Tribe Plans to Gillnet Steelheadby Staff
Lewiston Morning Tribune, December 18, 2007
The Nez Perce Tribe announced today it will open a tribal steelhead fishery, which will include the use of gillnets.
The goal of the fishery is to target the tribe's share of hatchery steelhead that have passed Lower Granite Dam, 35 miles west of Lewiston. A tribal press release said only that the fishery will open "soon."
Tribal members would be able to harvest half of the hatchery steelhead, or up to 61,000 fish, that have passed the dam. But the tribe has agreed to start conservatively by implementing a low quota on the number of wild steelhead tribal members can incidentally catch and kill during the fishery.
Tribal members would be allowed to harvest 1.75 percent of the wild steelhead above the dam instead of the 4.8 percent it believes can be caught without affecting the survival and recovery of wild steelhead.
Last year the tribe opened a controversial gill net fishery on the Clearwater River but only harvested a single hatchery steelhead.
This year gillnetting will be allowed from Lower Granite Dam to Hells Canyon Dam and from the mouth of the Clearwater to the bridge at Orofino.
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