OceanExpert ID : 5582
Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission
729 NE Oregon St.
Portland, Oregon OR 97232
For generations, traditional fishing authorities governed tribal communities on the Columbia River. One such authority was the old "Celilo Fish Committee." The authority exercised by the Celilo Fish Committee was derived from the sovereign powers of the people living and fishing in nearby tribal territories. The committee ordained fishing practices that were disciplined and designed to serve a high purpose: to ensure that the salmon resource was served first--even worshipped--so that it would flourish and always exist. Tribal fish committee practices were successful--salmon were plentiful season after season. Then, the Columbia River and its adjacent environment were dramatically altered. Obstacles to salmon migration proliferated. Water quality and water flow were diminished. Ocean and in-river fishing increased. The salmon declined.