The June 16 start of the summer chinook management period also marked the opening of direct-to-the-public sales of summer chinook by four Columbia River treaty tribes.
Summer chinook were known historically as “June Hogs” due to their large size; they have always been sought after by the salmon-loving public. The commercial sales of fresh, locally caught summer chinook, as well as sockeye and steelhead, opened today at 6 a.m. and will continue until further notice.
Head up the Columbia River Gorge with a cooler full of ice to take advantage of this opportunity to bring home a delicious Columbia River summer chinook salmon. Indian fishers may be found selling fish at Marine Park at Cascade Locks, Lone Pine at The Dalles, and the boat launch near Roosevelt, Washington.
“The Indian fishers are excited to share their catch with the public,” said Paul Lumley, executive director of the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission. “The tribal fishery helps Indian fishers support their families and local economies through commercial sales while providing a high-quality product to consumers.”
Summer chinook populations in the upper Columbia River continue to be strong and healthy. The current forecast of 91,100 summer chinook will allow Indian fishers to harvest approximately 27,000 summer chinook, most of which will be sold commercially.
A large forecast of 161,900 sockeye salmon is also destined for the upper Columbia. Most of these will be upstream by mid-July, so sockeye sales will only be available for a short time.
The tribal fishery is protected under 1855 treaties with the federal government in which the Yakama, Warm Springs, Umatilla, and Nez Perce tribes reserved the right to fish at all usual and accustomed fishing places in the Columbia River basin. This treaty right encompasses ceremonial, subsistence, and commercial uses.
Call CRITFC’s salmon marketing program at (888) 289-1855 or visit http://www.critfc.org/harvest for more information. Price is determined at the point of sale and sales are cash only.
The Portland-based Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission is the technical support and coordinating agency for fishery management policies of four Columbia River Basin treaty tribes: the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation of Oregon, the Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation and the Nez Perce Tribe.