News Stories Thu., Apr. 12, 2018

Over the impassioned objections of four Columbia River treaty tribes, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game and several downriver anglers themselves, and despite the lowest-ever recorded return to-date at Bonneville Dam, Oregon and Washington agreed late Wednesday to authorize one more day of downriver spring chinook salmon sportfishing. Anglers can fish Saturday under last week’s rules – one hatchery chinook per day. Biologists are gambling the river will see at least 75,000 adults at Bonneville (166,700 is forecast), which would cover the 5,400 caught so far. Test-netting between Willow Grove and Tongue Point Sunday showed a sharp increase in adult salmon.

President Trump quietly signed an executive order Tuesday, directing federal agencies to strengthen the work requirements for various welfare programs. The move could eventually affect recipients of Medicaid, food stamps, housing assistance and cash welfare, OPB reports. The administration argues that despite low unemployment — just 4.1 percent last month — enrollment in various government assistance programs remains high, years into the economic recovery. Advocates for the poor note that many recipients of government assistance already work, but often earn too little income to pay for rent, groceries and health care on their own.

The Navajo Nation has joined the number of tribal lawsuits targeting the opioid industry. The Cherokee Nation were the first in April 2017. Now, tribes in nearly every region of Indian Country have joined the cause. The latest with a lawsuit is the Navajo Nation, whose leaders are seeking to hold drug manufacturers responsible for the flow of opioid on their homelands in Arizona, New Mexico and Utah. Last week, the Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa filed suit in Wisconsin. In South Dakota, the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe, the Oglala Sioux Tribe, the Rosebud Sioux, the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate and the Standing Rock Sioux have filed separate cases in the last three months. The Yurok Tribe of California is also suing drug companies over the opioid epidemic.