Wild Salmon Center Hosts Russian/US Indigenous Fisheries Management ExchangeNews & Program Updates

In May, the Wild Salmon Center hosted a week-long indigenous fisheries management exchange that brought native fisheries managers and political leaders from the Russian Far East together with numerous tribes from the Pacific Northwest.

With the valuable organizational aid of the Columbia River Inter-tribal Fish Commission (CRITFC) and the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission, the Wild Salmon Center organized and facilitated meetings between the Russian delegation from Sakhalin and Kamchatka and members of the Warm Springs, Nez Perce, Yakama, Nisqually, Hoh and Tulalip tribes in Oregon and Washington.

The exchange focused on sharing experiences regarding fishing rights history, effective means of tribal negotiation between sovereigns, fishing practices and management, and hatchery management. The Trust for Mutual Understanding provided funding for this event.

Highlights of the exchange included:

  • A trip to the Columbia River Gorge, where the delegation visited several tribal fishing sites and toured the East White Salmon Processing Plant, a tribal project that is still in its development phase;
  • a cultural day on the Yakama Reservation;
  • a meeting with the natural resources manager of the Nisqually tribe at the Nisqually River Wildlife Refuge;
  • a meeting with the Hoh tribe, where tribe members prepared a spring Chinook salmon feast, gave a tribal dance performance and shared outlooks on past and present problems in the Hoh basin;
  • a meeting with the Tulalip tribe north of Seattle, where restoration efforts in the Puget Sound were discussed, along with plans for a new fisheries office including a fish processing plant and a genetics laboratory.