rates. Catch rates are monitored through the columbia river inter-tribal fish commission and each respective tribe. When harvest goals have been reached, seasons are shortened if needed. This is done out of respect for the fishery. The tribes and CRITFC promote and develop restoration projects in order to increase populations which serve to benefit both Indian and non-Indian interests. The post-boldt era COULD reserve higher harvest rates for tribal fishers, however, in the interest of preserving runs; tribes will shorten seasons.
For those suggesting that tribal fishers return to historical fishing practices; this doesn't make sense since river conditions have modified dramatically since the installation of the columbian river hydrosystem. Justcallmedave said it best, "Not a problem. Just give them Celilo Falls to net at and I'm sure they'll be happy to go back to how they used to fish.
And while you're at it, please go back to how YOUR ancestors fished. No shiny metal boats, no expensive fishing tackle, just a cane pole will suffice
." Perhaps we should not point the proverbial finger at one another... let us look at what kills more salmon than any anthropomorphic influence; the hydrosystem.
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Old 07-27-2007, 06:11 AM   #30
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Default Re: Tribes Will Fish Below Bonneville

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Originally Posted by freespool View Post
On the other hand, if the Native Americans wanted to below Bonneville, they would already be there.
Ever changed your mind about something FS? I'll bet you have just like the rest of us.

Tribal fisheries in the LCR........

Who would have thought?
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Old 07-27-2007, 07:00 AM   #31
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Default Re: Tribes Will Fish Below Bonneville

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The post-boldt era COULD reserve higher harvest rates for tribal fishers, however, in the interest of preserving runs; tribes will shorten seasons.
Not exactly true in light of ESA listings. They're constrained by their impacts, just like WE are. The only way to increase their harvest rates would be to stay at or below their impacts which is NOT negotiable and is subject to NOAA F rules. If they choose to utilize fishing methods that allow live release of listed species, they can fish anywhere they like IMO.

If they don't have the wisdom to let enough fish return to the upper reaches, there's some folks in Idaho that could cause everyone some problems in the future.
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Old 07-27-2007, 07:36 AM   #32
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Default Re: Tribes Will Fish Below Bonneville

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Originally Posted by Metal Head View Post
If the tribes want to fish, take all of the set net fishing away! How did they do it? Put them on a scaffold and let them hand dip net, no elaborate settings of their gill nets. I live in the Gorge and every year I see them pulling in nets just down stream of the Wind River and if it wasn't chrome, pitched back in the river. If you ask me that is not respecting the land or its creatures that is plain disrespect!
Metal head,
If you see tribal fishermen "pitching" fish back in the river, you should try to get a photo of it (or at least write down a description of what you saw) and call the Columbia River Inter-tribal Fisheries Enforcement (800-487-3474) and or OSP or WDFW Enforcement. All the tribes have ordinances against waisting fish and they will cite fishermen they catch breaking the rules. But it is a big river, and it is hard for the cops to be everywhere.
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Old 07-27-2007, 01:38 PM   #33
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Default Re: Tribes Will Fish Below Bonneville

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Metal head,
If you see tribal fishermen "pitching" fish back in the river, you should try to get a photo of it (or at least write down a description of what you saw) and call the Columbia River Inter-tribal Fisheries Enforcement (800-487-3474) and or OSP or WDFW Enforcement. All the tribes have ordinances against waisting fish and they will cite fishermen they catch breaking the rules. But it is a big river, and it is hard for the cops to be everywhere.
As a native person, I concur. We must all fish within our guidelines. When a person breaks the law they should have to answer for it... regardless of color.
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Old 07-27-2007, 03:54 PM   #34
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Default Re: Tribes Will Fish Below Bonneville

Gill nets provide a easy scapegoat for lack of fishing opportunity. You can "see" nets but you can't see the silent killing of turbines, warming waters, and reduced flows. We are looking at 70 degree water temperatures near the mouth of the Columbia right now. It would be interesting to know what the temperatures would have been 250 years ago before so much habitat destruction and dewatering had occurred.

We all blame the nets but really we have nothing but ourselves to blame. I read the other day about a tributary stream that loses more than 70% of the out-migrating juveniles before they reach the first mainstem dam! This has nothing to do with mainstem issues and harvest, it's all about habitat.

We know what it takes to make rivers healthy again but society continues to take the path that's best for us, not the species. Even today wetlands and river corridors are still being cleared for homes and roads while at the same time we spend money on planting a few token trees and dumping in another million hatchery fish...................that'll fix it. One need only look at the production of the Hanford Reach to fully appreciate what the Columbia and tributaries once produced.......in the words of Meriwhether Lewis, "inconceivable".

And people talk about the "amount of money being spent on salmon" as excessive. BPA's budget for the entire Columbia Basin Fish Projects in 2007 is in the 150 million dollar range. This sounds like alot of money until you consider the the US House passed a 284 Billion dollar farm bill today....a billion equals a thousand millions by the way, 284 billion is 284,000 million. We are also spending somewhere around 12 billion dollars a month for the Iraq war. It's all about priorities and sadly salmon are not high on the list.

RM

Last edited by RiverMan; 07-27-2007 at 04:11 PM.
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Old 07-29-2007, 08:33 PM   #35
fishingls
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Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Where Snake meets Columbia
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Default Re: Tribes Will Fish Below Bonneville

I don't think many folks can envision a billion. Here is the best way to describe it, if someone gave your wife a billion dollars on the day Christ was born, told her she had to spend a $1,000.00 per day (no interest paid on balance)----she would still have over 700 years from now before she ran out of money. Now that is a billion dollars.
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