Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fisheries Enforcement Department

  • Agency: Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fisheries Enforcement Department
  • Address: Lloyd 700 Building, 700 NE Multnomah St, Portland, 97232 OR
  • Chief:
Phone: (503) 238-0667
Fax: (503) 235-4228

Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fisheries Enforcement Department is located at Lloyd 700 Building, 700 NE Multnomah St, Portland, 97232 OR. The Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fisheries Enforcement Department phone number is (503) 238-0667.

Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fisheries Enforcement Department News

The CRITFC Fishing Site Maintenance crew will be working on extensive clean up and repair of four Treaty Fishing Access Sites this winter. The first site will be the White Salmon TFAS, which will close Nov 1-16. All other access sites will be open for tribal fisher use. If any fishers have personal or titled property at this location, please remove it before the closure to avoid loss. The next closure will be Preacher’s Eddy from Nov 26 to Dec 14.

A valuable partnership between the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board and the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Reservation brought Meacham Creek back to where it started and “first-foods” back to the local tribes of the Columbia River Gorge. Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Reservation, working with the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board and partially funded by grants from the Oregon Lottery, undertook a project to restore Meacham Creek to its original aquatic path. Using aerial photos from 1939 as a guide, workers with heavy equipment reestablished the original waterway. Eventually the creek was diverted back to its former course, free to flow across its floodplain. Today, spawning salmon have returned to the creek, along with native plant species and other wildlife. The local people, in turn, have been able to re-establish a healthy, first-foods diet, following the practices of their ancestors and a way of life thanks to Meacham Creek’s return to the wild.

"After a nearly 40-year absence, the first adult coho salmon entered the mouth of the Lostine River Sunday night. The silvery female is returning to the river where she was released as hatchery smolt in 2017."

“The first Coho Salmon to return to the Lostine River in over 40 years came back home this morning… I think we’ll see at least a few hundred Coho this fall at our weir on the Lostine. And more importantly, once again the Nez Perce Tribe is proving to be a good steward here in Wallowa County. This fish returned to a reach of river just below old Chief Joseph’s original burial site. I’m sure he’d be proud of his people for this significant accomplishment (and Ken Witty would be too).” —Jim Harbeck, Nez Perce Fisheries Nez Perce Tribe Department of Fisheries Resources Management Nez Perce Tribe

Shells, leather, sterling silver jewelry by Susan Guardipee.

The four Columbia River treaty tribes are pleased with today’s Senate passage of the Water Resources Development Act of 2018. We’re grateful for the sustained bipartisan work of the Oregon and Washington Congressional delegations in providing force and clarity to the US Army Corps of Engineers to resume work on Columbia River tribal housing through new enhanced authorization. The WRDA language is precise and prescriptive and leaves little doubt what the expectations of Congress are. We note, appreciatively, that Congress lessens the bureaucratic protocol and provides more opportunity for collaboration between the Department of Interior and the Army Corps of Engineers. The authorization also requires cost estimates and schedules to be developed – all sound requirements. The tribal community – governments and citizens – have continued work on the creation of an intertribal housing authority in anticipation of a fully resumed housing collaboration.

A growing selection of the 2018 CRITFC Native Arts & Crafts Fair artists and the type of products that they create. The Fair will be November 7 at the CRITFC 5th floor conference room. (See the event page on Facebook.) As we receive new photos from artists, they will be added to this album. (Not all items shown here will be offered for sale at the event, they are to show the style and genre of work the artists do.)

In light of Indigenous Peoples Day and the release of the United Nations Climate Report today, here's an excerpt from CRITFC's Climate Change page: A fundamental teaching from the native peoples of this continent was to make decisions with the seventh generation in mind. Another was that it is humanity’s duty to be the voice for the earth and everything on it. Climate change happened because people didn’t abide by these two teachings. The native peoples of the Americas have taught the world many things, but it is imperative that it learns these two teachings in order to stop harming the earth and its climate and to provide the will to carry out the difficult task of undoing the damage that has already been caused.

