Tag Archives: tribal tribune

Colvilles Aim To Release Returning Chinook Into Rufus Woods, Lake Roosevelt

The Colville Tribes hope to move surplus Chinook above two upper Columbia dams where the ocean-returning salmon haven’t been for as much as three-quarters of a century.

GRAND COULEE DAM AND LAKE ROOSEVELT. (BUREAU OF RECLAMATION)

Construction of Grand Coulee Dam and then Chief Joseph Dam without fish ladders ended passage past Bridgeport, but the tribes want to release adults that returned to Wells Hatchery into the reservoirs behind each this summer.

They’ve got a state permit to do so in Lake Rufus Woods, according to an article in the Tribal Tribune earlier this week, and plan to get another for Lake Roosevelt.

The news outlet describes the bid as “part of a ‘cultural release'” and report it is dependent on whether the salmon first pass testing for IHN, an infectious virus that affects fish.

The salmon are otherwise distributed to tribal members.

Ahead of any possible action, tribal fish and wildlife managers put out a call to elders and other Colvilles for comment.

“We’re to the point that we could have fish ready to move by the end of this month or the first part of August,” CTFW Director Randy Friedlander told the Tribune.

There have been increasing talk about bringing salmon back to Washington’s Upper Columbia and the British Columbia side of the international river.

It does seem a bit of a long shot as a way to jumpstart a run, as for any salmon that are released in the reservoirs, the next challenge would be for the fish to find gravel, for the eggs to hatch, for the smolts to make it over or through the first two dams without any kind of surface collectors, survive the rest of their downstream and ocean migration, and then return to some point below the dams and be collected to spawn the next generation.

But you gotta start somewhere and it’s clearly very important to do so to the tribes.

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Wolf Hunting Quota Could Be Lifted On Colville Reservation

Tribal officials in northern Eastern Washington will vote early next month on lifting the wolf hunting quota on their sprawling reservation.

ONE OF TWO YOUNG WOLVES CAPTURED AND COLLARED ON THE COLVILLE RESERVATION SEVERAL YEARS AGO. (COLVILLE CONFEDERATED TRIBES)

Only three can be harvested each season on the Colville Indian Reservation in southeast Okanogan and southern Ferry Counties under the current regulations, a benchmark that was also reached for the first time last season.

But under a recommendation from its natural resources committee and with as many as 40 wolves and five known packs, the Colville Business Council could remove the cap at a Sept. 6 special meeting, according to the Tribal Tribune.

The bid is being led by CBC member Jack Ferguson who worried about how fast wolf numbers could build in the next few years and said he’d rather see more deer and elk on the landscape.

“I’m not against having wolves around, but … I think we don’t put a limit on harvest, but we keep our regulations on how they’re hunted, how they’re trapped and that will regulate people and harvest,” he said, according to the newspaper.

With a population of between 30 and 40 wolves on the reservation, a tribal wildlife manager had recommended upping the quota to eight, matching a harvest level allowed in the wolf management plan, but the subcommittee voted 7-2 in support of Ferguson’s call to remove the limit, also allowed under the plan, according to the report.

Wolves in this part of Washington were federally delisted in 2011. The Colvilles opened their first season in 2012.

The current wolf seasons on both the reservation and what is known as the “north half” run from Aug. 1 through the end of February.

The quota on the north half is three annually and would appear to stay in effect. Wildlife there is comanaged with WDFW, though no state hunts are held.

The agency’s plans to remove one or more livestock-depredating wolves in northern Ferry County is on hold after environmental groups took it to court and a judge issued a temporary restraining order and set a late August hearing.

Seventeen of Washington’s 23 now known packs are in northeast Washington. As of the end of 2017, 84 of the 122 known wolves roamed that corner as well.