Tribes ask fishing to be limited to downstream of I-205

By Allen Thomas, Columbian outdoors reporter

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Sport fishing in the lower Columbia River for salmon should be moved to downstream of the Interstate 205 Bridge, a Yakama Indian Nation official said Thursday.

Passage at Bonneville Dam for summer chinook, sockeye and steelhead is tracking at less than forecast levels, likely a result of high flows, said Roger Dick Jr., harvest manager for the Yakamas.

"Many of our tribal fishers express concern about the level of non-Indian fishing in the lower river,'' Dick said in a prepared statement. "The tribes are mainly concerned with the level of fishing in zones 4 and 5 (Woodland to Bonneville) and ask the states to keep non-treaty sport and commercial fisheries downstream of the I-205 Bridge. The tribes hope this will minimize any shadow effects on the Bonneville Dam counts and subsequent impacts to the tribal fishery.''

Harry Barber of Washougal said sport fishing upstream of I-205 is minimal currently, limited to bank anglers immediately below Bonneville Dam and a half dozen boats a day in the Camas-Washougal area.

State officials took no action on the tribes' request.