When Lewis and Clark passed through this area in October 1805, they had to ride through many difficult rapids and around huge boulders now inundated by dam floodwaters. They also saw numerous Indian camps and villages “near each other along the shores on both sides of the river.” Native people were here for the fall fishery.
Today, fresh salmon caught in the Columbia River can also be purchased in Roosevelt, Washington. From Highway 14 at Roosevelt, turn toward the river onto Roosevelt Ferry Road. Proceed to the boat launch and the Treaty Fishing Access Site.
Nearby Lake Umatilla is a 110-mile reservoir on the Columbia River. It offers good fishing for smallmouth bass, walleye, and other warm-water species. Sturgeon, steelhead, salmon, can also be caught. Boat launch facilities on the Washington side are available at Plymouth, Paterson, Crow Butte Park, and Roosevelt. On the Oregon shore, boat launch facilities are located at Umatilla, Irrigon, Paterson Ferry, Boardman, Arlington, and John Day River.
For more information about buying fresh Indian-caught salmon in season, visit the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission (CRITFC) website at www.critfc.org.
The CRITFC mission is to ensure a unified voice in the overall management of the fishery resources, and as managers, to protect reserved treaty rights through the exercise of the inherent sovereign powers of the tribes. The organization includes the Yakama, Umatilla, Warm Springs, and Nez Perce tribes.
- In most years, the public can purchase fresh premium chinook and steelhead from mid-June through early October
- Best availability is 10 a.m. to dusk (dependent upon supply and weather). Days, times and locations may vary with vendors
- Each fisher is independent; prices are set by fishers. Most sales are cash only
- Most sales locations are easy drive-up
For more information about purchasing fish from tribal fishers in the Columbia River Gorge, please view the video below: