Council to consider below Bonneville 2016 fishery

The Tribal Council this month will take up the question of spring subsistence fishing below the Bonneville dam. The fishery opened last year in early April.

Council members at their meeting this Monday, January 11, said they want to see the subsistence fishery open again this spring below Bonneville.

The tribes first re-opened this fishery in 2010, and it proved to be popular with hook-and-line subsistence fishermen. Before the 2010 season, there had been no subsistence fishery at the location for some years.

In 2014 the below-Bonneville fishery remained closed to subsistence fishermen, although the 2014 spring chinook run was one of the best in several years. Meanwhile, the commercial fishery at the area was open in 2014, and many saw this as unfair to the subsistence fishermen.

Tribal Council agreed, and in 2015 opened the subsistence fishery at Bonneville. Council is planning to meet with the Branch of Natural Resources on January 25 to discuss the 2016 below-Bonneville subsistence fishery.

They may also look at some of the regulations that apply at the fishing site, such as regulations regarding the number of poles per fisherman, reasonable access for elders, and law and regulation enforcement.