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Fishing Access Site Improvement

Working to improve the safety and sanitary conditions at the 28 fishing access sites for tribal members along the Columbia River.

CRITFC is committed to providing ongoing maintenance, law enforcement services, repair and rehabilitation at the fishing sites. In 2019 Congress enacted PL 116- 99, Columbia River In-lieu and Treaty Fishing Sites Improvement Act. The purpose of the Act is to improve safety and sanitary conditions at the In-lieu and Treaty Fishing Access Sites. The Act authorizes the BIA to assess current sanitation and safety conditions and implement improvements. In 2021 the BIA funded CRITFC to begin this work, and CRITFC contracted with AKANA to perform the assessment.

In fall 2021, CRITFC selected AKANA to perform a thorough assessment of conditions, usage patterns and deficiencies at the 28 fishing access sites CRITFC operates and maintains along Zone 6 of the Columbia River.

Over time, tribal fishers have used the fishing access sites in ways not anticipated by the original planners. Today it is apparent to many that some of the fishing sites no longer provide adequate support for the number of fishers using them, or for the ways fishers currently use the sites.

From October through December 2021, technical staff from AKANA and Nch’i Wana Housing, accompanied by CRITFC and BIA counterparts, conducted in-person site assessments at each of the fishing access sites. These assessments thoroughly evaluated and documented conditions on the ground at each site. AKANA’s interim and final reports will include the results and analysis of each site assessment.

Another important part of AKANA’s assessment process is gathering direct input from tribal fishers. AKANA and Nch’i Wana Housing designed a questionnaire to collect this valuable feedback. Its goal is to elicit their specific observations about how well, or poorly, the fishing access sites they use are working. Participation is voluntary; tribal fishers who complete the questionnaire will receive a modest gift, thanking them for the time and effort invested.

Our goal is to interview as many fishers as possible from the four CRITFC member tribes. During February and March 2022, staff members from Nch’i Wana Housing and AKANA will meet with fishers to administer the questionnaire. Because some fishers are typically not present on the Columbia River during this time period, these meetings will take place in two separate venues: at the fishing access sites, and on the reservations of the four CRITFC member tribes.

AKANA will include the survey results in its interim report to CRITFC commissioners and leadership, projected for mid-March, and in its final report due by summer 2022.


On-site and on-reservation surveys

In-person survey sessions will be held at select fishing access sites and all four reservations. Dates and locations will be posted here once they are finalized. 

The information on this page was prepared by the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission. Every effort has been made to ensure this information is up-to-date. To submit corrections or suggestion additional resources, please email CRITFC Public Affairs.