YAKIMA, Wash. (AP) — The Washington Supreme Court has ruled that the state cannot police tribal fishermen at a Columbia River fishing site south of Goldendale.
The court ruled in a 6-3 decision Thursday the fishing site is an established reservation held in trust for the Yakama Nation, and tribal fishermen retain sovereignty there.
The case stems from a 2008 citation by the state Department of Fish and Wildlife for tribal fisherman Lester Ray Jim.
Jim caught several undersized sturgeon in his net and said he planned to follow tribal practice of releasing them to the river from the shore. But state wildlife officers cited him for unlawfully retaining the fish.