Among the many duties of Fish and Wildlife Committee Members and CRITFC Commissioners are delegations where they are sent to participate in the work of the Pacific Salmon Commission and Pacific Fishery Management Council. The Pacific Salmon Commission deals with implementation of agreements under the Pacific Salmon Treaty, which coordinates the management of Alaska, British Columbia, and southern US fisheries. The Pacific Fishery Management Council deals with Washington, Oregon, and California coastal fisheries. Fisheries in all these areas have impacts on upriver salmon stocks, primarily fall chinook, upper Columbia summer chinook, and coho. The tribes participate in these management processes to ensure that ocean fisheries are managed to stay within agreed limits on Columbia River fish.
Because the Pacific Fishery Management Council process is a public process, there are opportunities for the Columbia River tribes to provide public statements on issues of tribal concern. The tribes routinely provide information about the tribal gravel-to-gravel approach to salmon recovery and the importance of using hatcheries as one of the tools to aid in recovery. The tribes also provide information on the problems associated with non-Indian mark-selective fisheries and bird and sea lion predation. Over the years, the tribal leaders participating in these processes have received more and more positive feedback from government officials, officials from other tribes, and especially from many of the non-Indian fishers who have come to recognize that the hard work the tribes do for salmon recovery benefits everyone’s fisheries.