Founded in 1958 as an association of gillnetters, fish buyers, processors, and associated businesses, our mission is “To provide protection and conservation of Columbia River salmon resources.”
Salmon for All began in response to legislative proposals aimed at eliminating the Columbia River fishery and depriving consumer access to fish that are paid for by the public. Subsequent measures to ban commercial fishing in Oregon and Washington have been defeated, in part because SFA efforts have helped convince legislators that the fishery is a resource for the entire public, not just sports fishermen.
Salmon for All has established a record of public advocacy on behalf of healthy salmon runs, satisfied seafood consumers, and the commercial fishing and processing industries that serve them. For more than five decades, we have been involved in salmon conservation issues on the Columbia River, including water pollution; inappropriate development of wetlands needed for salmon habitat; and operation of Columbia River and Snake River hydroelectric projects.
SFA was also at the forefront of the innovative strategy of establishing selective fisheries on the Columbia River. Selective fishing refers to a fishing method or fishing gear that allows healthy stocks to be targeted, while minimizing or avoiding the harvest of stocks of concern, or one that allows release of stocks of concern unharmed. In the Columbia River salmon fishery, selective fishing is managed in two different ways:
- Mark-selective fisheries: fish marked as hatchery stocks (by having their adipose fin clipped) may be retained; unmarked (wild) fish are to be released unharmed.
- TAG selectivity: where the fishery is managed for selectivity by Time, Area, and Gear deployment to maximize harvest of healthy stocks, while minimizing or avoiding bycatch of stocks of concern.
The constraining factor in most Columbia River salmon fisheries is the presence of ESA-listed stocks in mixed stock fisheries. Impacts on listed stocks (unintended deaths of bycatch) are to one degree or another present in all fisheries, sport or commercial. The management objective is for each fishery to live within its impact limits, which are extremely low by design.
Columbia River non-Indian recreational and commercial salmon fisheries share a tiny percentage of allowable impacts on listed stocks under the ESA and the US v. Oregon accords, with each sector allocated its own share of the impacts. During the 2008 spring and summer Chinook fisheries, and the 2007 summer and fall Chinook fisheries, the commercial gillnet fishery lived within its impacts. In each case, however, the Columbia River sport fishery exceeded its impacts, and by a wide margin.
Salmon for All remains committed to its mission of providing protection and conservation for Columbia River salmon resources, while also providing consumer access to high quality seafood.