May 22nd, 2012
The Columbia River Compact convened by teleconference at 3:00 p.m. Tuesday, May 22, 2012 to consider non-Indian recreational and commercial fisheries for spring Chinook. The US v. Oregon Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) met Monday, May 21 to review the upriver run size. TAC decided that the run-size estimate should remain at 216,500 for the present, as a result of which the non-Indian impact limit remains at 1.9% of the upriver run.
At the current run size, the non-Indian commercial fishery has only 575 upriver spring Chinook impacts remaining in its quota, which includes the 144 impacts remaining for operating the Select Area fisheries for the rest of spring season. Because the Washington state Snake River recreational fishery went substantially over quota, the remaining quota for the recreational fishery is now reduced to 1,402 impacts. Staff tried to balance opportunity with risk by proposing options both for the recreational and commercial fisheries. The options for each fishery were setting minimal fisheries now, or waiting until next week to look at the situation again. Discussion during public testimony was split, with many fishermen, mainly commercial fishermen and the ordinary “mom-and-pop” sport fishermen, preferring to wait to see if the outlook for the upriver run improves before setting additional fisheries. On the other hand, recreational fishing organizations, including the Northwest Sportfishing Industry Association, Northwest Guides and Anglers, and the Coastal Conservation Association, preferred to gamble with going over the recreational impact limit by going fishing sooner rather than later.
Spring Fact Sheet No. 8 and the subsequent Joint State Action Notice are appended below as PDF files.