People learn to believe that the history of this land we call home began when Europeans arrived because that’s often where history books start. In a 1930s newsreel about the benefits of Columbia River hydropower, the narrator states, “And so for 100 years, the river of the West [Columbia River] was untamed—the same swirling fury which Indians have swept for salmon since the days of Captain Meriwether Lewis.” In one sentence, millions of years that the Columbia had flowed freely and the thousands of years that indigenous people fished for salmon there is swept away.

Wishing everyone a meaningful and reflective Indigenous Peoples Day.

Attention tribal fishers: The four Columbia River treaty tribes have set the following fishery plan and the Columbia River Compact concurred: Zone 6 Commercial Salmon Gillnet Fishery opening 6 AM Wednesday, October 3 to 6 PM Saturday, October 6 (3 nights) Gear: Set and Drift Gillnets with an 8-inch minimum mesh size restriction. Allowable Sales: Salmon (any species), steelhead, shad, yellow perch, bass, walleye, catfish and carp may be sold or retained for subsistence. Fish landed during the open periods are allowed to be sold after the period concludes. Sturgeon may not be sold, but sturgeon from 38 to 54 inches fork length in the Bonneville Pool and sturgeon from 43 to 54 inches fork length in The Dalles and John Day Pools and may be kept for subsistence purposes. Closed Areas: River mouth and dam closed areas applicable to gillnets in effect. The Spring Creek Hatchery will be reduced to 150 feet around the hatchery ladder. Platform and Hook and Line fishing continues under current regulations. Full announcement:

Attention Tribal Fishers: The Four Columbia River treaty fishing tribes have set the following Zone 6 fishery plan and the Columbia River Compact concurred: Dates/Times: 6 AM Wednesday, September 19 to 6 PM Saturday, September 22 (3 nights) Gear: Set and Drift Gillnets with an 8-inch minimum mesh size restriction. Allowable Sales: Salmon (any species), steelhead, shad, yellow perch, bass, walleye, catfish and carp may be sold or retained for subsistence. Fish landed during the open periods are allowed to be sold after the period concludes. Sturgeon may not be sold, but sturgeon from 38 to 54 inches fork length in the Bonneville Pool and sturgeon from 43 to 54 inches fork length in The Dalles and John Day Pools and may be kept for subsistence purposes. Closed Areas: River mouth and dam closed areas applicable to gillnets in effect including the standard Spring Creek Hatchery sanctuary. For information other fisheries, please consult the tribal fishery departments directly. Click below for the full announcement:

CRITFC fish technician Agnes Strong (Yakama) with a 93cm steelhead—the largest one to come through the Bonneville Sampling Center so far this year. She and the rest of the Bonneville team sample salmon and steelhead throughout the spring, summer, and fall runs. They measure the fish, take a tissue sample for genetic analysis at CRITFC's Hagerman Genetics Lab, collect a scale for growth analysis, and then send it on its way after it has recovered from being handled.

"Oregon lawmakers are trying to force the Trump administration to complete a design and plan for a village where tribal members who were displaced by the 1957 construction of The Dalles Dam can live. Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Oregon, inserted language in the bill that sets spending priorities for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that compel the federal government to do so. A previous version of the bill simply allowed the Army Corps to do so. The Corps agreed upon the original language and identified money it would allocate to the project. Work had started when Mick Mulvaney, head of the Office of Management and Budget, refused to transfer the second infusion of cash last year requested by Army Corps leadership. The bill, just passed by the U.S. House of Representatives, now says that the Army Corps “shall” develop a plan for housing members of the Warm Springs, Yakama, Umatilla and Nez Perce tribes who fish the Columbia River and were flooded out of their homes. The bill also allows for the Army Corps to build houses for people displaced by the Bonneville and John Day dams."

ATTENTION TRIBAL FISHERS: The chinook and steelhead returns in the fall season have been lower than forecast. Because of continued uncertainty regarding the run sizes, the four Columbia River treaty fishing tribes have postponed a decision on a gillnet fishery for next week until they meet again early next week. This cautionary approach is in recognition of both the need to ensure the platform fishery can stay open and the goal of providing good commercial fishing opportunity. Expect an additional announcement regarding gillnet fishing as soon as any decision is made early next week. At this time, the regulations for the platform and hook-and-line fishery remain unchanged and it is open for both subsistence and commercial use. Full announcement:

Attention tribal fishers: A new Zone 6 commercial fishery has been set by the tribes: 6am MON 9/10 to 6pm FRI 9/14 (4 nights). The platform and hook-and-line fishery regulations remain unchanged. See the full announcement at the link below.

