By Tiffany Woods
CASCADE LOCKS, Ore. – The Columbia River Gorge is known for its stunning scenery, but this time of year it’s also a great place to buy fresh salmon and steelhead from tribal vendors as the fish migrate upriver.
In most years, you can purchase fish from tribal sellers in the Gorge from mid-June through early October. You can learn how to do just that thanks to a new video from Oregon Sea Grant and the Oregon State University Extension Service at bit.ly/tribalfish.
The eight-minute video features Amanda Gladics, a fisheries specialist with Oregon Sea Grant and Extension; Kelly Streit, a registered dietitian with Extension; and Buck Jones, the salmon marketing specialist with the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission.
Here are a few of the tips they offer:
Once you get the fish home, the Extension Service offers the following resources for preserving it:
“Sites where you can purchase tribal-caught salmon today are close to locations where tribal fishers have been harvesting salmon since time immemorial,” Jones said.
Under treaties signed with the U.S. government in 1855, the Nez Perce, Umatilla, Yakama and Warm Springs tribes maintained their rights to fish at their traditional sites, he said.
“Tribal fishing at these sites continue[s] to be essential to the tribes’ sovereignty, culture and economy,” Jones said. “Over-the-bank sales help tribal fishers support their families and make it possible to continue their traditional livelihood.”