U.S. Columbia River Treaty Negotiator Jill Smail will lead a Town Hall tonight in Portland, Oregon on the modernization of the Columbia River Treaty regime. The Town Hall is free of charge, open to the public, and will take place at the Bonneville Power Administration’s Rates Hearing Room from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. To learn more about CRITFC and its member tribes' efforts to include tribal treaty and ecological priorities and values into a modernized treaty, visit

Most weekdays, CRITFC distributes an email newsletter "Meycúukwe" ("morning news" in the Nez Perce language). The newsletter is a collection of 6 to 9 articles selected from local, regional, national, and international news outlets that feature salmon and other Columbia Basin fish, fishing, river and environmental issues, and tribal activities and stories. Click below to read today's edition. If you're interested in subscribing, click the button at the top of the newsletter page.

“I think this is only fitting that we do this here today. This is our mother that we stand on, just like you have a mother or parent that takes care of you. Our mother takes care of us and all the things that we need.” —Yakama Nation General Council Executive Chairman Davis Washines (Yellowash), blessing the groundbreaking

A science team from CRITFC and the University of Idaho were at the South Fork of the Salmon River in Idaho's U.S. Forest Service - Payette National Forest last week. They were testing the thermal tolerance of salmonids in an effort to increase our understanding of how Columbia Basin cold water fish react to higher water temperatures. In the final photo, a juvenile chinook is provided fresh water to its gills through a tube while a monitor measures its heart rate as the water warms. (After the test, the fish recover in a cold tank before being returned to the river.) Knowing how cold water fish handle warmer water will be vital in helping us prepare to deal with climate change. By merging cutting-edge scientific research like this with traditional ecological knowledge and wisdom, the tribes are working to understand and prepare for the impacts that climate change will have on our lands and First Foods. To learn more about this effort, visit "We must begin preparations to maintain our community and our natural resources. We must carry forward our culture and traditions for our tribes’ future and for your own families’ well-being. For many generations, you will be challenged with a changing climate. But always remember, since time immemorial, we have looked to our elders for their wisdom and guidance, and within our children we will always see hope." —Shxmyah (Arlen Washines), Yakama Nation Higher Education Programs Manager, from the Yakama Nation Climate Adaptation Plan for the Territories of the Yakama Nation. photos courtesy Jayson FiveCrows, CRITFC

Back in 2008, CRITFC, the Umatilla, Warm Springs, and Yakama tribes, the Bonneville Power Administration, Northwestern Division, US Army Corps of Engineers USACE, and the Bureau of Reclamation signed the Columbia Basin Fish Accords—a decade-long agreement that secured funding for salmon restoration projects throughout the Columbia River Basin. Now, ten years later, we have an opportunity to look back and see what was accomplished. CRITFC is pleased to release the Columbia Basin Fish Accords Ten-year Report—an overview of the tribal efforts and achievements that the Accords facilitated. Click the link below to read more about the report and what was accomplished over the past decade.

“We will undertake that responsibility in a responsible and humane manner,” said Virgil Lewis, senior vice chairman of the Yakama Nation Tribal Council. Ron Suppah, tribal council member for the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation of Oregon, cautioned that time is of the essence and asked that action come sooner rather than later. Cantwell said she’s hopeful that her peers in the Senate will pass the bipartisan legislation and send it back to the House.

On the final full day of Salmon Camp, the students got the opportunity to visit the Yakama Nation Tribal Council in their chambers and then go prepare for the traditional dinner this evening. The students got instructed on the symbolism of the dinner, serving order, and the sacredness of the First Foods. They then lined up to be servers for the community and family members gathered for the dinner.

Day four of Salmon Camp was spent in the field electrofishing and learning about traditional medicinal plants, then on to Heritage University where the SPYS (Summer Program for Yakama Students) group lead an activity where the students dissected lamprey and learned how to filet salmon.

The Yakama Nation Review 's video on Tuesday's Salmon Camp activities.